Tom Felton talks “Murder in the First” and “Meet the Fanatics”
There’s no denying that Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) has been incredibly busy with new projects! His recent roles include Erich Blunt in the TNT show Murder in the First, Tony Pastula in the drama Against the Sun, and his own documentary entitled Tom Felton: Meet the Fanatics, in which he will be making his directorial debut.
He recently sat down and discussed his role in Murder in the First, which finally hit the UK on Friday, January 16, much to the delight of fans.
In the show, Felton’s character Erich Blunt is linked to a double murder, and the audience is left to wonder whether he is guilty or not. Turns out, Felton didn’t even know the answer, sharing
Even over the entire three months of filming, they refused to give me any information. In fact, they did the opposite – they’d send me red herrings, all these weird thoughts. There was constantly a conspiracy theory morning class in hair and make-up – all the cast would be umming and ahhing about whodunit and who’s guilty and who’s not and who’s going to go down and who’s going to die.
Turns out, he didn’t even know the ending until the last episode! He says,
They released the final episode to us bar the last five pages. By episode eight, nine, you start to think, ‘OK, now I’ve got it; I see which way this is going’. I don’t want to spoil anything, but they throw in lots of twists and turns along the way that had us guessing. I think it was a prop guy who came up to me at the lunch break and said, ‘Wow, what about the ending?’ I was like, ‘What?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, it just came out’, and I ran to the production office to print out the last five pages. It shocked me, so no doubt it will shock audiences as well.
When asked if it was difficult playing a character and not knowing his fate, Felton adds,
I thought it would be – that’s why I was pushing for more answers from Steven and Eric because I thought it would make it easier to make choices if I knew exactly what was going on. But in hindsight it was actually, I think, stronger not knowing. Erich Blunt, the character that I play, is a master of manipulation. He knows exactly what to say to get what he wants. In a weird way, to believe everything you’re saying is the truth is actually more convincing than knowing your character’s lying and trying to come across as more genuine… So yeah, at the time I was desperate to know. Believe me, every day I was pushing them for, ‘Am I lying here, or am I telling the truth?’ But they never said anything. I think it made it easier in fact, not knowing.”
It may seem that Felton is being typecast as villains after Harry Potter, but he expresses
No, it’s definitely not a problem! I love playing people who have a villainous side to them, especially a vulnerable villainous quality. I think as the episodes go on you’ll see with Erich that it’s very easy to see a villain and go, ‘He’s out and out bad; he’s evil from the roots’ when actually there’s usually a lot of insecurities and something underlying there – the reasons why they are who they are – and it’s fun to be able to explore that. But yeah, the other two projects are very unvillainous, so it’s definitely good to mix it up!
His documentary by BBC, Tom Felton: Meet the Fanatics, will be about super-fans and stalkers he’s encountered because of his fame from Harry Potter. On this project, he shares,
It’s something I’ve never had an opportunity to do – spend time with these kinds of people. It’s a fascinating thing. I’m so conditioned to it now it all seems natural…I have been booed and hissed a bit, and younger kids did tend to be petrified, but most of them have grown up now. I get requests to say mean things to people and leave nasty phone messages.
Felton also keeps in touch with his Harry Potter co-stars, saying,
I see Rupert (Grint, Ron Weasley) in New York. We had a nice little reunion dinner with Dan (Radcliffe, Harry Potter) as well. We all stay in touch. It’s odd when we see each other now. Last time we had beards and shaggy haircuts. The years are showing!
When asked if he believes J.K. Rowling will write more Harry Potter books, Felton shares,
If she does, I just hope she does it before I’m too old! But the fan base isn’t going anywhere; the popularity is gaining, even. More and more people recognise me in the street.
Don’t forget that Murder in the First is now in the UK as well! The show premiered on Fox Friday, January 16, and the next episode will air on Friday, January 23.
What do you think? Do you watch Murder in the First? Will you begin watching it now? Are you excited for Tom Felton: Meet the Fanatics? Let us know in the comments below!