In his new memoir, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard, Tom Felton is opening up about the special relationship between him and former co-star Emma Watson. The two met at an audition for the first installment in J.K. Rowling’s fantasy franchise, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Watson was just 9 years old, and Felton was 11.
Fans of the franchise have always rooted for a romantic relationship between the two actors, and while Watson has been open about developing a crush on the actor when she was a child, Felton has always denied any reciprocated feelings.
However, in his memoir, the actor does discuss his relationship with the actress, saying:
“I’ve always had a secret love for Emma, though not perhaps in the way that people might want to hear. That isn’t to say that there’s never been a spark between us. There most definitely has, only at different times.” He later adds: “I don’t think I was ever in love with Emma, but I loved and admired her as a person in a way that I could never explain to anybody else … we were kindred spirits.”
When the two were initially cast in the film, Felton as Draco Malfoy and Watson as Hermione Granger, their real-life relationship had a rough start. Felton detailed avoiding the young actress and describes a particular incident where Watson wanted to show the cast a dance she had choreographed. Recalling that incident, Felton writes:
“We were predictably dismissive. We sniggered our way down to Emma’s show and the sniggers grew louder as she danced. We were just being s—— boys, largely out of awkwardness and because we thought taking the p— was cool. I did feel like a bit of a d—, and rightly so. In the end, it was up to one of the hair and make-up ladies to tell me what was what.”
Felton and Watson Move Forward
Since their rough start, the two have developed a close friendship. In a recent interview with The Independent, Felton even credits Watson with encouraging him to tell of his struggles with mental health issues. He told the publication:
“Not just because it was cathartic for me. But also in the hope that sharing those parts of my story will help others that are maybe not going through the best time.”
After portraying Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter film series, Felton went on to make appearances in films including Rise of the Planet of the Apes, From the Rough and The Apparition. On television, he portrayed Doctor Alchemy on The CW’s The Flash. He will next appear in Canyon del Muerto, opposite Val Kilmer and Abigail Breslin.
After gaining recognition for her portrayal of Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film series, Watson went on to appear in films including My Week with Marilyn, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Beauty and the Beast and as Meg March in Greta Gerwig’s Little Women adaptation.
This year, the two appeared on Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, a television special commemorating the 20th anniversary of the release of the series’ first installment, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.