Plenty of magic and mystery went into the making of iconic fantasy series Harry Potter, as well as some slightly strange methods to keep the wonder alive, according to Tom Felton.
Across eight films, based on the novels by JK Rowling, fans have been treated to wondrous spells, floating dementors, epic battle scenes, and creatures great and small on the big screen.
Created through practical and special effects, many times the (often young) cast would have to act alongside blank spaces that would later be filled by something magical, using prompts to aid the realism of the scene.
Draco Malfoy actor Tom revealed one such strange prop that Potter star Daniel Radcliffe used to make his flight scenes as believable as possible.
In his just-released memoir, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard, Felton said that a young Radcliffe used a photo of none other than Cameron Diaz to help him know where to look while filming the broomstick flying sequences.
The actor said because the scenes were adjusted later, it was ‘important that all the players were looking in the right direction for the shot.’
He added that this was achieved with a crew member holding up a tennis ball on a long pole with orange tape on it.
Felton said, via Insider: ‘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.’
He also spoke about the crew’s approach to filming, saying that if any kind of special effect could be achieved practically, that was the way they would do it.
‘The broomstick was a metal pole fitted with a deeply uncomfortable bike saddle,’ he wrote.
‘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.’
Elsewhere in his memoir the actor, 35, opened up about his time in rehab for alcohol abuse after turning to drink while struggling with his mental health.
Tom revealed that he started ‘drinking to escape’ in his mid-twenties after ‘craving normality’ following his child stardom and move to Los Angeles, finding he went from not being a big drinker 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 added: ‘The alcohol, though, wasn’t the problem. It was the symptom. The problem was deeper.’