Emma Watson & Tom Felton’s Relationship Through The Years & The ‘Spark’ Between Them

Emma Watson and Tom Felton became super close while filming 'Harry Potter' over the years and have remained that way to this day. Look back on their sweet moments together here.

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Image Credit: Gregory Pace/BEI/Shutterstock

  • Emma Watson and Tom Felton met each other when they were pre-teens on the set of Harry Potter
  • Even after the last film premiered in 2011, the duo have remained close friends, which they have been open about
  • Rumors about the pair being more than friends have circulated for years, but they constantly deny a romance
  • Emma and Tom called out J.K. Rowling regarding her controversial comments regarding trans issues by supporting LGBTQ+ members

Emma Watson, 32, and Tom Felton, 35, have been friends ever since they met on the set of Harry Potter, in which they played Hermione Granger and Draco Malfoy, respectively, throughout all seven films. The two young actors formed a strong bond over the years and remain close friends to this day, which they have been very open about. In fact, during an Oct. 2022 interview with The Independent, Draco revealed Emma helped drive a lot of the content in his 2022 memoir, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard.

“I was encouraged by a few people, Emma Watson specifically, to tell the whole story and not just sort of cherry-pick the fluffy bits,” he told the publication. “Not just because it was cathartic for me. But also in the hope that sharing those parts of my story will help others that are maybe not going through the best time.”

Emma Watson, Tom Felton
Emma Watson’s character of ‘Hermione’ pointed her wand at Draco, Tom Felton’s character, before punching him in ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ (Photo: Everett Collection)

As most opposite-sex friendships in Hollywood are, the relationship between Tom and Emma was questioned for years, with many fans thinking they must have dated at some point. The rumors were only fueled when Emma spoke about having a crush on Tom when they were kids in 2011. Furthermore, Tom mentioned there certainly was a “spark” between them at one point or another in his memoir. Check out how their friendship has progressed since their first time working together in the timeline of their relationship below!

Emma & Tom Meet On The Set Of ‘Harry Potter’

Emma and Tom were first seen side by side in the 2001 film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first installment of the popular Harry Potter films. She took on the role of the savvy and sometimes sassy Hermione Granger while Tom took on the role of one of the movie’s first and classic antagonists, Draco Malfoy. On March 4, 2022, Tom took to his Instagram to share an adorable throwback photo of the two of them, which can be seen above, taken around the same time the first film was made. They looked so young!

The young stars were seen off-screen together quite a few times following the Nov. 2001 premiere of the first installment of the franchise, such as at the DVD release party for the first Harry Potter film in May 2002 and the London premiere of Scooby-Doo in July 2002, as seen below. Emma and Tom reprised their roles in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2003 and continued appearing on red carpets together to promote the film. They also attended the Disney Channel Kids Awards in London that year and posed for smiling photos together.

Emma Watson, Tom Felton
Emma Watson and Tom Felton pose at the ‘Scooby-Doo’ premiere in London in 2002 (Scott Myers/Shutterstock)

The on-screen enemies continued to walk carpets together and promote the film through the next five films: 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out in 2005, 2006’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2009’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, 2010’sHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 1, and 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2. By the time the final movie premiered, Tom and Emma had known each other and had been working together for 10 years. That might have been enough to make two people sick of each other, but their friendly conduct on the red carpets proved otherwise.

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Tom Felton and Emma Watson smile at a ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ photocall in 2009 (Alan Davidson/Shutterstock)

Emma Admits To Once Having A ‘Huge Crush’ On Tom

There was a reason Tom and Emma looked so cozy on the red carpet when they were young: They did have a romantic connection! Well, one of them did, at least. Emma, who has gone on to star in films such as 2012’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, and 2019’s Little Women, admitted she crushed on Tom during a 2011 interview. “For the first two movies, I had a huge crush on Tom Felton. He was my first crush,” she revealed to Seventeen. “He totally knows. We talked about it — we still laugh about it. We are really good friends now, and that’s cool.”

Then, in Nov. 2019, Emma and Tom’s other Harry Potter co-star, Rupert Grint admitted he felt there was definitely a spark between them when they were filming together. “There was always something. There was a little bit of a spark,” he told Entertainment Tonight. “But we were kids. It was like any kind of playground romance.”

Emma addressed the situation once again during the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts reunion special that dropped on HBO Max on Jan. 1, 2022. She and the rest of the cast shared heartwarming tidbits about their time on the set, and Emma revealed she didn’t just have a “crush” on Tom; She said she was “in love” with him. “I walked into the room where we were having tutoring. The assignment that had been given was to draw what you thought God looked like, and Tom had drawn a girl with a backward cap on a skateboard,” she said, recalling the moment she fell for him.

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Tom Felton and Emma Watson at the premiere of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ in July 2011. (Gregory Pace/BEI/Shutterstock)

“And I just don’t know how to say it — I just fell in love with him,” the actress continued. “I used to come in every day and look for his number on the call sheet — it was number seven — and if his name was on the call sheet, it was an extra exciting day.”

She then expressed how big her crush really became. “I used to come in every day and look for his number on the call sheet, it was number seven, and if his number was on the call sheet, it was an extra exciting day,” she recalled. “He was three years above me and so for him, he was like, ‘You’re like my little sister.'”

Tom then spoke up and confirmed Emma’s “little sister” theory. “I became very protective over her, yeah, I’ve always had a soft spot for her and that continues to the day… There’s always been something that’s like, I don’t know, a kinship,” he noted.

Did Emma Watson And Tom Felton Ever Date?

Even though Tom and Emma agreed that the real relationship between them over the years was more sibling-like than anything, fans could not help but assume there was something more going on between them — especially because of how many times they have been spotted together long after Harry Potter was over. For instance, Tom took to Instagram in 2018 to share a black and white pic of him, Emma, and their Harry Potter co-star Matthew Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom, standing and posing together with huge grins on their face, as seen below. “School mates #hogwartsalumni,” he captioned the snapshot.

Furthermore, Emma posted both a selfie and a video on Instagram in 2018 of her and Tom enjoying some quality time one-on-one. In the pic, they were sitting on the sand at a beach while leaning into each other for the shot, with Tom nearly resting his head on Emma’s shoulder. The video showed the talented duo riding one longboard down the street, with Emma holding on to Tom as he poked fun of her for “dancing around the board” too much. She giggled and assured him that she was holding on to him well enough. She used the picture and video combination to congratulate Tom on his new television show, Origins.

 

A year later, Tom mentioned Emma in an interview with Daily Mail. “It’s always nice to bump into her, see her at the beach, or over dinner, or whatever,” he gushed. “She’s an incredibly smart and lovely young lady, so it’s always nice to bump into each other and slightly reminisce about old times but also about looking forward to the future.” Tom also shared the below photo that showed him teaching Emma how to play guitar in Aug. 2019. “Quick learner x,” he wrote.

 

Tom and Emma celebrated Christmas together that year. Emma shared the picture during their holiday celebrations, which also includes a handful of their fellow Harry Potter actors, Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Bonnie Wright (Jinny Weasley), and Matthew Lewis. “Merry Christmas from us ,” she wrote alongside the pic, which can be seen below. Unsurprisingly, she and Tom stood next to each other in the nostalgic photo. 

However, Tom cleared up romance speculation once again when he said his love for Emma is platonic. “We are something, if that makes any sense. We’ve been very close for a long time. I adore her,” he told Entertainment Tonight in 2021. “I think she’s fantastic. Hopefully she returns the compliment.”

“As far as the romantic side of it,” he continued, “I think that’s a Slytherin/Gryffindor thing rather than a Tom and Emma thing. I absolutely think the world of her. I think to be a part of what we’ve all been a part of, but for her to be the only girl, certainly the youngest one on set, to grow up with what she had to grow up with was incredibly exciting. You’re going to get me teary now, but no, I think she’s a fantastic influence on the world.”

He further reinforced his stance in the HBO Max Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special. “Emma and I have always loved each other, really,” Tom said.

“Nothing has ever, ever, ever, ever happened romantically with us,” Emma added. “We just love each other. That’s all I can say about that.”

Emma Watson Tom Felton
Emma Watson and Tom Felton pose at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel in central London in 2011 (Photo: Shutterstock)

While nothing romantically ever happened between the stars, which they have made crystal clear on several occasions, Tom made a bombshell revelation in his 2022 memoir, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard: They would have been a thing if the timing was right. “I’ve always had a secret love for Emma, though not perhaps in the way that people might want to hear. That isn’t to say that there’s never been a spark between us. There most definitely has, only at different times,” he wrote in the book, according to the Evening Standard.

Speaking further about the “spark” that was once between them, he recalled the time he was told 12-year-old Emma liked him. He was 15 at the time. “Rumours started to abound that there was more to our relationship than we were letting on,” he remembered. “I denied that I liked her in that way, but the truth was different. My girlfriend at the time knew straight away that there was something unspoken between us. I remember using the familiar old line, ‘I love her like a sister.’ But there was more to it than that.”

“I don’t think I was ever in love with Emma, but I loved and admired her as a person in a way that I could never explain to anybody else,” he continued. “I know for certain I’ll always have Emma’s back and she’ll always have mine too.”

​Tom & Emma United Against J.K Rowling

Tom Felton Emma Watson J.K. Rowling
Tom Felton and Emma Watson have both expressed their support of the LGBTQ+ community following comments J.K. Rowling made that were deemed transphobic (Photo: Shutterstock)

Aside from being on the same page about their relationship, Tom and Emma are also on the same page when it comes to the writer of the Harry Potter novels, J.K. Rowling. The formerly beloved author was canceled in 2020 after she supported a person who got fired for several tweets that were generally deemed transphobic, such as “men cannot change into women”. J.K. was accused of being transphobic after she tweeted the following in support of the fired individual. “Dress however you please. Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real?#IStandWithMaya #ThisIsNotADrill.”

J.K. later further rolled out her thoughts about trans lives and the criticism she received in an extensive essay, in which she feels a “kinship” with the community. However, she later confirmed her stance that “single-sex spaces” should be available so those who identify with the sex they were assigned at birth feel safe. “So I want trans women to be safe. At the same time, I do not want to make natal girls and women less safe,” she wrote after opening up about the sexual abuse she encountered at the hands of a man in her twenties. “When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman – and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones – then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”

J.K.’s stance was slammed by several people in the Harry Potter franchise, including Daniel Radcliffe, who starred as the iconic Harry Potter in all eight films. Emma Watson also reacted by not calling J.K. out, but by showing her support for the trans and LGBTQ+ community. “Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are,” she tweeted on June 10, 2020.

She added, “I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.” The British actress said she was donating to the charities Mama Cash and Mermaids, before concluding her message with, “Happy #PRIDE2020 Sending love x.”

She also seemingly shaded the best-selling author at the  2022 BAFTA Awards, where Rebel Wilson joined her to present. “She calls herself a feminist, but we all know she’s a witch,” Rebel said. Emma quickly replied, “I’m here for all the witches!”

Unsurprisingly, Tom has similar sentiments, which he addressed in his interview with The Independent. When speaking of the transphobia of which J.K. was accused, he took a more neutral ground, but stated that he supports all people. “First of all, I don’t know enough about the specifics of what anyone said. My dog takes up far too much time for me to go into such matters,” he began. “I mean, the obvious things to say are that I’m pro-choice, pro-discussion, pro-human rights across the board, and pro-love. And anything that is not those things, I don’t really have much time for.

“It is also a reminder that as much as Jo is the founder of [these] stories, she wasn’t part of the filmmaking process as much as some people might think. I think I only recall seeing her once or twice on set,” he added.

He did, however, support her by saying she is “responsible” for bringing joy to people “of all ages, of all backgrounds” through her writing — a statement he would later get trolled for.

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