SNARK WEEK: Man-Ick Monday – Tom Felton


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Poor Tom Felton! I don’t know that he’s particularly icky in his own right, but he seems to be typecast playing icky men in historical costume movies. Or maybe he seeks out these roles? No clue, except it seems he pops up in them over and over again! If there’s a slimy, sickly, nasty guy in a frock coat, chances are, Tom Felton will be cast in that role. I thought it started after his portrayal of teenage arch-villain Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, which, while not historical, had a lot of overlap in terms of actors. But upon closer inspection, he’s played sickly, sad little boys and men his whole career. Ew!


Louis in Anna and the King (1999)

Tom Felton, Anna and the King (1999)

His first historical costume movie role. OK, I guess, but this kid seemed tangential to the story.

Tom Felton, Anna and the King (1999)

And check out this behind-the-scenes pic — foreshadowing?


Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series (2001-2011)

Tom Felton, Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

NOT historical, but including it for reference!


Viscount Trencavel in Labyrinth (2012)

Tom Felton, Labyrinth (2012)

In her review, Sarah critiqued the personal grooming of all the men in this miniseries, & even this “cleaned-up” promo pic looks rather sketchy.


Camille in In Secret (2013)

In Secret

OMG, this movie is terrible, except for about 30 minutes of in-costume sex, which does not involve Tom Felton.

Tom Felton, In Secret (2013)

Because he is a super sickly, pasty, gross mama’s boy. Sure, he’s married off to the lead female character, but she & her lover kill him.


James Ashford in Belle (2013)

Tom Felton, Belle (2013)

He looks quite nice here, but he plays a racist asshole. So there’s that.


Lucius in Risen (2016)

Tom Felton, Risen (2016)

It’s a Biblical story, & Felton plays a Roman soldier who helps hunt down a supposedly resurrected Yeshua & his followers. So another bad guy.


Rufus Lancaster in A United Kingdom (2016)

Tom Felton, A United Kingdom (2016)

In this true story about a famous interracial romance in the 1950s, Felton plays what one reviewer calls “The sourpuss face of British colonialism and bigotry.”


Laertes in Ophelia (2018)

Tom Felton, Ophelia (2018)

This is a smaller part than in the play of Hamlet, so he’s merely Ophelia’s bro. Perhaps this is an upswing for Felton playing less-icky roles?


Tony Turner in The Forgotten Battle (2020)

Tom Felton, The Forgotten Battle (2020)

Can’t tell much about this Dutch film about WWII, but the character has an American or British name & that doesn’t look like a German uniform, so maybe Felton isn’t playing a Nazi?


Have you noticed sad lil’ Tom Felton in all these bad-boy historical roles?



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About the author

Trystan L. Bass

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A self-described ElderGoth, Trystan has been haunting the internet since the early 1990s. Always passionate about costume, from everyday office wear to outrageous twisted historical creations, she has maintained some of the earliest online costuming-focused resources on the web. Her costuming adventures are chronicled on her website, TrystanCraft. She also ran a popular fashion blog, This Is CorpGoth, dedicated to her “office drag.”

10 Responses

  1. Boxermom

    I don’t know why he always looks so disheveled in real life – maybe his GAF is broken?

    • ktkittentoes

      His hair always looks quite confused about his head. Not judging, my hair is challenging too.

      • Boxermom

        I have a big ol’ cowlick on the side of my head, so perhaps I shouldn’t be judgey. :)

  2. Meg

    I’ve watched him in interviews, and he actually is a very nice, and even really funny! I don’t know why he doesn’t get more nice-guy roles.

  3. Kaite Fink

    Maybe he finds the bad guy roles to be more interesting? Hell, sometimes the villain is more fun to watch than the hero, depending upon who plays that character. I haven’t seen enough of these to tell. I have liked him in what I have seen.

    • Bea

      Clearly he was FAR too influenced by Alan Rickman, in his childhood, and has picked “evil” characters … but does not yet have Rickman’s talent at making something redemptive about them.

      • Trystan L. Bass

        Ding, ding, ding! Rickman definitely managed to make nasty characters intriguing. But maybe when Felton gets older w/a little gravitas he can portray baddies who seem more, IDK, three-dimensional? Less one-note slimy.

  4. Michael McQuown

    Rickman could also be funny. Sometimes, once casting directors and see an actor a certain way, they get boxed in, and if the actor is good ion those roles, nobody wants to rock the boat.

  5. Lily Lotus Rose

    To answer your question, technically–yes I did recognize Tom Felton in two of these Frock Flicks as I watched them–Belle and Labyrinth–but then I promptly forgot that he was in them until this post! Belle was a wonderful movie and Labyrinth was one of the worst travesties I’ve ever seen in my life. Tom Felton is talented, and I would like to see him in a leading role. He was in at least one season of the superhero show The Flash (season 4), and he held his own with the original ensemble cast. Also, I don’t know what his natural hair color is, but he looks better as a blond/dirty blond than as a brunet, IMO. The pic of him reading “The Art of Getting Even” is hilarious; maybe it was part of his preparation for playing Draco Malfoy. Overall, I’d like to see more of the Harry Potter supporting cast in more roles, Tom Felton included.

  6. Alexa

    That’s a British army uniform Felton’s wearing in the last picture.