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How Harry Potter star became an internet sensation

While 2020 has become the year of being cancelled for many beleaguered stars, former Harry Potter actor Tom Felton has bucked the grim trend – exploding in popularity in the most unlikely of places.Felton, who first played the villainous Hogwarts student Draco Malfoy in 2001, going on to star in all eight Harry Potter films,…

While 2020 has become the year of being cancelled for many beleaguered stars, former Harry Potter actor Tom Felton has bucked the grim trend – exploding in popularity in the most unlikely of places.

Felton, who first played the villainous Hogwarts student Draco Malfoy in 2001, going on to star in all eight Harry Potter films, is experiencing a career resurrection not by way of the big screen, but the very small, on TikTok.

The 32-year-old star’s account – which ranges from parodying his famed portrayal of Malfoy, to singing songs from Hamilton and attempting to cast spells in his backyard – has garnered a legion of young fans and a renewed interest in the former child star.

He’s also had quite the physical transformation since we first met him as Malfoy.

RELATED: Star spills on Harry Potter romance

Here’s what all the fuss is about:

FELTON’S TIKTOK GREATS

From trying to stop the rain with a wand, to tinkering away on an acoustic guitar with made up Harry Potter-related tunes, fans can’t get enough of Felton’s wholesome content.

Here are his best videos on the social media platform:

His failed rain spell

Recreating an iconic Malfoy moment

His ode to Hermione

Whipping out some Hamilton

His dog

LIFE AFTER HOGWARTS

In 2018, Felton – who first appeared in Harry Potter at the age of 14, right up until he was 23 – told Good Morning Britain he had mixed feelings about his time in the films.

“Obviously, yeah, it has changed my life beyond recognition,” he said. “But at the same time, I don’t really see myself as a Harry Potter star. I only feel like that when I sit here and get questions (about) that.”

In 2010, he told the Daily Mail he felt “free” when the films ended.

“For the past decade we haven’t had much freedom to do other projects,” he said.

“I ­certainly haven’t had much freedom to keep my own hair colour, or lay in the sun, or do anything remotely dangerous like skiing.”

So exactly where has Felton been post-Hogwarts?

Apart from popping up with Emma Watson on Instagram over the years, Felton held a small role in 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, as well as a recurring gig on CW’s The Flash.

Most recently, the star scored another recurring role in Origin, as Logan, who was not surprisingly the villain.

In the most unlikely of showbiz pairings last year – he also popped up in a film project with Aussie actress Tammin Sursok. In Braking for Whales, the two played dysfunctional siblings forced to come together for a road trip at the request of their recently deceased mother.

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He’s set to star in Dutch film The Forgotten Battle, to be released next year.

Other than a sprinkling of acting jobs, Felton has flown largely under the radar since the original Harry Potter franchise wrapped.

During lockdown in his home of LA, his time appears to have mostly been spent curating Instagram and TikTok content.

He’s also thrown his support behind charity There With Care.

RELATED: Harry Potter star unrecognisable in TV appearance

THE MUSIC CAREER THAT NEVER TOOK OFF

During his time on Harry Potter, Felton dabbled in his passion for music (and sharing it on the internet).

His YouTube channel “Feltbeats” was launched in 2008, before he made the bold announcement in 2011 that he had aspirations to become a rap artist.

In a 2011 interview that was never confirmed as serious or satire, Felton revealed he was working on a secret hip hop project with an independent label, intending to reinvent his image entirely.

“I was thinking of doing some N-Dubz-style stuff,” he told The Sun at the time. “I am looking to get into the grime rap UK scene. I’m going to change my image – backward caps, the lot,” he said.

It’s hard to imagine Felton – a skating, Hawaiian-shirt wearing guitar-strummer – delving into the UK grime scene, so it’s safe to assume it was a joke akin to Joaquin Phoenix’s infamous I’m Still Here charade of around the same era.

FELTON’S FAMED VIDEO SHOUT-OUTS

In April this year, Felton surprised and delighted fans by joining the cadre of celebrities willing to give personalised video shout-outs on Cameo – for a price.

Felton – who is still available for posts – charges on the higher side of the price range at $399 per request.

He does have a 4.9 star rating, however, with the most recent review calling the star’s birthday message to his brother “brilliant”.

CO-STAR ROMANCE RUMOURS

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight last year, Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley in the film franchise said Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Felton always had a “spark”.

“There was always something. There was a little bit of a spark,” he said.

“But we were kids. It was like any kind of playground romance.”

Adding more fuel to the rumours, in a 2012 interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, Watson admitted that she had a “terrible crush” on her on-screen nemesis.

“Between the ages of 10 and 12, I had a really terrible crush on Tom Felton,” she said.

“We love a bad guy, and he was a few years older and he had a skateboard and that just did it really.“

The pair have never confirmed whether they’ve dated in the past, but their Instagram activity indicates they’ve remained friends – photos of a pyjama-clad guitar lesson in South Africa setting tongues wagging last year.

“Lovely Emma,” Felton told Us Weekly following romance rumours.

“We do see each other quite a lot actually. We just don’t always post pictures about it. Everyone loves the reunion of it. We’re reuniting all the time we just don’t always post it on Instagram.”

If there is indeed a romantic connection between the pair, with Felton’s new-found internet fame and thousands of adoring female fans, it looks like Watson has some competition.

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