Tom Felton revealed in his new memoir, “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard,” that he still feels “ashamed” for mocking co-star Emma Watson’s dance moves on the set of the “Harry Potter” movies. Felton was 12 years old when he started filming the first movie, while Watson was only 9. When Felton and his fellow Slytherin actor Josh Herdman (Gregory Goyle) heard Watson had “put together a little dance show in her dressing room,” they walked over and were “predictably dismissive” of her.
“We sniggered our way down to Emma’s show, and the sniggers grew louder as she danced,” Felton wrote (via Insider). “We were just being shitty boys, largely out of awkwardness and because we thought taking the piss was cool, but Emma was visibly upset by our thoughtless reaction. I did feel like a bit of a dick, and rightly so.”
Felton said he apologized to Watson and she “accepted my apology,” describing the mocking as “a stupid, teenage act of thoughtlessness, the sort of thing that happens every day.” But Felton can’t help but ask himself: “So why does that moment stick in my memory? Why is it so painful for me to recall?”
“The answer, I think, is that I’ve grown to understand with the passing of the years that of all of us, Emma had the most to deal with, the most difficult situation to negotiate, and from the earliest age,” Felton wrote. “And the pressures she experienced went further than just having to deal with stupid boys…She was in many ways treated like an adult from the day she was cast. It’s a phenomenon that can, I think, be more difficult for girls than for boys. They are unfairly sexualized in the media and beyond…the last thing she needed, in an environment that should have been — and normally was — safe and friendly and familial, was Josh and me laughing at her dance.”
“That’s why I feel ashamed by the memory of our behavior,” Felton concluded. “And that’s why I’m glad that our friendship did not founder on the rocks of my insensitivity, but became something deeper. A touchstone for both of our lives.”
Felton and Watson remain close friends, with Watson even contributing words to Felton’s book and referring to him as her “soulmate.” Felton’s memoir, “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard,” is now available for purchase.
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