James and Oliver Phelps Talk “Fantastic Beasts” at Emerald City Comic Con!
MuggleNet was in attendance during a panel focused on James and Oliver Phelps at Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle last weekend. We learned a few things, including whom they would want to play if they could take part in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
The brothers were greeted by screaming fans Saturday as they took the stage during the first panel of the day. Here’s a post from Oliver’s Instagram account, showing just how excited all the fans were to see them both:
Fresh from their appearance at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hollywood, James and Oliver recounted how they auditioned for the parts of the twin troublemakers in the Harry Potter series. Oliver told panel moderator Clare Kramer,
They did an open call all around England and Great Britain that you could be in the films, for any part. It was a Thursday, and we thought, right, that means we don’t have to go to school!
He further revealed that every set of twins vying for the part was wearing a matching set of clothes, except for James and Oliver. They ran to the nearest department store downstairs and bought the same outfits off the rack.
James further explained that they had to wait hours and hours for their number to be called before they could audition, and they had no CV or photos, so they had to have a Polaroid taken. Knowing that they would have to dye their hair eventually, they waited until they got the parts before they went full-on ginger. Their schoolmate, who also happened to be a ginger, thought the twins were lying about getting the parts, even after they showed up at school with their hair dyed!
When asked how they felt when learning Fred’s fate, Oliver responded,
It could be worse.
When the laughter died down, James shared his initial reaction, stating,
I was traveling in Japan, and the book came out, so I grabbed the book at a book store, and I was going on a bullet train up and down Japan for a week. So when it came to finding out what happened to Fred, I had my phone off for three days because I didn’t want know; I wanted to read it on my own. As I’m reading what happens to Fred, the ticket inspector comes ’round for the tickets on the train. He comes over, and I’ve just read what happens, so I’m a bit like, okay, and I then I was surprised what happened, and I was surprised with how I was feeling what happened. It was really weird. I didn’t expect it; I guess I was more surprised with how I was feeling because of seven years up to that point, I just treated it as a character, but then I realized I was really quite attached to this character. And so when I was reading, I was like, [sad face] oh. Meanwhile, ticket man: ticket, ticket, ticket. I was like, come on [gestures for him to hold on]. He was like, ‘No, ticket now, ticket now’! I was like, ‘Look man, I just died here. Let me just deal with this.'”
Clare then asked, if they could play any character in the new Fantastic Beasts film, whom would it be. Oliver explained that either they would play a younger version of a great-grandparent or another set of twins!
They say that twins… they have multiple genes in every generation, so maybe there would be twin girls, and we would have to drag up a bit.
Regarding the future of their careers, Oliver said he definitely wants to continue working in front of the camera and would love to work on the Travel channel, while James talked about his time working on stage, saying,
I’ve done quite a few stage shows mostly in the UK, which I have really enjoyed. It is completely different [from] working in front of a camera. If you mess up, you’ve got to keep going. But you know, I don’t because I’m professional [laughs]. It’s one of those things where, I wasn’t really ever thinking about being an actor until we landed these roles, and now I’ve been training for it. It’s really something I’ve enjoyed.
Oliver and James also entertained the panel guests with stories about the pranks they’d pulled on set, including one particularly focused on Rupert. As they tell it, all the cast had the same televisions and remotes in their trailers, and they convinced Rupert that he could turn the volume up and down or change the channel simply by talking loudly or moving from side to side. In reality, they had stuffed their remote in their pocket and pushed the corresponding buttons whenever they were in his trailer.
Finally, among the nearly half an hour of fan questions, two of our favorite questions that the twins answered were about which Harry Potter character they would play besides the characters they already took on and which fantastic beast they would like to have. James answered that he would play Dobby and that he would also want a house-elf but that he would give his house-elf clothes so that he only had to work when he wanted to. Oliver stated he would play Peeves, and the beast he would most like to have is a hippogriff.
It was an entertaining panel, and we enjoyed meeting all of the Harry Potter fans at the convention! If you attended the convention, send us your favorite selfies, pictures with James and Oliver, or photos of your Harry Potter cosplay!