Jason Isaacs Talks Lucius Malfoy’s Transformation, Calls Draco Malfoy ‘Hero of the Whole Saga’


Jul 05, 2011

Posted by John Admin

The LA Times’ Hero Complex blog has published a new interview with actor Jason Isaacs about his work as Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter series.

Mr. Isaacs reflects on what it was like to play the villain of the series, and learning more about Lucius’ character as the story went on. He says that “nothing has brought me greater joy” than being part of the Harry Potter films and comments on being a mentor for the younger actors.

NC: As a villain, Lucius Malfoy has a very interesting character arc.

JI: Well, he has an arc. I think that sets him apart
from an awful lot of the adults who do not have the luxury of playing
that. It’s not that we haven’t all had a riot doing it. But the Lucius
that you see, shambling along, this alcoholic husk of an emasculated man
in the “Deathly Hallows” films is so completely different from the
strutting peacock of “Chamber of Secrets’ and it’s been enormously good fun to play that journey.

Mr. Isaacs also went on to explain how he viewed the character of Draco Malfoy (played by actor Tom Felton) to be “the hero of the whole saga.” He says he felt the need in “Chamber of Secrets,” “to explain how Draco turned out to be who he was.”

Because in many ways, to me, Draco is the hero of the whole
saga. I think Harry has his destiny. There is only one choice Harry can
make in every situation. Harry makes the right choice always, and he’s
admirable for doing so. But Draco has a bunch of choices, and Draco has
to break the bonds of the shackles of his past. He has to break the
chain of this kind of abuse and hatred and selfishness and entitlement
that his father has been part of, and probably his grandfather and
stretching back for generations. And so I saw my job as trying to
illustrate how you end up with a kid as messed up as Draco.

The full interview with Mr. Isaacs can be read here.

24 Responses to Jason Isaacs Talks Lucius Malfoy’s Transformation, Calls Draco Malfoy ‘Hero of the Whole Saga’

Avatar Imagealexweasley12 says: first comment ! idk if this is true or not....hmmAvatar Imagej@m says: Pretty questionable comments re: Draco. The books didn't show Draco "breaking the chain of abuse, hatred and selfishness". No, he wasn't totally evil.. just very weak.. and certainly not a hero of any kind.Avatar ImageKatrina_HJP says: Wow! really in-depth interview. i've always liked him as an actor and person and it's great to get his views on his character and the production. very interesting! i especially liked that bit about the trio having been right for the films and his and dan's improv scene!! and it's very interesting to know that he created Lucius Malfoy's look!Avatar ImageDeliaDee says: Jason speaks and I listen...and melt. ;)Avatar Imagejoeys_mommy says: I like Jason Issacs but I must heartily disagree with his opinion of Draco :P. Though I will have to send this article to my Best friend, she adores Draco and is convinced that he became an Auror and close friends with Harry and Ron....such a silly girl :PAvatar ImageTanderule says: Not sure if Draco is the hero. Just a secondary hero.Avatar ImageEve13 says: Interesting.Avatar ImageEve13 says: I've never thought of Draco that way before. Very interesting.Avatar ImageKiwiBrian says: I don't consider Draco a hero in any respect. He is an antagonist who sets out to try and influence others into his way of thinking. Only after the fall of Voldemort does Draco show anything resembling a realisation that his father was leading him along the wrong path. I believe the best description for Draco Malfoy would be "reformed villain".Avatar ImageLunaLuver says: A fantastic interveiw! I really enjoyed hearing Jason's thought on Draco, very true what he said. Draco is a hero in his own way, and he's been through a lot.Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: More of a zero than a hero...Avatar Imagetonights says: At first I read the quote as "I think Harry IS his destiny" and then I had one wild, amazing millisecond of thinking that Jason Isaacs shipped Harry/Draco. It was a nice moment. That said, I'm not sure I'd call Draco the hero - and I think Harry certainly had difficulty making the right choices some of the time - but not identifying Harry at Malfoy Manor was incredibly ballsy and rivaled the actions of the Trio at their best moments. He could easily have given Harry up, restored his family's status and ensured Voldemort's takeover, but he didn't. So while in general Draco is kind of a failed villain (cowardly, halfhearted, etc) he did show those wonderful tiny moments of trying to break away from the way he was raised. Avatar ImageFleur-de- Lily says: Not sure if Draco is the hero. Avatar ImageWeasleyCat says: Sure Draco hasn't always made the best choices and comes off as a snotty stuck up kid who definitely doesn't deserve to be called a hero, but as the series went on and came to a close, part of me felt Draco deserved a lot of recognition for his character development. Sure in HBP and DH he's a little weak cry baby, but it's because he was stepping out of his comfort zone and instead of continuing with the "abuse and hatred and selfishness" that his family has been known for participating in he tried doing the right thing for once or at least thought about doing the right thing, which scared the poor boy. The last couple of books really made me gain some sort of respect for Draco because he thought for himself for onceAvatar Imagemencia says: I agree a bit with WeasleyCat, Draco did try to do the right thing and tried to change which is admirable when he's background is considered. that said, I am not sure that he is the hero because Harry is a very unique Hero who could have taken all the wrong choices considering how he grew up, yet no matter how hard it was he chose the right way.Avatar Imageaffel says: it depends on the way you see it. draco has his weakness as any other people. he's divided from being like his family, or doing the right choices. i don't think he is a hero, but i do respect him as a person who grew up during the years and the books. and i'm proud of him to realize he didn't need to be that way, i'm just sad he didn't decide to be stronger before.Avatar Imagetrontech says: I'm happy to see that not very many people are deceived into thinkng Draco is Heroic. I had my hands full staying ahead of the Draco's when I was in school. If there had been only a few more, one of them would have eventually caught me, and there would have been bloody violence.Avatar ImageFelipe_Q says: Draco? ??the?? hero of the whole saga? nonsense...Avatar Imagebellatrix15101 says: I love Jason Isaacs. He's so great. :) You can really tell that he loves the whole series, he just seems to relish the whole experience... and I'm SO glad he took charge of creating Lucius's look :D Avatar Imagekyrstalkris says: I wouldn't go that far to say that Draco's a hero, but he does in a way an important part of the Harry Potter series! (: I love this interview, and I love how Jason Isaacs really did do his best in the movies, and the cast and crew too! I'm going to miss this! I love Harry Potter! <333 Avatar ImageHelloWorld says: I don't know if we really should decide who the hero of the series is. Harry is most certainly a Hero, but so are/were Lupin, Tonks, Molly, Arthur, Fred, George, Neville, Ginny, Luna, etc. Most certainly Hermione and Ron were. Draco, is a special kind of hero in that he does not really do anything heroic, but instead is rather courageous in his final decision. Harry Potter is chalk full of heroes. Harry is just the obvious pick as the primary protagonist. Avatar ImageHelloWorld says: @ Trontech IDK if it's truly deception. You're absolutely correct there are many bullies in the world, and certainly Draco bullied Harry. I don't think Isaacs is saying otherwise, nor is he excusing Draco’s actions. But what is significantly important about Draco is the abusive power that is held over him. His father is a bully, his Mother is passive, his Aunt is a psychotic bully, he's been raised in an abusive environment. He is the product of being brainwashed and terrified (as anyone would be if their family were long time supporters of a murderer). Further the decision to defy his father would have put him outside of…everything. The good side hated him, lets not pretend the Harry would have welcomed Draco, nor would anyone else. But Draco has the courage to walk away from his abuse and abuser/s. Draco is a hero to those kids (and there are many) who have been abused or who continue to be abused. Put yourself in the shoes of a child who is being abused, who is terrified everyday, who understands Draco’s burden. His decision to walk away suddenly becomes much more heroic and important. Avatar ImageGwynogs_rabbit says: I LOVE JASON ISAACS!!!!!! ahem... I agree with you so much, HelloWorld - so many bullies are being abused at home. And in Draco's case (and this shows up in the outside world all the time) he was taught from babyhood to treat the house elves badly, people who were consider less than he was and he was suppose to show them contempt, even as he was learning to talk. What does that do to a person? We see that happening around us, parents teaching their kids that they should feel and show contempt to people who are unlike them. Maybe having global internet connections will help us get over this, maybe? Avatar ImageGiant Squid says: Very insightful! Changed my view on Draco a bit.

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