Playing a young wizard throughout the entire "Harry Potter" film series definitely has its privileges. But as Tom Felton discovered after filming "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," not all the magic in the world was enough to secure the actor one of the wands he wielded as Hogwarts bad boy Draco Malfoy.
"I actually asked for a couple of wands, but they were pretty tight on those and where they were going to be going. I did my best, but without much joy," Felton said in an interview Monday. "I did get one of Draco's rings -- he has a silver Slytherin ring -- so it was cool to get that. That sits on my mantle."
Fresh off the London premiere last week of the eighth and final chapter of the film series -- "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" -- Felton was in New York Monday revisiting his old friend Draco one last time as the film premiered in the U.S. Having completed filming before the first part of "The Deathly Hallows" was released last November, Felton said that it's been an emotional few days leading up to the release of "Part 2."
"It's kind of a bittersweet feeling. We've been waiting for this to come around and now it's all here in a flash of an eye," Felton said. "Overall, though, the feeling is that we're just excited to see the series end on such a high note."
At the very least, he said, reassembling the cast and filmmakers to say goodbye at the premiere hasn't been as draining as the last few weeks of filming.
"It was quite an awkward British ending, really. No one knew what to say to each other," Felton said. "But there was definitely a sense that something more important was going on that the years previous. Everyone wanted to give 110 percent to make sure this was the best one yet. That was the underlying feeling of everyone in the cast and crew. Needless to say, though, there was a sad undertone there because we all knew it was coming to an end."
Opening in theaters and on IMAX screens Friday, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," finds Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in possession of the most powerful wand in the world with the Elder Wand.
Despite the odds against them, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) continue on with their harrowing quest to collect the Horcruxes to defeat the Dark Lord, even though it will come at greater costs than any of them could have imagined. Draco, meanwhile, remains a reluctant follower of Voldemort.
Felton said the end of "The Deathly Hallows" was not only tough for the fact that the cameras were going to eventually stop rolling: places like Hogwarts castle -- a cinematic home away from home for Felton and his fellow actors for the past decade -- were about to come down in a spectacular fashion during the film's final confrontation.
"It was cool seeing Hogwarts getting blown up, yet it was sad because they were blowing up our old home," Felton said. "It was strange to say the least."
Like his fellow cast mates, the pending release of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 2" has been a great time of reflection for Felton, a core cast member since the release of the first film "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" in 2001. The odd thing is, his introduction into the "Harry Potter" film universe all those years ago didn't start with an audition for Draco, but two other iconic characters in author J.K. Rowling's epic tale.
"I came in to audition for a few different parts at first -- they were just fairly open auditions and not for any specific roles to be cast," Felton, 23, recalled. "After a while I went in for Harry and they dyed my hair brown and gave me the scar, and I was reading for that. Then they gave me the ginger look and I read for Ron, and finally I ended up becoming blond for Draco, which has stuck for 11 years."
And, Felton added, he couldn't be any happier with the overall result.
"I'm not only very grateful that I got to be involved, but that I got to play a cool character like Draco -- and there are really no better actors to play Harry or Ron than Daniel and Rupert," Felton enthused.
Of course, there's been a slight downside to playing Draco as far as public perception is concerned. As one of Harry's major antagonists, Felton has experienced his fair share of playful scrutiny while emerging in public.
"I think I was 12 years old and I was presenting a children's BAFTA award where there were kids present, and I got up on stage and they just booed me," Felton said. "That sort of took me by surprise, but over the years I've learned to take it as a compliment."
SPOILER ALERT: Major plot details revealed for those who haven't read the final book.
Anybody who's read the "Harry Potter" books know that there is a future for Draco, who, as we learn in the epilogue set 19 years after the main story in "The Deathly Hallows - Part 2," has a family of his own.
And while Felton's days of fatherhood are far ahead of him, the actor said he can definitely see a time when he reads the "Harry Potter" books to his children -- and eventually show them the movies.
"I'm definitely going to read them the books first. These stories are going to be read to children for decades to come," Felton said. "Fingers crossed, that would be a dream come true to do that."
But then again, Felton realizes that he'll have to explain to them that once they see the movies, dad plays one of Harry's main antagonists.
"I can't wait to hear my little kids say, 'Oh, I hate Draco,'" Felton said, laughing. "That will be hilarious. They’re going to hate me. They'll be like, 'Dad, you are so lame. I can't believe you did that.'"