'Harry Potter' Actor Reflects On Insane Fandom

by Anna Klassen

He may have only been involved in one Harry Potter film, but Christian Coulson, the actor who portrayed teenage Tom Riddle in Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets, has had his fair share of fan experiences. But while Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and other actors who played lovable Gryffindors have had positive fan experiences, playing He Who Shall Not Be Named elicits a different kind of reaction. "Sometimes I'll meet really young kids and they'll be terrified of me, which is nice," Coulson says. "I mean, it's not nice, but it's good that it's had that effect."

On the other end of the spectrum, some fans actually lust after Tom Riddle. And it sort of makes sense: Though he plays the Dark Lord, who would eventually morph into a pale creature with snake-like features, Coulson is entirely handsome. With his sultry British accent and fetching Hogwarts uniform, it's no wonder some fans felt a little turned on by Coulson's parseltongue. "I am surprised at how often people romanticize Tom Riddle," the 37-year-old actor says. "He seems not a suitable romantic companion. I haven't read any Tom Riddle fan fiction, though I have been told about it."

Coulson was in his early 20s while filming the 2002 release, which made him at least a decade older than his onscreen counterparts, Daniel Radcliffe and Bonnie Wright. But that didn't stop the trio from bonding on set. "We would chat and have lunch together," Coulson shares. "Dan's intellectual curiosity was always so enjoyable. He loved to chat about books and music. I have a feeling he was reading the Beats at the time, but I don't remember what. Bonnie and I would often have lunch together, and also with their families. Bonnie's parents would be on set or Dan's dad who I knew a little through my agent. It was a really nice community."

Considering Tom Lord Voldemort is a major part of the franchise, it wouldn't be entirely surprising if the author decided to work the character into her spinoff books. And if these new books get made into films (which let's face it, of course they will), would Coulson be game to reprise the sinister role? "Oh, absolutely," he says without hesitation. "I'm really excited for the new movies because i think her imagination is such an enjoyable place to spend time in. There there are many things you can ask for as an actor, but one of them is that people engage with what you're doing, and it's real gift to be involved in something that people have an emotional response to."

Fingers crossed Rowling will consider incorporating Riddle back into the franchise's spinoff series. Now, where's that Tom Riddle fan fiction at?

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