A decade spent plugging away at any one school can start to feel like an interminably long time, and Tom Felton is ready to graduate early. That's why, with filming on the two-part finale of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" expected to run through the spring, Mr. Draco Malfoy has already jumped to a new project: the supernatural thriller "The Apparition."
While he'll return to Potterville in about a month — and is far from turning his back on the franchise that made him a star — Felton told MTV News that he's grateful for the opportunity to step into a fresh character, one he called "a dream role."
"It's a world away from Hogwarts for me," the 22-year-old British actor said. "A world away from Draco. It's a real step outside what I'm used to and what I've been doing for the last 10 years."
What he's been doing for 10 years — from Draco's bleached-blond locks to his conflicted evil-dude persona — has given the public a very specific idea of who he is as an actor. Felton promises that his turn in "Apparition" will definitely surprise people.
"Without revealing too much, the obvious difference is going to be physical appearance," he said. "Draco has an iconic look with his pale skin, blond hair and rather sharp dress. It's a completely flip side in ['Apparition']. Expect not to recognize me. I can say that my hair is no longer blond for this. I'm probably going to get in trouble for saying that. No more blond hair for me, so I'm excited about that."
The film pairs Felton with Ashley Greene of "Twilight" fame and Sebastian Stan of "Gossip Girl" in a story that is still very much under wraps but which focuses on a young couple haunted by a supernatural presence after a college experiment gone bad. Calling from Berlin, where he'd just had a you-better-not-say-a-word conversation with director Todd Lincoln, Felton was sworn to secrecy about plot details, but he did speak in depth about the evolution of his character over the course of the film.
"As far as my character goes, obviously he's not an evil, jealous wizard," Felton laughed. "He's a college student, a very intelligent, confident young man who's really excited about what he's getting himself into. At the same time, he has no idea what he's getting himself into. This character has such a wide range in one movie. He starts off as a real go-getter, and as the story goes on, you really see him turn."
Felton expects to film for three weeks in Berlin before heading to Los Angeles for a week or two of production work. From there, he'll head back to Leavesden Film Studios outside London to conclude shooting "Deathly Hallows." For now, though, he'll savor the long-deserved payoff of "Harry Potter" in what is clearly the actor's most mature, adult role to date.
"It's not just satisfaction," he said of the part in "Apparition." "It's nervousness. It's anticipation. It's a dream role for me."
Okay peeps. Blond or brunette?