Transcribed by Marissa Osman
Audience Member: Harry Potter has essentially changed all of our lives, especially as children growing up with the stories, but how has being in the movies changed your life?
Oliver Phelps: I think it's changed it beyond any [recognition] because we're able to go from obscurity, really. [Out of] all my friends at school, no one did anything like acting. To go into that world is totally different. I'm able to travel with it and meet people on a daily basis who appreciate the work that we've done; it's a cool thing.
Audience Member: That's fantastic. Fred, in the movie, says, "I think we've outgrown a full-time education." Is that how you guys felt when you auditioned for the movie?
James Phelps: No, not at all. We just purely went because it was a great opportunity to get [into] a film. It just happens to be a big thing and something that we were familiar with because we'd read the books, but I wouldn't say we'd outgrown education at the age of 14. [laughs]
Audience Member: How was it like working with each other?
Oliver: Vile, yeah.
Audience Member: Did you go through a period of sibling rivalry?
James: It was pretty even, really.
Oliver: It's pretty even. I don't know if it's a twin thing or what, but we've always been very competitive with one another regardless of what it is. But I don't know that it was affected at all by [our] working together.
Audience Member: What do you guys miss most about working on the movies?
James: Just the day-to-day hanging out with the guys who we work with - the cast members - because we were a pretty tight-knit bunch and we were working together. We still keep in contact with the vast majority of them.
Audience Member: Is there anybody in particular that you make a point of keeping in contact with?
James: [We don't really "make a point" to keep in contact with anyone], but you just naturally still hang out, and still speak to quite a few. Alfie Enoch is on our cricket team, so we see each other every week in the summer; that's really fun. And we still play golf with a few of the other chaps.
Audience Member: I've read that you guys are living in California now?
James: Yeah, everyone keeps telling us that.
Moderator: It's on your Wikipedia page!
James: [sarcastically] Oh, that's why! So it's true!
Oliver: [sarcastically] It's got to be true.
Audience Member: [sarcastically] It's on the internet, it must be true.
Audience Member: So that's not true, obviously?
James: That's not true, no. I wish.
Moderator: Well, it was if you were asked seven months ago.
James: Yeah, we were there for a bit. Home is England, still. We go back to California every so often.
Audience Member: Walking through the exhibition, there's obviously a lot of detail paid to the props. Is there a favorite prop that you guys have from movies that you used?
Oliver: I think the wand. I know it's probably an obvious answer because each one is different [for] each character. It's cool to be able to see that. It's a shame I wasn't able to keep it after filming.
Audience Member: Did you guys have to go through wand training?
Oliver: They tried to. We literally walked on our way to where there was this chap teaching people how to [use them] and he's [being] very over-the-top. We walked through - it was James, myself, and Rupert - and we could see through the window. You could see a man [teaching] Evanna and Bonny, and this guy was really getting into it. We walked in and were like, [sighs] "Ah, forget that." We turned around and went the other way.
Oliver: It's quite funny, though, [because] you see school kids playing Potter on the playground and that's basically what we were doing in the final battle sequence. Then they obviously added everything else in afterwards.
Audience Member: Did you guys take anything from the set?
James: Not legally, no.
James: I've got a coin from Gringotts, which is very unique. [asking the moderator] Are the coins from Gringotts here?
[Moderator indicates that they aren't]
James: It's because they're in my house.
James: But [I have] that and then the art from the Skiving Snackboxes, which I know are here. You can see the detail that goes into it. I've got those in my office, if Warner Bros. ever wanted them back.
Audience Member: The Weasley twins open Weasleys' Wizards Wheezes. If you guys could bring any of your inventions to life, which one would you do?
James: The pimple cream. It is absolutely mint.
James: I think there's a video of a guy walking up the wall in the anti-gravity boots; that'd be pretty cool to have.
Oliver: [unintelligible] would be pretty good, just for dramatic effect.
Audience Member: Since you've traveled so much with this exhibition, what are some of the ways that you've seen the Harry Potter movies have affected people or affected different cities that really surprised you?
Oliver: I think the cool thing about Potter is, everywhere we go, there's an excitement about the tour being here, even in non-English-speaking countries. It's a big thing for people to go and see. There'[re] not many things that can do that and generate such an interest. I think it's cool that we're able to be here. It's a very easy sell when you tell people about the Potter exhibition two and a half years after the final film has come out. That still blows my mind that people are still like, "Oh, we should go check that out!"
Audience Member: How does that affect you guys, as actors, to be a part of that?
James: I wouldn't say it affects us in the sense of tour stops us from doing other jobs because it doesn't. [For] things like this, it's only a week of our life in certain locations. And it's no problem at all because we have great fun doing it. It's also cool because - being so close to it - we don't appreciate how big it is, globally. So coming to the other side of the world to -23°C, or whatever it is outside, and seeing people [is fun]. I'm sure on Saturday it's going to be heaving. I've heard they've sold out quite a lot already. It just shows the draw it's got and how much it means to people, and, us being close to it, I don't think we can appreciate it fully for what it means to the audience.
Audience Member: Brianna is from Where Edmonton - the magazine that you see in all the hotels - you guys are doing some stuff in Edmonton this week, right?
[James and Oliver confirm]
Audience Member: What are you doing?
James: [Seeing the] Oilers.
[Everyone laughs and begins speaking at once]
Oliver: It's one thing we do in most of the places we go. We like going and seeing the sports teams - whatever sport it is - because that's really the best way to see what a city's about, what their people are about, because it's their natural environment, if you will. It's quite cool and [hocky] seems to be the only sport in town.
Audience Member: In the winter. [laughs]
Oliver: It will be good to check that out.
Audience Member: Oh, you'll see an environment, that's for sure.
Moderator: What he really wants to do is go to a curling tournament.
[General murmurs of agreement from the audience]
James: I was joking.
Audience Member: That will be here in February.
James: I would rather watch paint dry than watch curling.
Audience Member: What would you say are - in this exhibit - the things that people must see that are different, that people may walk by but they really have to pay attention to?
James: When we were doing all of the press in there today, I noticed something [that] I haven't seen in any of the other exhibitions I've been to. Is this the sixth or seventh one? There was something from the seventh movie: Bill Weasley's certificate, which is on Umbridge's desk. I never even knew [it] existed. You see it and you're just like, "Ah!" So don't just run through it and only see the big things. If you actually have a look at it, you see the detail on things like the Daily Prophet [and] the article, for example. But my favorite thing is the big dragon from the fourth film that's in there. A lot of it was CGI, but they still build a full-size thing as a reference for it. I think that's pretty cool, and I'd love it to be on my driveway at home. I may be having a word when this is over.
Oliver: Oh the way out, just poking [out] from behind one of Dumbledore's outfits, is the model of Dobby. I think a lot of people thought he was 100% computer animated. That was cool to see. You'd see some people [look and say], "Oh, he's real! There's an actual, proper Dobby!" That's quite a cool thing that people may not be expecting to see, but definitely look out for that.
Audience Member: [This is] not necessarily about Harry Potter, but I'm also a twin, and I know that [my twin and I] get the weird twin connection. Do you guys have any of that at all?
James: No, it must be a Canadian thing.
Audience Member: There's been rumor of Diagon Alley opening up your shop. Have you guys filmed any footage for that?
Audience Member: At Diagon Alley in Orlando, Florida.
Oliver: No, I don't think we have.
James: Yeah. I'm in Florida for a friend's wedding over in the new year. I know there'[re] a few guys from Universal, so I may swing by at some point, but I don't [know].
Audience Member: Do guests go ballistic when you step inside [the park]?
James: Yeah, but we're very fortunate that when we had the full walkthrough of it, it wasn't even open. So we could fully appreciate it. Every kid's dream is sitting on the front of the roller coaster and going again and again. [laughs] We've shot some stuff for them about a year or two after it opened. We'd start shooting by 4 a.m. before the park opened so we could get it in and then, eventually, they'd open the gates and it was a bit hairy. We learned some escape routes with the fire escapes. On the whole, it is a really cool place to check out.
Audience Member: What was your guys' favorite scene to film in the movies?
Oliver: I think the joke shop scene. That was cool because you see the buildup to that, and obviously, that set is three stories tall and packed with people; that was really cool. [Or] the Yule Ball sequence in Goblet of Fire, again, because people were saying, "The Great Hall looks wicked today" for that whole week. It was the week before Christmas so everyone was getting into a bit of a festive spirit anyway. We'd been taught for three weeks how to do the waltz, which is pretty cool. Just all of that coming together, that's very memorable.
Audience Member: How about any of the Quidditch scenes? Did you guys get to do your own stunts for them?
Oliver: Yeah, but to be honest, Quidditch was pretty boring after a while because you're [on] a green screen.
Audience Member: I also heard it was really uncomfortable.
Oliver: It was alright, actually. They developed the saddle so by the end it was a nice saddle. It was very repetitive doing the Quidditch sequences. It was still fun to do and be on this technology that was pretty much invented for that sequence, but at the same time, there'[re] only so many times you can pretend to hit a Bludger away.
Moderator: I think we probably have time for one or two more questions, and then we'll probably take a couple of photos, and then you guys can go back down to the exhibit. So [does] anyone have one more question?
Audience Member: How did you manage a work-life balance filming them back-to-back? Or is work just so much fun that it didn't matter?
Oliver: It just became life, didn't it? I know it sounds silly.
James: When you're doing a job you've just got to go for it. I did a stage show earlier this year and I pretty much lived that from... That was a lot more intense, obviously, because you need to remember a lot more all the time. But you just get on with it and put it all on board. You have to make sacrifices but you know it's not full-time sacrifices. It's an enjoyable job.
Audience Member: You've been attached to a Hamlet adaptation for [the] screen. Can you tell us anything about that?
James: That's been going on a hell of a long time. We haven't done anything for it, so I can't really give you any more information on it at the moment.
Oliver: Who knows? It's supposed to be moving [forward] next year sometime, but we'll see when that happens. [We're] excited to do it, though.
Audience Member: [What's] one thing you absolutely want to do visiting Canada, or specifically, Alberta?
James: I'm not even lying, the Oilers [are] a big thing because that's one of the only hockey teams I could have named before I went to a game a couple of years ago. I'd love to check out Jasper, or something like that. If I don't find enough time on this trip, it's certainly something I'd like to come back to and see because everyone says how amazing it is.
Oliver: That would be cool, to check out the countryside.
Audience Member: Do you guys have any real-life pranks that you perform that stand out above any of the others? I heard about switching roles during the rehearsal when you were younger.
Oliver: Hm. [pause] We don't really do pranks. We do have fun when we're doing these things, but I'm trying to think of a prank.