Tom Felton shared memories from the set of the “Harry Potter” films in his memoir, “Beyond the Wand.”
To film flying scenes, the actors had to look at tennis balls and pretend they were something else.
Felton said that costar Daniel Radcliffe looked at “a picture of a particularly beautiful Cameron Diaz.”
Tom Felton said that “Harry Potter” costar Daniel Radcliffe’s crush on Cameron Diaz was evident on the set of the fantasy films.
Felton explained the movie magic that went into scenes that involved flying on broomsticks in his new memoir, “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard, released on Tuesday.
“The approach was that if a piece of magic or any kind of special effect could be achieved practically, that was the best way to do it,” the actor, who portrayed Draco Malfoy, wrote in chapter 13. “This was especially true in the early days, when the visual effects teams had less-advanced technology at their disposal.”
Flying, which was a key aspect of the franchise’s Quidditch scenes, was done in a studio in a room wrapped in blue or green screens so the background could be added digitally in post-production.
“The broomstick was a metal pole fitted with a deeply uncomfortable bike saddle,” Felton explained. “There were stirrups for your feet and a harness to stop you falling. They strapped you to the pole so you couldn’t fall and they had a more elaborate see-saw device to move you up and down, left and right. They blew fans in your face to make it look as if you had the wind in your hair.”
Because the scenes were adjusted later, it was “important that all the players were looking in the right direction for the shot.” Felton said this continuity in the eye lines was achieved with a crew member holding up a tennis ball on a long pole with orange tape on it.
“When the first assistant director shouted ‘Dragon!’ or ‘Bludger!’ you had to look at the tennis ball like it was, well, a dragon or a bludger,” he said.
Felton continued: “Sometimes there would be more than one tennis ball up there, and as one looked very much like another, after a while they gave us more individual objects to stare at. We chose pictures of something or somebody close to our hearts. Daniel Radcliffe had a picture of a particularly beautiful Cameron Diaz.”
As for Felton, an avid fan of fishing, he “chose a picture of an even more beautiful carp.”
Radcliffe, who starred as the titular “Harry Potter” character in all eight movies released between 2001 and 2011, has spoken about his crush on Diaz before.
“Cameron Diaz is still very high on the list, Drew Barrymore is there,” Radcliffe said of his celebrity crushes during an interview with the radio show “Capital Breakfast” in April 2022.
He shared a similar response during a 2014 interview with Us Weekly, saying: “I had pictures of her and Drew Barrymore taped to my bedroom wall.”
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