James & Oliver Phelps Enchant Denver Comic Con 2017
POTTER TWINS BOAST WEASLEY-ESQUE HUMOR
Kicking off Denver Comic Con’s 6th annual run, James and Oliver Phelps’ Harry Potter panel helped define the composition of the convention’s most star-studded line-up yet.
The twins—who played Fred and George Weasley in all eight Potter films—rounded out a day of autographs and photo-ops with a panel that drew capacity-pushing crowds to the Denver Convention Center’s largest event space, the Bellco Theater. Bring It On‘s Clare Kramer moderated their discussion and Q&A session.
Though the late cancellation of co-star Bonnie Wright thinned DCC’s Potter star power, the Phelpses were not wanting for entertainment value. James and Oliver proved themselves to be natural storytellers—even when questions asked by younger Potter fans repeated themselves, the twins consistently answered with robust and comedic narratives.
One guest asked Oliver if the on-screen death of his brother James affected him emotionally. “They sprayed eucalyptus in my eyes to make me cry,” he said, adding that filming his reaction only took two takes. “Then the cast went for lunch and left him asleep on the stretcher.”
James revealed that no one thought to definitively cast himself and his brother as either Fred or George until their first table read. After the Phelpses admitted they didn’t know which character’s lines to read, a whispered discussion between J.K. Rowling and Potter producer David Heyman decided the matter in less than a minute. “Clearly a lot of thought went into it,” he said.
When asked about pranks played on set, both brothers struggled to come up with an answer that wouldn’t reveal long-held secrets. “You have to be careful about what you say,” Oliver warned James. “They’re getting very strict on who they’re letting into this country.”
Other fans asked about iconic Alan Rickman moments (the twins most enjoyed how violently he hit Rupert Grint while filming Goblet of Fire) and favorite castmates (a question that was not answered directly, but instead inspired a story about how it felt to have Michael Gambon help with homework while still costumed as Dumbledore).
James and Oliver will make appearances for the remaining two days of the convention. Saturday day passes are sold out, but tickets for Sunday are still available here. The twins will host another panel on July 2.
Note: Denver Comic Con collaborates every year with Pop Culture Classroom, a Denver-based nonprofit that uses popular culture to engage children in academic study. A 9,000 square foot space in the convention’s showroom is devoted to educational activities for younger attendees.