The Harry Potter movies may have wrapped up eight years ago with part two of The Deathly Hallows in 2011, but Pottermania continues captivating new generations with the magic and wonder of one of the most beloved fantasy fiction phenomena of all time.
Facebook’s interview from seven years ago featuring actor Tom Felton, who played Harry Potter’s rival Draco Malfoy in all eight films, recently made the internet rounds again, beguiling fans anew.
While Felton shared many of his experiences in the interview about his time on set – including the challenges of portraying the evolving complexity of Draco Malfoy’s character, especially in the last three films – one particular bit of trivia impressed fans.
The 31-year-old actor has a favorite unscripted line.
Last week, we asked you to submit your questions for Tom Felton, who, of course, plays our conflicted young Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films. We received a ton of amazing questions, and he was kind enough to take the time to answer some of them below.
Posted by Harry Potter on Saturday, July 16, 2011
“There’s a lovely one in the second film,” he said, referring to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).
Felton said the scene included a line that was improvised where Malfoy runs into Potter transformed as Gregory Goyle, thanks to some Polyjuice Potion.
Goyle was a fellow Slytherin and one of Malfoy’s lackeys who did not wear glasses, and Potter inadvertently kept his spectacles on after drinking the transforming potion. Malfoy is suspicious of his bespectacled cohort and inquires about the glasses, to which Potter quickly responds, “for reading.”
Malfoy assesses the moment and responds, “I didn’t know you could read,” adding a much-needed dose of levity in the dark and occasionally morbid narrative.
Felton improvised the line that became one of many memorable moments from the cinematic oeuvre.
Twitter remembers the famous scene.
tom felton singlehandedly revolutionized comedy when he improvised the line “i didn’t know you could read” in harry potter and the chamber of secrets
— ratatouille stan (@vadereys) July 30, 2018
"I didn't know you could read"
TOM FELTON IMPROVISED THIS LINE HE'S FREAKING AMAZING
— aunt sarb (@diddlywack) June 27, 2015
Reminder that Tom Felton improvised both that line and the mildly impressed face. https://t.co/KmhI8AUoco
— Raintag (@headphonedweeb) December 26, 2018
Felton didn’t say it in the Facebook interview, but he improvised when he forgot his scripted line. Director Chris Columbus decided to keep it.
Fun Fact Tom Felton forgot his original line. So he improvised this one. Directors loved it so much that they actually kept it 🐍 https://t.co/9h0CsZgewX
— Chris Q 🐍🐍 (@Jibbly_Muffinz) December 25, 2018
I started talking about this in drama and I ended up fangirling so hard (I mean HP, Draco, Tom Felton,…💚💚💚) lol
— Serena Rose (@serenarosejh) September 4, 2017
The improv was brilliant because it gave more complexity to Potter’s nemesis.
@PotterWorldUK This actually gave Malfoy and the gang more personality and showed us they're usual relationship. Great line.
— W (@ladydoublew) April 24, 2016
— Kat (@Guinastasia) April 23, 2016
@PotterMemory @TomFelton this is one of the best scenes. That's awesome.
— Justine ✨ (@FunkySlytherin) February 26, 2015
Fans gave props to the actor for his good instincts.
Can we just remember the fact that Tom Felton actually improvised this scene? How much of a better actor can you get? pic.twitter.com/i5zSEymf4Q
— potterhead ͛ (@MalfoysPatronum) May 18, 2014
I love how Tom Felton improvised that scene with the reading cause he forgot his lines… he is such a wee comedic genius.
— Emmmmaaa (@Maloneyyyy) July 27, 2013
Felton has been busy with other projects since ditching his cloak and wand. He can now be seen in YouTube’s original streaming series Origin from creator/writer/executive producer Mika Watkins and pilot director Paul W.S. Anderson.
The sci-fi thriller follows a group of strangers adrift on a spacecraft towards a distant planet, according to Collider, and the stranded crew members begin realizing they are not at all who they thought they were.
Felton tried his hand in other entertainment media, including being featured in a music video by X Factor winner James Arthur for the song “Empty Spaces.”
With various projects keeping him occupied since Harry Potter, there is no doubt Felton still has a few tricks up his talented sleeve.