Harry Potter’s Tom Felton Shares What “Clicked” for Him After He Broke Out of Rehab



Tom Felton is reflecting on a difficult time in his life.

The Harry Potter actor got candid about his struggle with substance abuse and the time he escaped his rehab facility.

“I sort of broke out really,” Tom recalled during an Oct. 18 interview with CBS News. “In a fit of freedom, accidentally, not really intentionally thinking what I was doing.”

As Tom confirmed in the interview, he ended up taking a walk on the beach after leaving rehab. However, making that escape brought him closer to seeking help.

“A lot clicked when I managed to get down to the water,” he said. “That I needed help and I was willing to accept it.”

Tom detailed this very moment further in his new book, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard.

“All of a sudden, the frustration burst out of me,” he wrote. “I was, I realise now, completely sober for the first time in ages, and I had an overwhelming sense of clarity and anger.”

He added, “I started screaming at God, at the sky, at everyone and no one, full of fury for what had happened to me, for the situation in which I found myself. I yelled, full-lung, at the sky and the ocean. I yelled until I’d let it all out, and I couldn’t yell any more.”

Tom’s battle with alcohol began after he had finished his time with the Harry Potter franchise, per CBS News. The problem led to a point where Tom’s friends staged an intervention—one he did not take well.

“I was furious at the time,” Tom noted in the Oct. 18 interview. “My brother said, ‘Sometimes you need to have a breakdown before a breakthrough happens,’ so the wheels needed to come off somehow a little bit.”

Tom Felton, Burial Film Premiere, LondonCan Nguyen/Shutterstock

The 35-year-old admitted that, at the time, he “couldn’t see, really, what they were talking about.”

Despite this, Tom’s lawyer made a statement during that intervention that has stuck with him since.

Tom recalled, “He said something along the lines of ‘Tom, I think this is the 12th intervention that I’ve been to and six of those are dead. Don’t be the seventh.'”

Elsewhere in his book, Tom wrote that his addiction—which formed in his 20s—followed him into his professional life.

“It came to the point where I would think nothing of having a drink while I was working. I’d turn up unprepared, not the professional I wanted to be,” Tom wrote. “The alcohol, though, wasn’t the problem. It was the symptom.”

“Just as we all experience physical ill-health at some stage in our lives, so we all experience mental ill-health too,” he wrote. “There’s no shame in that. It’s not a sign of weakness.”

He added, “And part of the reason that I took the decision to write these pages is the hope that by sharing my experiences, I might be able to help someone else who is struggling.”


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