Actor Tom Felton opens up about his experience with alcoholism in a new book.
The actor, who is most known for his portrayal of antagonist Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” film franchise, discusses in his new memoir “Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard” some of his darker moments following his success as a child actor.
“I went from being not particularly interested [in drinking] 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,” Felton wrote, according to an excerpt published by People.
“The alcohol, though, wasn’t the problem. It was the symptom. The problem was deeper,” he added.
Soon, his habit grew so out of control that those around him staged an intervention, which included his lawyer, who knew a thing or two about the cost of alcohol and drug abuse.
“My lawyer, whom I’d barely ever met face to face, spoke with quiet honesty,” Felton wrote. “‘Tom,’ he said, ‘I don’t know you very well, but you seem like a nice guy. All I want to tell you is that this is the seventeenth intervention I’ve been to in my career. Eleven of them are now dead. Don’t be the twelfth.’”
Eventually, Felton chose to seek help and get treatment, calling it “one of the hardest decisions I ever had to make.”
“But the very fact that I was able to admit to myself that I needed some help – and I was going to do something about it – was an important moment. I am no longer shy of putting my hands up and saying: I’m not okay,” he wrote.
Felton, now 35, most recently starred in the feature film “Burial.”
“I am not alone in having these feelings,” the star added in his book. “Just as we all experience physical ill-health at some stage in our lives, so we all experience mental ill-health too. There’s no shame in that. It’s not a sign of weakness.”
Felton is far from the only public figure currently detailing his struggles with substance abuse and the steps he took to overcome them. Matthew Perry of “Friends” fame is also in the process of releasing a memoir, which covers his struggles with addiction both during and since his time on the hit NBC show.
Felton’s book, from Grand Central Publishing, is available now.