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Harry Potter: Tom Felton conjures up memories of Sorcerer's Stone production during Peacock watch party
Someone send an owl to Bathilda Bagshot! Harry Potter actor Tom Felton made magical history Tuesday evening by watching Sorcerer's Stone in all of its entirety for the very first time in about a decade. Felton, who played Slytherin student Draco Malfoy across eight film adaptations, live-streamed his personal screening on Peacock's TikTok account. After all, the NBC-owned streaming service is currently the exclusive streaming home of all the Potter movies based on J.K. Rowling's seven novels set within the Wizarding World.
"I've seen bits and pieces when they're on TV and when my friends turn it on and send me videos of it. But actually, watching the entire film...I've never really watched them in one sitting," Felton said during a short Q&A. "This will be a genuine reaction to something that we did back in 2000, which obviously feels like a small lifetime ago ... The only reason I haven't seen them in their entirety is that I was saving [the experience] for being with my own kids or [letting] enough time elapse for me to be able to not be too critical."
Felton also gave a shoutout to the fans: "It always astonishes me that the Harry Potter or Slytherin flame of fandom is still going as strong as it was. I think it was mental 10 years ago and to see it now, still growing now in the way that it is, I'm so proud of it — every time, especially the little ones who still think that I'm Draco. It's very endearing ... I think now is the time when we all need to band together to do something like this ... I hope this is the start of a whole new chapter."
Once the watch party got underway, Felton munched on a bucket of popcorn, drank out of a cauldron-shaped mug, and dredged up a few memories from the set. For example, the actor remembered using his prop oar to flick water at the VFX crew while filming the scene in which the first year Hogwarts students cross the lake with Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane). A few minutes later, Felton joked that Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) made a very poor choice when he decided not to accept Draco's offer of friendship prior to the Sorting ceremony. In fact, the actor rooted for his character the whole way through, feigning outrage when Harry, an inexperienced Quidditch player, is made Gryffindor Seeker.
Fun fact: Felton actually tried out for the part of Harry before locking down the one he ultimately got. He shared that the young actors hoping to land the coveted role of the famous Mr. Potter were asked to audition with the sequence where Hagrid reveals that he's come into possession of a dragon egg. "[Director Chris Columbus] had a chicken egg and he purposefully cracked it on the table to see how you'd react," he said.
Felton also auditioned for Ron Weasley (eventually played by Rupert Grint), but in the end, he turned out to be the perfect Draco when he showed up to set and exhibited the cunning and devious attributes associated with Slytherin House.
"I carved my name into the tables of the Great Hall, much to the prop master's disgust," he recalled. "I hid sweets in my robe pockets, which were later revealed [to be filled with] melted chocolate. So they sewed up the pockets — I was single-handedly responsible for sewing up the pockets of the robes. They were really big pockets, so there were a lot of sweets you could get inside them."
Adapted for the screen by Steve Kloves, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone will celebrate its 20th anniversary this coming November. During its theatrical run, the movie brought in over $1 billion at the worldwide box office and helped spawn an entire cinematic franchise that is now worth well over $9 billion.
"I've been in touch with Chris Columbus ... I've been the middle man, so-to-speak, between some of the cast members and we're all keen as mustard to celebrate what we did," Felton said. "This is part of the campaign. I'm trying to bring [together] all the Potter fans and all the people I would usually meet year-to-year in the Comic Con world. It's been a really cool experience meeting fans from literally every country under the sun."
Once the movie was over, a teary-eyed Felton reflected on the last two decades, unable to believe that the franchise has lasted this long. “We never realized we were making a movie," he finished. "They just sort of tricked us into believing that we were just there for a minute, then go do some tutoring, learn what mass means, and then come back. It did not seem at all as important [as it became]. If someone had told us that we’d be watching this in 20 years’ time, [I’d think they were] mental.”
The first three films (Sorcerer's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, and Prisoner of Azkaban) are now free to watch on Peacock. The remaining five (Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half-Blood Prince, and Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2) can be accessed with a Premium subscription.
(SYFY WIRE and Peacock are both owned by NBCUniversal)