Tom Felton Talks “Beyond the Wand,” Getting Back Onstage, and Dealing with Imposter Syndrome: “It’s All About Balance”
Everyone’s been buzzing about Tom Felton’s upcoming book, Beyond the Wand, and it’s no surprise. Felton has plenty to say about the time he’s been in the entertainment industry. While the Harry Potter films are the reason he rose to fame when he was so young, the successful career he has today was built by persevering and constantly challenging himself to step outside his comfort zone. In a recent interview with 1883, Felton opened up about life, his career, and why it’s important to make art you love, no matter what the rest of the world might think.
Tom Felton first got a taste of acting at the age of six when he was part of a local theater program. He used to watch his older brother perform, and eventually, his mother convinced him to give theater a try.
I don’t think it was a particularly high-class thing because I’m pretty sure I was just a snowman in the background — no Shakespeare or anything.
While that’s the definition of a humble beginning, Felton is now starring in the major West End theater production 2:22 A Ghost Story. He’s very much a fan of the show. In fact, he went to see it five times while his friend James Buckley was starring in it.
I just loved it. Even at that time, I had no idea or no concept that I would be considered for the next run. So you can imagine my surprise when I got a phone call saying, ‘do you want to do it?’
Felton admits that jumping into stage work wasn’t exactly easy. In fact, he was terrified.
I think you should be slightly terrified of any new adventure, so it’s a good thing. […] I love taking on new challenges, and this has definitely been one.
As for his memoir, Beyond the Wand, Felton admits that writing it required some bravery on his part as well.
The whole writing of the book was really vulnerable, and I’d completely forgotten up until last week that people are actually going to read it [laughs]! It was always just for me in the same way music has always been. I’ve done it just for myself; I’ve never really pushed for other people to hear it to validate me or to make it worth it.
Felton is a firm believer that you should make art for your own enjoyment, not to impress other people. He’s learned that doing it for yourself reaps better results than constantly worrying about what others will think of the end result. That’s exactly what he did with his memoir, and he really sees the book as a means to keep his early memories of filming Potter alive.
I realized the more and more I wrote down, the more the memories were fading or getting fuzzy with time — but they wouldn’t completely fade if I kept writing. So that’s what I did.
With all the projects he’s taken on and the success he’s had, Felton isn’t immune to imposter syndrome. Like the rest of us, he sometimes finds himself questioning his accomplishments, but he has some sage advice when it comes to handling those negative thoughts.
A healthy balance is important. […] There comes a point where you have to let go. You have to think about how you’re doing something and not be too worried about what other people may or may not think about you.
He added that it’s also important to stay humble and just take life as it comes: Appreciate the good times and persevere during the hard times.
As for whether he ever gets annoyed when asked about his time on Harry Potter, Felton said that he’s actually grateful that people still care so much about it. In fact, he loves meeting fans and hearing their stories.
Things like that are the reason why I make sure to do stage door almost every night. I want to meet all these youngsters from all over the world, from all backgrounds, from all different walks of life, who all unify over their love of ‘Potter,’ for lack of a better phrase.
We can’t wait to dive into Felton’s book when it’s released in October. Will you be getting a copy? Tell us in the comments.