The A Plus Interview

Tom Felton Talks 'Origin' And Little Things We Can Do Make The World A Better Place

"I would love for us to leave the planet in a better condition than it was when we arrived in it."

The A Plus Interview reimagines the celebrity interview by inviting artists to answer a short series of brief, poignant questions that strive to be more meaningful than those asked by others.

Tom Felton's new show — YouTube Premium's Origin — is being referred to as "Lost in space" by pretty much everyone, but the actor seems firmly rooted on the terrestrial side of things.

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Origin — which was created, written, and executive produced by Mika Watkins — follows a group of strangers who are leaving Earth headed toward a new planet that can sustain human life with the promise of a fresh start. The characters, all trying to survive whatever monstrosity is hunting them down, also learn that one of their own isn't actually who they claim to be. 

It's through flashbacks that it earns Lost comparisons, but it's easy to see quite a few other sci-fi and horror influences at play — being mentioned in the same breath with the likes of from Alien, Blade Runner, Passengers, or The Thing. That said, it's unique enough in its own right and there are quite a few twists and turns — not to mention jump scares — to keep you interested.

"The concept was definitely part of the original appeal," Felton — who is best known for playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise — tells A Plus, adding that the effortless diversity of the cast and global feel of the project was also enticing. "It sort of feels like this concept is not something that's a thousand years away, it feels more like 100 years years away. So it didn't feel that far in the future, really, it felt like something that was graspable."

Credit: Left Bank Pictures | YouTube Premium

While Origin may depict humans leaving Earth behind for a new home, Felton — who is known to be outspoken about various issues — is making the best of our current home.

"For lack of a better analogy, I jump in the ocean every day — or try to — and on the way back from the ocean I make sure to pick up a few pieces of litter along the way," Felton says. "I would love for us to leave the planet in a better condition than it was when we arrived in it. I'm not sure how likely it is, but I hope that our children's children thank us for what we did and not curse us."

The 31-year-old says he doesn't see activism as a duty for someone in the public spotlight, he says there are a million good causes out there, and that he has learned to pick your battles and find those you want to put your heart and soul into as to not get bogged down. He also noted that re-educating people about the small changes they can do on a daily basis — something he himself learned while shooting Origin in South Africa during a water shortage.

"Those six months in Cape Town have completely changed the way I view water and our resources," Felton explains. "I think if we can help people in any way rethink their usage of natural resources then that's a positive thing to do."

Credit: Left Bank Pictures | YouTube Premium

Felton's character on Origin might seem like he fits in with the other villainous parts the Brit has played before — from the white-haired Slytherin to a baddie in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but don't judge Logan quite yet. We're not saying he's a heroic character like the role he played on The Flash, but there's more to Logan than meets the eye.

"Without revealing too much, Logan definitely appears like he would come from a sort of violent background or some terrible tragedy would have had to have happened to him," Felton teases. "It's quite the opposite, actually. His backstory is very sweet and very surprising."

Even though he has played all types of characters, Felton said he just goes into acting jobs with the goal of humanizing the person he is playing, seeing them as people rather than good or bad. And, when it comes to what's important to him when picking what part to play next, Felton said it's about finding someone who is different than his own self.

Credit: Left Bank Pictures | YouTube Premium

As for Felton's dream role, look no further than the biggest one out there, one that has been a goal since childhood: James Bond. Beyond that one, though, Felton is interested in putting his musical talents to use by stepping into the shoes of musicians who are important to him like Tom Petty or George Harrison.

In the Harry Potter world, Felton feels like he "couldn't play anyone else" other than Malfoy — even though he auditioned for the roles of the lightning-scarred lead and Ron Weasley. However, he did joke that if he could have been anyone else it would have been either Hermione Granger or the giant Hagrid.

"I look back on my time with Harry Potter with the fondest of memories, and I'm constantly overwhelmed and grateful for all the support we continue to get all these years later," Felton adds. "It's nice to know that so many Harry Potter fans will be tuning in to watch Origin. I'm still getting told to this day thanks for being part of my childhood."

Watch the first two episodes of Origin above. To see the rest of the season — as well as other shows and a slew of other features — subscribe to YouTube Premium (with a free trial of a month to start).

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