Harry Potter fans, don’t we all remember the scheming Slytherin Draco Malfoy from the epic series? The actor who essayed Draco’s role – Tom Felton – has been roped in to star in Hansal Mehta‘s period drama, “Gandhi.” Now that was one unexpected news!

Directed by Hansal Mehta and produced by Sameer Nair’s Applause Entertainment, Gandhi is dubbed as India’s equivalent of The Crown. In the series, Tom Felton will portray Josiah Oldfield, Gandhi’s closest friend in London during his time studying law there. Pratik Gandhi is set to play Gandhi himself, and Bhamini Oza will take on the role of Kasturba Gandhi.

“I’m excited to be part of the journey of telling the story of Gandhi’s early years in London. It’s an important aspect of history that hasn’t been told on screen before, and to be working with Hansal and Pratik is an honour and pleasure,” said Felton.

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The Story

The series Gandhi is adapted from historian Ramachandra Guha‘s books, “Gandhi Before India” and Gandhi – The Years that Changed the World“. The story encompasses Gandhi’s formative years in India, the UK, and South Africa.

The initial episodes of Gandhi, aim to illuminate lesser-explored aspects of Gandhi’s life. The multi-season drama will highlight key moments and influential experiences that shaped his renowned determination and political ideologies, pivotal to India’s eventual independence from the British Empire in 1947. 

Gandhi Meets Oldfield

Part of the series follows the young Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi when he was in London to study law and missing vegetarian food. It examines how Gandhi’s chance discovery of a vegetarian restaurant brings him to the lesser-known ‘Vegetarian Society of London‘, co-founded by Josiah Oldfield (played by Tom Felton).

This chance meeting proves to be formative for Gandhi, as it is Oldfield who first discovers the writer in him and encourages him to pen articles for the Vegetarian Magazine. “It is about the relationship between the two of them and how they found each other at exactly the right time. And how without meeting each other, their lives would have definitely been different. Certainly, Gandhi’s would have been and therefore the whole world would have been a very different place,” said Felton.

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Tom’s Prep For The Role

Felton, who is not a vegetarian in real life, prepared for the role of Josiah Oldfield through a lot of reading. He consulted with his 93-year-old grandfather, who is “very wise in history, so he knew exactly who Oldfield was.”

Most of my research has been on the spot, literally live with the director. That’s the best thing about working with not only an Indian crew, but someone that knows a lot more about it than than Wikipedia,” Tom says. He got the body language of the character right through just a few available images. Shooting at real locations dating back to Oldfield’s era helped him slide into the period, as did the costumes.

The most challenging part of the shoot for Tom Felton was keeping up with Pratik Gandhi, who plays the lead. “He is astonishing at getting into character very quickly and I have never heard him slip one line. I’ve slipped quite a few. It’s amazing to be surrounded by such effortless talent. It brings your game up,” Felton says.

The Cast

Sameer Nair, managing director (MD) of Applause, said, “We are excited to bring together an exceptional ensemble cast from across the globe, each adding their own unique brilliance to this monumental tale. With Hansal Mehta at the helm, and the incomparable Pratik Gandhi embodying the spirit of Gandhi, we aim to propel our Indian series onto the global stage with resounding impact.”

This promising cast of the series includes British actors James Murray (known for Masters of the Air and The Crown), Jonno Davies (from Better Man and Hunters), Molly Wright (featured in Apostasy), Simon Lennon (known for Bridgerton and Our Girl), Ralph Adeniyi (from The Tunnel and Queenie), Libby Mai, and Lindon Alexander (known for Undercover and The Gold).

On the casting of the show, Hansal Mehta said, “Working with an exceptionally talented cast has been nothing but a privilege. The casting of some exceptional international actors to our ensemble is even more exciting as we prepare to take our labour of love to audiences worldwide.

Tom Felton’s Work

It has been nearly 13 years since the release of the last “Harry Potter” film, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” but Felton still gets stopped on the street by fans. In addition to that, his roles in Rise of the Planet of the ApesFeed, and the Netflix film The Forgotten Battle are also widely loved.

On television, he was a regular cast member in the third season of The Flash, starred in the YouTube sci-fi series Origins, and recently featured in the Sky telefilm Save the Cinema. Next up for Felton is another period piece, “Canyon of the Dead,” where he and Abigail Breslin play pioneering American archaeologists. The actor has also completed a Kazakhstan-shot sci-fi film currently known as “Project Darwin.” 

We are quite excited to see this never-thought-of casting on OTT. His camaraderie with Pratik Gandhi is surely something to look forward to! What do you feel about Tom Felton playing Josiah Oldfield? Tell us in the comments below!