James and Oliver Phelps are England’s most popular twin actors today. But how do they deal with the separation of their characters, Fred and George, in Deathly Hallows? Total Film Indonesia finds out.
PORTRAITS LORENZO AGIUS
Just like in the movies, the Phelps twins are nearly indistinguishable in real life. We know that Oliver, who plays George Weasley, was born thirteen minutes earlier than his brother James, who plays Fred. We also know they support different football teams from their hometown of Birmingham – Oliver is an Aston Villa supporter and James is a Birmingham City fan. But that’s all TFI knows of what sets them apart. When they entered the interview room, despite wearing different clothes, they still managed to appear completely identical. They also spoke with the same level of enthusiasm of the Weasley twins’ dramatic journeys in similar baritones. All of this might be the reason why James and Oliver Phelps are ecstatic with the directions their characters are taking. That is to say, in two separate ways…
We really have to ask you about what you think of the one scene everyone has been talking about, the Seven Potters. What was it like filming it, with Daniel Radcliffe studying you?
James Phelps (JP) Yeah, it was quite intense. I mean, the whole of that scene just went on… it was a two week shoot. It was night shoots, as well, for most of it, so we were just drained by the time we did it. Because literally you’d act what you’d do anyway and then Dan would come and David Yates and yourself would kind of direct Dan on what to do. It’s proper scrutinising yourself, because it’s like… apparently I stand like I’m pigeon-toed. I stand weird or something. I never realised it until then. And my facial expressions, when I’m concentrating or something, were a bit odd. So, that was a bit weird, but Dan really did… We saw that scene, a couple of weeks ago…
Oliver Phelps (OP) The special effects, as well, and the visual effects… they’re pretty new technology…
JP Even the fact of how the faces change and everything… that was pretty cool!
OP I don’t know how Dan did it. It took something like 120 takes or something. It was something ridiculous, like that, to get every single one. That’s a testament to Dan’s character and stamina, that he would keep going, and do it. When we saw it, it looks fantastic.
Oliver, don’t you lose an ear in the first movie? And what sort of ear would you like to get to replace that one you lost?
OP That scene was pretty cool – I always wanted to be a bit battered. In all the films, playing Quidditch and everything, you never see a scratch on Fred and George. And it was cool, watching the guys in the creature effects department… you really see how they earn their money because it’s fantastic. Without going into too much detail and taking too much away from the people watching it… it was really, really interesting… beforehand, they had to take a full cast of my head and shoulders, to mark the ear, and how they’re gonna do it. Basically, when you go to the dentist, and you get that paste they put in your mouth, to mark out your teeth… but here they put it all over your whole head for fifteen minutes and you’re breathing through straws. And, any ear I could have? Gosh… uh… maybe, like a Simpsons ear, you know, just a little thing.