Review: Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton

Tom Felton's Beyond the Wand is an honest and heartfelt memoir by an actor who has lived a very unusual life. In Beyond the Wand, Felton takes us through his personal journey--of how he became a child actor purely by chance, his first big role in The Borrowers and, of course, of being cast as Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. Felton gives an account of his time working on the films--and of the times between films, when he was an ordinary kid, who loved fishing and went to a working class high school and got up to various teenage hijinks which, though relatively minor, could have cost him his part on the films if the media found out about them. There is also an account of his life after fame, living in LA where there were more auditions than parts for him, and where addiction slowly began to take its toll.

This was an interesting read. While, obviously, Felton spent years of his life working on the eight Harry Potter movies, he was spared the level of work--and scrutiny--that was put onto the three leading child actors. Consequently, the reader gets a more interesting inside glimpse into a childhood and adolescence that was spent in two contrasting worlds. One where he is an actor on the set of a very popular film, surrounded by seasoned British actors and the three child stars, and the other where he is enjoying a working class youth. I also found the account of the years that followed to be very interesting--Felton's addictions and eventual realisation (whilst escaping from rehab and chatting with strangers,) that he has a problem and the solution needs to come from him. 

Although Felton's memoir is relatively short, it packs strong emotional punch and is a delight to read. Highly recommended. 

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