LeakyCon Exclusive: An Interview With Young Tom Riddle, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin !

Nov 06, 2017

Posted by: Emma Pocock

Actor Birthdays, Actor Interviews, Birthdays, Conventions, Fan Events, Fans, Fiennes Interviews, Films, Gambon, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, HP Cast, Interviews, LeakyCon, Movies, News, Watson, Yates

Today is Hero Fiennes Tiffin’s birthday, and to mark the occasion, we’re bringing you our exclusive interview with the actor who once portrayed young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Hero had a chat with us about his time on Harry Potter at LeakyCon 2017, sharing stories from Michael Gambon’s mischief on set to his experience as one of the youngest cast members.

Born in 1997 (now 20 years old) Hero worked on Half Blood Prince at a very young age, and was only on the set for a short amount of time. I asked him what he’d been up to since then:

“I only worked on Potter for about two weeks, so it was a short but sweet experience. Straight after I finished – because I was quite young and going into secondary school at the time – I was conscious of doing other acting roles and losing my childhood experience and spending time with my friends. Because it was so early on I thought I’d just take a break, finish school. I did that, really enjoyed it and realised I really missed acting, so in my final year of A Levels towards the send of my school career, I left. I knew I wanted to go into acting and didn’t want to go to university – I don’t regret it at all! 

Since I left school I’ve been doing more acting work, I’ve started doing a bit of modelling and also working for a food catering company.”

Since he’s related to Ralph Fiennes (his uncle, funnily enough, portrayed Lord Voldemort himself!), Hero shared that he actually got to meet the cast in a set tour two years before he worked on Half Blood Prince:

“I even met Dan Radcliffe, we were introduced pretty early on – I gave him a hug and told him he was great, and then a couple of years later I was working on the same film as him!

When I started on Potter, Emma Watson came straight up to me – where everybody had been a kid in it already, they made sure they were there to try to make it easier, which was really nice, definitely.”


He was a fan of the sets, of course, but was fascinated by the small set he worked on at Wool’s Orphanage, which was home to Tom Riddle at age 11:

“I really liked the set I was on – it was a huge studio, and a really tiny room. The authenticity was amazing. Usually they’ll just build parts of sets and the camera will fool you, but I was literally inside this room – it was so convincing. Everything about it felt real, so it made acting a lot easier!”

Hero spoke highly of working with Michael Gambon for his scene, and was grateful for the lighthearted atmosphere he created on set:

“I got loads of great advice from David Yates, and being on set with Michael Gambon was brilliant. He’s like a big kid, he was always messing around. He drove an Audi R8 – pretty cool, you know. He’d be throwing things at the prop guys and pretending not to notice when they turned around. He made it so easy for me. I was so worried and nervous where I was so young, but he broke the ice straight away and made it a lot easier than it could have been!” 

We spoke about the atmosphere at LeakyCon, and Hero was ‘massively impressed’ by the level of dedication he saw from the fans. We discussed how crazy it is that after 20 years, Harry Potter is still expanding and fans are just as dedicated. He noted that the growth of the series has covered a huge portion of everybody’s lives: “Everybody’s grown up with it. I don’t remember my childhood without it”. He also reflected on his first experience with Harry Potter as a phenomenon:

“Looking at the series now and how far it’s come, it’s crazy. I remember I did my very first interview on the red carpet that all my friends laugh at me for. I knew it was a massive franchise but there were so many people there, I didn’t understand it would be that big back then!”


I wanted to know if there were any roles he would love to see himself in, in particular, and whether he’d consider following the footsteps of various Potter costars and taking to the stage at any point:

“Obviously I wanna be in Game Of Thrones! My brother would also kill to be in that – he loves it. That’s definitely top of the list!

“I’m so open minded, I’m still mainly doing film and TV. I don’t have a massive preference. I’d like to get shot in a film, have a dying scene [laughs]. I just wanna take what comes my way! I’d definitely, one hundred percent consider stage and love to do that at some point, but I don’t have as much experience in that, so want to utilise the film experience I do have for the moment!”

I also asked if he had any advice for aspiring actors, and other than hard work and practice, Hero said that connectivity is a huge game changer for actors in the modern age: “Create an account, follow everyone! Nowadays we have so many tools as actors, so definitely make use of them.”

To finish, I wanted to know (of course) his House and patronus – he’s sporting some Slytherin pride!

“I wanna say my Patronus is a snake – is that boring? But a big one, not just a tiny one. Oh, I’m one hundred percent a Slytherin!” 

Hero will be starring in The Man In The Boxwhich is currently filming. A synopsis is as follows:

“August 1944, a small village in the Austrian Tyrol. With some reluctance, a teenage boy’s family takes into hiding a Jewish doctor who saved the boy’s life before the war. The boy (Niki), now 15 and in the Hitler Youth, is appalled by the idea, as is his frightened mother, but the father insists. A friendship gradually develops between the boy and Doctor Weiss, the ‘man in the box’, who has to open his eyes, amid the ever-present dangers of discovery and exposure.”

He also recently starred in ERDEM x H&M’s The Secret Life of Flowers cinematic short film, a short fantasy set in a country mansion which sees two friends (one of which is pretty Newt Scamander-esque) explore Lady Demire’s garden, where it is ‘always spring’. Hero’s character gets caught up in the garden and a dramatic love triangle. See him in the short film below:

Thanks to Hero for the interview, and happy birthday! Join us in sending him many happy returns on his special day.

Read up on Dan Fogler’s panel at LeakyCon here, the Dumbledore’s Army Panel (which is also available to listen to in the latest PotterCast) here, and stay posted for more upcoming coverage!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.