It seems hard to believe that there was a time before Tom Felton's icy blonde mane made Draco Malfoy the bad boy of your adolescent dreams. But it's true, that time did exist — although the actor was present for some of that time, too. By which I mean that Felton was in Harry Potter and The Borrowers (co-producer: Liza Chasin), another beloved childhood movie that doesn't get nearly as much attention. Which is a shame, because even the actor loves his role in it.
The 1997 film adaptation of Mary Norton's 1952 children's book The Borrowers delighted '90s kids. It was whimsical and weird and gave viewers yet another reason to want to wear their hair in cute buns. While many dreamed of growing up to be like Arrietty Clock, the film's resourceful teenage protagonist, it likely passed unnoticed that little brother Peagreen had a familiar face. Yes, that's correct: Felton portrayed Peagreen Clock in a 1997 movie about tiny people that live in your home and borrow stuff from full-sized humans. His name was Peagreen Clock. Let that sink in.
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (co-producer: Tanya Seghatchian) was released in 2001, but true Felton stans would know that his role as li'l Peagreen in The Borrowers was the actor's acting debut. Not just in a movie. In anywhere. The first credit on his IMDb page is the 1997 film, and he turned 10-years-old the year it was released. Are you ready for a nostalgia burst?
You weren't ready for that, were you? Precious Felton, with his curly hair and sweet little face, makes his worldwide debut with a classic line: "I hate big days." All at once, Peagreen Clock is established as cheerfully grumpy, a hungry realist, and a reluctant foil to his take-charge older sister. If Arrietty is aspirational — she's adventurous and self-sufficient — Peagreen's the one that made viewers say "same." You don't have to be excited about everything all the time; you're allowed to prefer to stay in bed and daydream about candy on occasion.
Honestly, who would have thought that Peagreen Clock would morph into the Harry Potter franchise's complex quasi-villain?
While The Borrowers was Felton's first big movie role before Harry Potter, it wouldn't be his last. Per his IMDb page, in the intervening years, the budding actor starred in several small roles on TV before landing the part of Louis in 1999's Anna and The King, an adaptation of musical classic The King & I. Yes, the one you're thinking of has Jodie Foster in it. It feels strange, knowing what fans know about Draco Malfoy, that a cherubic young actor like Felton was cast as such an easily detestable character. Who could look at someone as precious as fussy Peagreen and think, yes, that's our Malfoy?
Even if fans have forgotten the actor's early role, Felton certainly hasn't. On Twitter, he responds to people who rediscover Peagreen Clock. A few years ago, he posted an epic #ThrowbackThursday on Instagram. Clearly, this role has a lot of nostalgia value for him as well.
The actor has continued to work post-Potter, most notably in The Flash on the CW. No matter what he does, though, '90s kids will never forget the gap-toothed smile of young Felton as Peagreen Clock, champion of snack-eating and crusader for napping on a button and just wanting some alone time.
Even if fans didn't instantly recognize Felton was Peagreen, now it's impossible to un-see. Also, is it a rule that he has to have the most absurd-yet-oddly-delightful hairstyles possible? From frizzy red wig to icy blonde slick back, Felton is memorable not just for his acting talent but for his iconic ability to serve up #looks.