While most Harry Potter fans are crying in their butterbeer, Tom Felton is ready to say goodbye to Draco Malfoy and the movie franchise that made him famous.
"I think everyone is expecting the Harry Potter cast to break down as it comes to its end," Tom tells the U.K.'s Daily Mail. "But I feel a real mix of emotions. There is a little bit of sadness, but at the same time there is excitement."
The "excitement" he's referring to is not just about being able to take on non-Potter-related projects, but also to do things the rest of us sorta take for granted.
"I certainly haven't had much freedom to keep my own hair colour, or lay in the sun, or do anything remotely dangerous like skiing," Tom points out. "It was nice to go on holiday and not have to slap on the SPF50 and sit under an umbrella with three caps on."
But while Tom remarks on what he's gained now that he's done shooting the final two-part installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the 23-year-old actor also brings up what he lost along the way—namely, his childhood—and that money and fame are less-than-satisfying substitutes.
"You will never get those years back and you can't put a price on them," he insists, adding: "Fame is not a positive thing. The idea of being famous is a lot better than the reality. It's fantastic when you go to premieres and people cheer you, but it's not real. And it's totally not my approach to get my name on a club door just because I can."
As for the money he did earn, well, let's just say it wasn't always handled in the best way.
"There was a scary two years where it was madness because I was really in trouble with the taxman. I had been working for eight years and all I had to show for it was this horrible debt," he recalls. "Meanwhile, all my friends were coming out of university and [heading off] to Thailand for six months and getting cars paid for by their parents. I, meanwhile, had to find all this money for mortgages and x, y and z, and it felt like it was the wrong way around. I should have been the one on holiday!"
Fortunately for Tom, he'll have plenty of time for holidays once he's done promoting Potter. And from the sound of it, something that's much needed.