Beyond the Wand by Tom Felton
First line: Cards on the table: this is not going to be my proudest moment.
Summary: Tom Felton had an unconventional childhood. He started his acting career as a young child in movies such as the The Borrowers but nothing prepared him for life in the world of Harry Potter. In his memoir he describes the highlights as well as the darker moments of life in the spotlight. Working along such legendary actors as Alan Rickman, Dame Maggie Smith and Richard Harris he learned what it was like to be serious about his craft but to have fun while doing it. However, unlike his co-stars he had the chance to live a more normal life as a regular teenager who just happened to be an actor.
My Thoughts: Several months ago I came across this title as I was importing into the library’s catalog. I had no idea that Tom Felton was writing a memoir of his childhood and his time during and after Harry Potter. I was immediately putting my name on the hold list. I could not wait to see what life was like on the set of one of my favorite movie series.
Through this I learned a lot about Tom and his life but there was so much I did not expect. I did not realize that he had been acting for years before landing his role as Draco Malfoy. And that he actually got to live a rather normal life outside of work. That was the part that really shocked me.
But my favorite parts were hearing about his relationships with his cast mates like Alan Rickman and Emma Watson. The relationships between the cast seem to be more family than coworkers.
Tom’s life after Hogwarts was shocking to me. I had not heard about his troubles or just don’t remember seeing the stories. I cannot even imagine how life would change after such a big part of his life. It was heartbreaking to see the changes in him but I found it really brave of him to discuss them and how they made him realize that he needed help.
I would highly recommend this quick biography for any Harry Potter fan. It gives a little insight into the world of the movies and shows the ups and downs of life as a child actor. I have a whole new appreciation for Tom Felton after reading Beyond the Wand.
FYI: Alan Rickman’s diaries have also been published. I am eagerly pouring through them to learn about his life during Harry Potter and his other iconic roles.