Few co-stars have inspired feelings in fans so far removed from their characters. The sniveling sadist Draco Malfoy and the thoughtful academic Hermione Granger not very ready-made shipping material in Harry Potter.
But IRL Tom Felton and Emma Watson have always been the best of friends — and non-stop fuel for fans’ matchmaking dreams! Rumors have been swirling for years that they were carrying on a secret romance under all our noses (and Voldemort’s lack-of-nose). All this despite them sometimes dating other people.
Related: Emma Is ‘All In’ With Boyfriend Leo Robinton!
So how did these rumors start in the first place?
Well, the pair seem to have spent more time together than just about any other castmembers since the end of the film franchise in 2011. Even in groups they’re always paired off.
Add that to the fact we already knew Emma had a crush on him, as she revealed in a 2012 interview on The Jonathan Ross Show, saying:
“Between the ages of 10 and 12 I had a really terrible crush on Tom Felton. We love a bad guy, and he was a few years older and he had a skateboard and that just did it really… He used to do tricks on it. He was so cool… He totally knew. And the thing is, he’d turn and go, ‘Oh, I see her in a younger sisterly way.’ And it just broke my heart, still does.”
And of course fans have developed theories that the two are more than friends, no matter their protestations.
And their co-star Rupert Grint isn’t helping! During an interview with Entertainment Tonight in 2019 he said of his Hogwarts classmates:
“There was always something. There was a little bit of a spark.”
Dang it, Ron!
OK, so what does Tom himself have to say about all this? In a new interview with ET, he finally weighed in on the rumors, saying:
“We are something, if that makes any sense. We’ve been very close for a long time. I adore her. I think she’s fantastic. Hopefully she returns the compliment.”
OK, this was supposed to be a denial, right? LOLz! He continued:
“As far as the romantic side of it, I think that’s a Slytherin/Gryffindor thing rather than a Tom and Emma thing.”
Well, there you have it. However, he did end by saying one of the kindest things about his (just) friend:
“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.”
Wow. Get you a man that thinks you’re a fantastic influence on the world, right?? Even if they’re just a friend.