Turn Your Snow Day Into an 'Origin' Binge Day: Tom Felton on His New YouTube Sci-Fi Thriller
If an unexpected snow day has you hankering for a sci-fi binge, check out Origin on YouTube Premium (formerly known as YouTube Red). The series started streaming Nov. 14 and is already sending out interstellar shockwaves of suspense.
Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter franchise; The Flash) stars in the ensemble thriller alongside Natalia Tena, Nora Arnezeder, Fraser James and Sen Mitsuji as members of a group of strangers bound for a new life on Thea, a distant new planet. But when they awake far from their destination, the passengers must work together to survive and quickly realize that one of them is far from whom they claim to be.
When we caught up with Felton, he shared more of YouTube’s binge-worthy new series and shared whether he’d be up for a similar adventure, or if he’d rather heel his feet on terra firma.
For the characters in this story, what does their journey aboard the Origin represent?
Tom Felton: It’s a fresh start. It’s this idea of a company, not too far in the near future, offering places to go and colonize this new planet, and it’s under the assumption, it also becomes very clear, that every single one of them is leaving something behind. I think we as humans even today love the idea of a fresh start, especially as we’re doing a good job of buggering up this planet and maybe plowing down an uncertain path. The idea of it is a very appealing one.
It comes in different ways. Some people are there because they’ve done terrible things. Other people are running away from a truth that they don’t want to live with anymore. I think it represents different things for different people, but ultimately, they’re all unified by this idea of having a fresh start.
What is Logan leaving behind in his search for a fresh start?
He’s leaving behind a life with no friends or family, and probably a lot of pain and a lot of distrust, and a lack of hope, really, that his life is worth anything or his involvement in anyone else’s life would really be worthwhile. His backstory includes a very unlikely friendship that he loses, and she is really the big driving force for him to make the move.
Thea is described as a paradise, but certainly, the idea of paradise differs for each person. For Logan, what would his ideal paradise be?
That’s a good question. I don’t really know. He comes from California, which is not exactly the worst place on Earth today, so I’d imagine something similar to that.
Would you ever want to travel to space?
I don’t. I wouldn't mind visiting there, but I’m up for coming back. It’s going to happen in our lifetime, won’t it? It’ll be a chance to go on a ship for a quarter of a million dollars, and then we’ll be up in space for a few hours. We’ll weekend on the moon. I would be down with a weekend at the moon, providing they had a Hilton. That would be pretty cool, but I’d like to come home.
I like this life. I think we’re doing a pretty good job here. I’m having fun, so right now, we haven’t buggered it up too badly that I want to leave just yet.
The Oscar winner will create 6 half-hour episodes for the streaming service.
What draws you to projects that involve the fantasy/sci-fi genres?
As an actor, any opportunity to step out of your own shoes and be something very different is always appealing. I think my worst job would be to play myself.
I don’t want to say it’s something that I target. It’s not something that I specifically hunt for, but the richness of the worlds that are created in fantasy are so exciting. Origin is more of a sci-fi thriller. This is far more close to home, I think, than Hogwarts is, but it’s still exciting.
Is going on an out-of-this-world ride something that your fans have come to expect for you?
I couldn’t speak for them, to be honest with you. I know I always get a very warm response when I go to Comic-Con, and I think, because there is a bit of a thread, isn’t there? Yeah, I suppose the Harry Potter fans often coincide with The Flash fans or Planet of the Apes fans.
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Now that you’re part of the YouTube family, do you have any sway in deciding what old interviews of you exist on the service? Can you say, “You know what? That interview I did when I was 9…”
Get it down! [laughs] I haven’t thought about that, and I haven’t thought of myself as part of the YouTube family, but I like that, yes. I will definitely start using that…I’m sure there’s plenty of humiliating interviews when I was 12 that I shall like have stricken from the record.
But to be fair, I have never done the search. But I’m sure if I did, I would be horrified to see so many videos. That might be a fun little drinking game there.
Have you ever thought about what you’d do for a living if you weren’t an actor?
Probably a musician or something outdoorsy. I can’t see myself being too much of an office bod. I wanted to be a professional fisherman when I was 13.
Those are the interviews on YouTube, the ones that I wouldn’t mind going away, because when I first did Potter, the interviews were like, “Do you want to become an actor?” and I said, “No, I want to become a professional fisherman.” And that was thrown back into my face for several years.
'The underlying theme of this season is, are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes that we’ve made on Earth?'
Origin, now streaming on You Tube Premium