How do you keep things fresh with a character you've been playing nearly half your life? It helps if, as is the case with "Harry Potter" star Tom Felton and his role as blond bad guy Draco Malfoy, you get to step away and take on a new role in a decidedly un-"Potter"-like film. And it's doubly advantageous if your established character is evolving in ways that make him a far different person than he once was.

That's where the 22-year-old Felton finds himself at the moment, as the actor begins filming "The Apparition" in Berlin and gets set to return for the end of shooting on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." As Felton told MTV News from across the pond, Malfoy undergoes changes in J.K. Rowling's final boy-wizard book that reveal previously unseen layers within him and which present a welcome challenge as an actor.

"It was one of the things I was really looking forward to with 'Deathly Hallows,' " he said. "My personal opinion is, deep down, Draco is desperate to get out of what he's in. In 'Half-Blood Prince,' he had a real wake-up call, realizing this is not what he wants to do, this isn't the path he wants to go down. Unfortunately, his parental influences aren't too good. He's kind of forced into the dark side. It's hard when Voldemort is sort of your step-uncle, in a weird way."

But in "Deathly Hallows," Draco begins to indulge some of his more redemptive qualities, leading to a few compelling moments between him and longtime adversary Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe). Felton said he's had long talks with director David Yates about the best way to approach the good/evil duality within Draco, and the payoff has been a couple thrilling on-camera confrontations with Radcliffe.

"Harry and Draco almost have a bond, and they save each other's lives on numerous occasions," he said. "It's a really weird love/hate relationship. It's great that it's left to our interpretation of how and why this is all happening. We have shot some really interesting stuff with me and Daniel — me saving him and him saving me. For once, we're not just bickering!"

In particular, Felton is proud of his work on a massive battle scene at Hogwarts between Harry Potter and his Dark Arts-enabled adversaries. "That's a fantastic moment in the courtyard, where it's kind of like a Western showdown between good and evil, and Draco's the only character where you have to go from one side to the other," he said.

Check out everything we've got on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1."

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