“Harry Potter” star Tom Felton revealed that he secretly had romantic feelings for his co-star Emma Watson.
The 35-year-old actor admitted that there was “a spark” between him and the 32-year-old actress in his new memoir, “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard”, obtained by The Evening Standard.
“I loved and admired her as a person in a way I could never explain to anybody else,” he wrote.
Watson played heroine Hermione Granger while Felton portrayed her nemesis Draco Malfoy in the mega-hit franchise.
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The two co-starred in all eight of the movies in the series from 2001 to 2011. In his new book, Felton shared that their relationship initially got off to a rocky start when they met as child actors.
He recalled his first encounter with Watson, which took place at an audition when he was 11 and she was 9. Felton wrote that Watson pointed at a boom microphone and asked him, “What’s that?” to which he responded, “It means they are recording us, obviously.”
“My relationship with Emma did not start well,” Felton admitted. “She’d have been forgiven for not wanting much to do with me. It got worse.”
Felton wrote that he mostly avoided Watson after they were cast and spent his lunch breaks smoking cigarettes and listening to rap music with other actors.
“The Flash” star recounted an incident in which he and other cast members mocked Watson when she performed a dance routine for them at lunchtime.
He went on to say that his group was “predictably dismissive”. Felton added that they snickered on their way down to her show and the snickering only became louder during her dance.
“We were just being s***** boys, largely out of awkwardness and because we thought taking the p*** was cool,” Felton explained.
“I did feel like a bit of a d**k, and rightly so. In the end, it was up to one of the hair and makeup ladies to tell me what was what.”
Felton and Watson eventually became close friends and the pair have been the subject of romance rumors for years. In his memoir, Felton explained that the speculation wasn’t entirely baseless.
“I’ve always had a secret love for Emma, though not perhaps in the way that people might want to hear,” Felton said.
“That isn’t to say that there’s never been a spark between us. There most definitely has, only at different times.”
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Felton said that he learned that Watson had a crush on him for the first time when he was 15 and she was 12. Though he insisted that his feelings for Watson were purely platonic, Felton said that his girlfriend at the time suspected otherwise.
“Rumours started to abound that there was more to our relationship than we were letting on. I denied that I liked her in that way, but the truth was different.”
He continued, “My girlfriend at the time knew straight away that there was something unspoken between us. I remember using the familiar old line, ‘I love her like a sister.’ But there was more to it than that.”
Upon reflection, Felton said he doesn’t think he was “ever in love with Emma”.
“But I loved and admired her as a person in a way that I could never explain to anybody else … we were kindred spirits.”
“I know for certain I’ll always have Emma’s back and she’ll always have mine too.”
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