Oliver Phelps Shares His Most Iconic “Potter” Memories

We all know our favorite scenes from the Potter films, but have you ever wondered which scenes are special to the films’ actors? Oliver Phelps recently shared just that information with Entertainment Weekly, and it’s one that will resonate with many fans – the moment when Fred and George give Harry the Marauder’s Map.

Of all the scenes we did in all the eight films, that’s the one I treasure more than anything. Because when we got the part, my grandfather started reading the books to try and understand what on earth we were doing, and he always said that scene was when you see our characters for the first time in their own element.

Oliver never forgot his grandfather’s observation, and prepared carefully for the scene, even calling his grandfather to let him know how things went after it was filmed. His grandfather passed away before the film was released – making the memory even more special. If that wasn’t enough to make filming the scene stand out, Phelps also revealed one final reason why this moment is his favorite: It was the first time he was given a wand.

[George had] never needed one before that in any of the films. I remember seeing it and literally just before we started filming, the prop guy gave me the wand and I was looking at this thing and then I just hear, ‘OK, we’re rolling.’ And I’m like, ‘Hang on, hang on, I’m looking at my wand!’

The actor also shared other background information about the scene, including the revelation that Fred and George’s iconic finishing of each other’s sentences was inspired by James and Oliver’s own patterns of speech – director Alfonso Cuarón wanted to incorporate it after hearing the twins speak.

Oliver also revealed some of the movie magic that went into filming the scene. The footsteps that appear in the snow while Harry is invisible were created using hydraulic steps that could be reset after each scene, and no fewer than three versions of the Marauder’s Map were used during filming. One was very similar to the replica maps many fans own, one had a green screen on the front of the map, and one featured an exterior green screen to allow for special effects to be added later on.

As an added bonus, Oliver also shared the story of the most dangerous scene of his Potter career: Fred and George crossing the age line to attempt putting their names into the Goblet of Fire.

We did some training with the stunt guys on the harness being thrown up and landing on to the mats on the floor. We were both a bit annoyed about that. We want to be able to say we did our stunts and stuff. But it turned out the guy who played myself or James ended up dislocating his elbow on the fall, so it was probably a good job they knew what they were doing with that and didn’t let us do it because it was quite the dangerous stunt.

According to Oliver, the scene didn’t get any easier. After sprouting their beards, Fred and George tussle on the ground. It took the brothers a few attempts to get the energy of the scene right, but as they began wrestling in earnest, another problem arose – the state of their costumes.

We could just look over and see Amanda from hair and make-up, whose [sic] in charge of these wigs and amazingly expensive beards, in sheer horror at us throwing ourselves around.

Lucky for us, actors, stuntmen, and costumes made it through to film another day. What other scenes would you love to know the story of?

Jessica J.

I've been making magic at MuggleNet since 2012, when I first joined the staff as a News intern. I've never wavered from the declaration in my childhood journal, circa October 2000: "I LOVE Harry Potter! If I clean my room, my mom says she'll make me a dinner a wizard would love!" Proud Gryffindor; don't hate.