Tom Felton said he was relishing two violent dust-ups with Harry Potter when he resumes his role as the evil Draco Malfoy in the sixth film of the boy wizard's adventures.
Audiences will see Felton, so often in the shadow of Daniel Radcliffe as Harry in the previous films, occupy a central role in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince", which opens across the world from July 15.
Having sparred with each other in the corridors of Hogwarts wizarding school for years, the clashes between Harry and Malfoy in the new film have a harder edge in keeping with the overall theme of impending adulthood.
"We have a few conflicts in the film so it was great fun to finally get physical.
"I break his nose and he rips me open, so it was good to release some of the tension that we've been building up over the years," Felton said in an interview with journalists in Paris ahead of Tuesday's world premiere in London.
Like Radcliffe and the other young Potter stars, Felton, now 21, has dedicated a substantial chunk of his childhood to the films and done his growing-up on the set.
Though still a pupil of Hogwarts, in the new film Felton's white-blond character is suited and booted in head-to-toe black while our trio of heroes -- Harry, Hermione and Ron -- are still wearing the jumpers of teenagers.
Felton, who has grown tall and angular in the eight years since "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" kicked off the film series in 2001, said he originally tried to get the part of Harry himself.
"I tried for Harry Potter and Ron, and finally Draco. My hair was dyed brown, ginger and then finally blond."
He admits though that he quickly settled into the skin of the brooding, threatening Malfoy.
"I take great pleasure in being evil in the film so I'm very grateful for playing Draco.
"A lot of kids that came on to the set were very keen on the idea of meeting Draco, but they were never keen to shake my hand, so I take that as a compliment.
"If I can terrify a little child then I'm assuming I'm paid for something!"
Yet Felton admits that when Malfoy is given the opportunity to prove his true evil in the "The Half-Blood Prince", he finds he might be out of his depth.
"I think he revels in this opportunity at first and loves the idea of being the bad boy, but he quickly crumbles and realises he quite doesn't have a heart the size of his young friend Harry."
Other roles are sure to follow for Felton when the series wraps up with a two-part adaptation of the final book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", which is currently in production.
Yet the pride he derives from being part of the Potter phenomenon is clear.
When the author of the Potter books, J.K. Rowling, wrote to say how much she liked the latest film, the Felton household was bursting with pride.
"That's the ultimate compliment from her. I was amazed at receiving it. I had my mum crying within five minutes of receiving it so she was very proud," he recalls.Source
Would he have made a better Harry or Ron? I can't fathom the characters played by anyone other than the actors who have played them for however many years it has been...