Harry Potter star Tom Felton admits that he and other cast members felt a bit jealous of Daniel Radcliffe’s close bond with co-star Gary Oldman. Director Chris Columbus first brought J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World to life on the big screen back in 2001. Capitalizing on the popularity and success of the first four novels, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone managed to intensify interest in the characters and helped solidify the future of the franchise, as well as the careers of its young, upcoming performers.
Felton was just thirteen years old when he was cast in Harry Potter. Felton portrayed Draco Malfoy, Harry’s classmate and nemesis, in all eight Harry Potter movies. Draco’s envy of Harry, coupled with the negative outcome of their first interaction, led to a history of conflict between the duo. This breakout role allowed Felton to star alongside performers like Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, and Jason Isaacs. Their interactions while filming on set gave Felton and the other young Harry Potter cast members the unique opportunity to be mentored by some of the movie industry’s biggest names.
Draco’s jealousy toward Harry may be well known to audiences, but Felton also grappled with similar emotions toward Radcliffe offscreen, at least to some extent. Felton mentions these feelings in his memoir, titled Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard. According to Insider, Felton’s book discloses that he and other cast mates held some bitterness toward Radcliffe over his close bond with Sirius Black actor Oldman. Read Felton’s excerpt below to see why he believed Radcliffe’s relationship with Oldman put him at an advantage:
“Just as Sirius became a father figure to Harry, I had the sense that Gary became something of an inspiration for Daniel, helping him to navigate the tricky path of growing up in the spotlight as well as hone his acting skills…They seemed to me to share a very similar sense of humor and approach to the other cast and crew. I think some of us — myself included — were a bit jealous of that bond…We could see that, in part thanks to Gary’s influence, Dan was really starting to learn the craft better than any of us. Who better to have on your side in that respect than Gary Oldman?”
Oldman, also known for portraying Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight trilogy, made his Wizarding World debut in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where he portrayed Harry’s estranged godfather, Sirius Black. Oldman soon became a regular face in the franchise, going on to reprise his role in three more Harry Potter films. Aided by Radcliffe’s admiration and a fair amount of shared screen time, the two formed a tight bond that allowed Oldman to pass on some of his theatrical knowledge. This also translated to a special closeness onscreen; Sirius is one of Harry’s most beloved parental figures, and the actors’ own bond helped enrich the fictional relationship.
Over the years, Oldman shared countless tips with the young star, ranging from dating advice to acting pointers. Understandably, Oldman’s absence after his character’s death in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix affected Radcliffe on a personal level. Radcliffe has admitted that he was a bit unnerved because he did not know if he would ever work with his mentor again. Luckily, the duo were reunited in the final Harry Potter film and again in this year’s HBO Max reunion special. Whether on or offscreen, it is evident Radcliffe and Oldman hold a special bond that transcends the usual Harry Potter magic.