The 'Harry Potter' star opens up for the first time about his struggles with alcohol and multiple stints in rehab.
An unknown side to the actor who played Draco Malfoy. Harry Potter star Tom Felton is opening up like never before in his new memoir, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard.
While the 35-year-old British actor certainly gives his readers what they want and presumably expect with plenty of Potter tidbits and set secrets and lots of details on his more-than-friends relationship with co-star Emma Watson, Felton also makes some shocking revelations toward the end of his book.
He speaks about moving to Los Angeles and getting overwhelmed by a more glamorous, movie-star lifestyle. In searching for a bit of normality reminiscent of his upbringing, Felton writes that in his mid-to-late twenties, he "spent more hours, more nights, than I care to remember" at a Los Angeles dive bar called Barney's Beanery.
Felton writes that he wasn't much of a drinker until he started frequenting Barney's while "craving normality."
"I went from being not particularly interested to regularly having a few pints a day before the sun had even gone down, and a shot of whiskey to go with each of them," he writes, adding that he was "drinking to escape a situation."
He says he had drinks on set and would show up "unprepared" for work.
Felton goes on to reveal that his managers, agents, then-girlfriend, Jade Olivia, lawyer, and more staged an intervention for him, demanding he go to a rehab facility in Malibu, California, that cost $40,000 a month immediately or they would drop him as a client.
He says that at the facility, the nurse checking him in offered to give him an alias. He replied, "If people recognize me from the Harry Potter films, it'll be because of my face. It won't be because of what's written on my name tag. You could write 'Mickey F**king Mouse' on my chest and they're not going to think I'm him."
He went into detox in the same room as a man who had been there for three days and still wasn't fully sober. After 24 hours in the facility, he walked off the grounds and back toward L.A. and Barney's Beanery. Once there and after several conversations, he came to the conclusion that he wanted to break up with his longtime girlfriend, Olivia.
"I didn't believe that my substance use warranted the intervention, but I'm glad it happened because it briefly took me away from the world that was making me unhappy, and allowed me to get some clarity," Felton writes.
After splitting from Olivia, he checked himself into a California facility, which he described as "a sanctuary for struggling young people."
Felton says he didn't adhere to the facilities' strict rules and after being found in the bedroom of one girl's room, he was kicked out of the program. He called the three weeks in the program "life-changing," saying that before the program, "I had been existing in a state of absolute numbness."
Felton then moved to Venice Beach, buying his own "shack" and restarting his life.
"Life was better than ever," he writes. "So when one day, a couple of years later, the numbness returned, without any warning and with no particular trigger, it was a shock."
He then says he entered another facility to "seek help," calling it "one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make."
Felton goes on to say that his mental health struggles were a big part of what he hoped to share in his memoir.
"I'm no longer shy of putting my hands up and saying: I'm not okay," he writes. "To this day I never know which version of myself I'm going to wake up to."
He urges readers to seek help if they too are feeling overwhelmed and writes that he wants to "normalize" rehab and therapy.
In a recent interview with The Independent, Felton revealed that it was his Potter co-star, Watson, who "encouraged" him to delve into his rehab stints and mental health struggles in the book.
"I was encouraged by a few people, Emma Watson specifically, to tell the whole story and not just sort of cherry-pick the fluffy bits," he said. "Not just because it was cathartic for me. But also in the hope that sharing those parts of my story will help others that are maybe not going through the best time."
Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard is on sale now.