- Tom Felton spoke about breaking out of a rehab facility in Malibu in his new memoir, “Beyond the Wand.”
- The “HP” star said that he was sent there after an intervention and didn’t want to be there.
- Felton told USA Today that Emma Watson encouraged him to write openly about his hardships in his book.
Tom Felton said that “Harry Potter” costar and longtime friend Emma Watson motivated him to be forthcoming about his shocking escape from rehab in his new memoir, “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard.”
“Emma was a big force of encouragement to be like, ‘This will resonate with people,'” Felton said in a recent interview with USA Today in support of his book, adding that it “wouldn’t really seem right just to talk about all the fluffy stuff. “
“After encouragement, I was given a bit more confidence in myself to go, ‘You know what? This happened, and this is part of my life,'” he said.
It was through the “Harry Potter” franchise that the Draco Malfoy actor met Watson, who portrayed Hermione Granger.
Though the last film was released more than a decade ago, the two are still close and Watson wrote the foreword to Felton’s memoir. Felton told USA Today that Watson was one of the “first people” he spoke to about his memoir of him.
“I was slightly reluctant to talk about my family about my personal life, about not just the great moments, but some of the bad ones too,” he said. “There’s obviously gonna be trepidation about sharing that with the world. She was a massive influence to say, ‘No, put it all out there. Trust yourself. People will really connect with this.'”
Felton spoke candidly up about his alcohol use, experiences in rehab, and mental health in his memoir, released on Tuesday
The actor said that when he moved to LA post- “HP” with his dog Timber and his then-girlfriend Jade Olivia, “life was good.”
But “gradually, as my work started to pick up, the excruciating loneliness of LA receded and the pleasures of being a person in the public eye in that city started to show themselves,” he said.
Felton said that people began treating him like a celebrity, he began living unauthentically, and he longed for his old life in the UK.
“Placed into an environment where people were desperate to do things for me, I started to lose the ability to do things, and think things, for myself,” he said.
The “Flash” alum said that his hardships in LA were multilayered and perhaps “there were other matters at play.” He said that a “predisposition” to mental health issues was present in his family di lui, explaining that his brother di lui Ashley was hospitalized as a teen and the same happened to his brother Jonathan (nicknamed Jink) as an adult.
“There’s no doubt that LA made me feel peculiarly lonely and disassociated from myself: feelings, surely, that could trigger mental health difficulties in anybody.”
Felton didn’t specify his mental-health struggles but said that he found an escape at a bar in West Hollywood called Barney’s Beanery, which he frequented often in his mid-to-late 20s.
Felton said he “wasn’t much of a drinker” previously, but “when you spend a lot of time in dive bars craving normality, it inevitably leads to a lot of drinking.”
“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 said.
Felton said that his alcohol abuse led to drinking on set or showing up “unprepared” for work.
“The alcohol, though, wasn’t the problem,” he said. “It was the symptom. The problem was deeper and it drew me, almost nightly, to Barney’s.”
Felton’s drastic change in his lifestyle led to a ‘painful and humiliating’ intervention with Olivia, his 2 managers, 2 of his agents, his lawyer, and a professional interventionist
His team read aloud letters addressed to him, about how concerned they were. The words that “hit the hardest” came from his lawyer di lui, who said that, of the 17 interventions he’d been to in his career di lui, 11 of those people were now dead and he didn’t want Felton to be the next.
Felton said he felt that the intervention was “a massive overreaction to a non-existent problem,” so he was shocked when he was taken to a rehab center in Malibu immediately afterward.
After about 24 hours, Felton decided to escape rehab because he didn’t want to be there.
He said walked for hours along the Malibu coastline with no belongings, hopping fences until he reached an empty beach.
Felton said that at that point, he was “covered in mud, blood, and sweat.” He went into the water and released his pent-up frustrations, yelling until he couldn’t anymore before he “burst into tears.”
“I was muddy, wet, disheveled, and broken,” he recalled in his book. “My clothes were torn and dirty. I must have looked like a complete maniac. I certainly felt like one.”
Felton credited three men with saving him that night: an employee at a gas station who gave him water and $ 20; an Uber driver who took him to Barney’s; and the bouncer named Nick at the bar who let him crash at his home di lui.
Sobering up led Felton to confront difficult truths
He broke up with Olivia because he was no longer in love with her and voluntarily went to another rehab facility that was smaller and located in the countryside. Felton enjoyed being there, but he got kicked out because he broke too many rules and was disruptive to others’ recoveries.
He felt “directionless,” until he ran into an actor friend named Greg Cipes.
“That time truly reprogrammed who I was as a person,” felt said, adding that Cipes showed him “unconditional kindness, generosity, and understanding.”
At 31 years old, after several months of living with Cipes, Felton got his own Venice Beach shack and reset. This included buying new clothes, rescuing a dog named Willow, and taking acting jobs that he was genuinely interested in.
Felton said that a few years later, out of nowhere, “the numbness returned” without any warning or specific trigger. He admitted to himself that he needed help and decided to do something about it.
“I’d grown to accept my genetic predisposition to these changes of mood, rather than refusing to acknowledge them,” he wrote. “I relinquished all command and, with a little help from my friends, I found somewhere I could seek help. I can honestly say it was one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make.”
Felton said that at the first rehab facility he attended, he learned that “helping others is a powerful weapon in the fight against mood disorders.” So, he hoped that he could help others by writing about his own experiences of him in his book of him.