Saturday morning of Emerald City Comicon 2016 opened with a capacity audience packed around the Main Stage to see James and Oliver Phelps. The actors, who played Fred and George Weasley, respectively, in all eight Harry Potter films, talked to the ecstatic Muggles in the audience about that big scene in Deathly Hallows and how you can’t believe everything you read on the internet.
With the same mischievous sparkle in their eyes as the Weasley twins, James and Oliver talked about auditioning for the first film 16 years ago this July. Only the first few books had been out at that time, so they had no idea what fate awaited their characters. So when it was time to read the last book, asked moderator Clare Kramer, what was their reaction to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows?
“Could be worse,” shrugged Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) with a sly smile.
James Phelps (Fred Weasley) was on holiday on Japan when the final book came out and turned off his phone for three days to read the book unspoiled. He reached the end of the book while riding the bullet train, and as he got to Fred’s final scene, the train inspector walked up and asked for his train ticket.
James, who admitted he was emotional because he had “grown quite attached” to Fred as a character, looked at the operator and said, “Dude, I just died here!”
So when it was time to film the scene, was it a big emotional experience for the pair?
“It was weird,” said Oliver, “but it’s one of those things that has taken on a fandom of its own. I’ve seen some really weird things online… I mean, it’s in a picture on the internet, so it must be true, right?
“It’s a picture of me… crying. ‘Oliver could only do three scenes because it was so emotionally draining, they got up and hugged and said I love you…’
“No, we didn’t. We got up and went to bed. If anything, it was the easiest day for James, because he fell asleep on set!
“I mean, it was difficult, I’ll be honest,” continued Oliver, “because obviously we’ve got a real relationship.”
“Thanks for that,” grinned James.
The pair revealed a few more fun tidbits about themselves at the Emerald City Comicon panel:
- Fred and George looking over the turret at the Battle of Hogwarts was the last scene they filmed.
- On Pottermore, James was sorted into Hufflepuff and Oliver was sorted into Gryffindor. (“I already have the tie, so that’s quite good.”)
- James most enjoyed filming their scene together in Goblet of Fire. “It was the first time we really let loose as the characters.”
When asked about George’s life after the battle and as the years went on, a fan asked about Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes and who would help man the store. “I don’t know,” said Oliver. “Would Fred be a ghost in the store, jumping out at people?”