Two of a kind pranksters

Jocelyn wong

James and Oliver Phelps - aka George and Fred Weaslev - created a stir

Jocelyn wong |

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Identical twins Oliver (left) and James Phelps, who portray the Weasley Borthers, were in Hong Kong to promote the movie 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2'
The Phelps twins work the crowd, teasing the hundreds of fans gathered in front of Platform 93/4 at Times Square.

"Today's the last day ever we'll be promoting Harry Potter [films]," says Oliver, one half of the pair. "There's no better way to end it than here in Hong Kong. The fans here are amazing!"

This is the second time the iconic twins have visited Hong Kong. Yet they are surprised the fans still recognise them "without the huge orange beaks on [our heads]", Oliver tells Young Post, referring to the pair's orange-coloured hair in the series.

Oliver and his brother, James (who is 13 minutes younger), made their screen debuts in the first Harry Potter film in 2001 as George and Fred Weasley. Since then they've been known simply as the Phelps twins by their many fans worldwide.

The two were greeted by almost 70 fans armed with banners and signs at Hong Kong Airport when they landed last Thursday at 6am. They immediately set out to explore the city. They dined in Central and watched noodle chefs in action before going up to the ifc for a panoramic view of the city. Even with their packed schedules, they still found time to take pictures and sign autographs for excited Potter fans who recognised them on the streets.

The two avid tweeters also kept in touch with fans on Twitter, showing off their playful side. "One male fan tweeted, 'Never cried so much at a film'," James says. "We told him to 'man up!' for fun. He loved it!"

Just like their characters in the movies, the twins are seasoned pranksters. "The most important part of a prank is the big reveal," James explains. "[We] like playing more elaborate pranks."

As they look identical, the two twins can easily fool people just by switching identities. Yet those who know them well can tell them apart, they say. Oliver is slightly taller and has a mole on the right side of his nose.

People who see through their double act "end up on our blacklist and we'll definitely have a prank lined up for them in the future", James says.

On one occasion, they tricked a crew member into thinking he was going to get fired. "Never have I seen so much anger or laughter," Oliver recalls.

On a more sombre note, the twins confess they were taken aback by the success of the films and that they, too, felt emotional after wrapping up the last episode of the decade-long saga. "Harry Potter is not just about the actors and crew," James says. "It defines a generation."

The extent of global Potter mania was on full display at the world premiere in London's Trafalgar Square, where the main actors walked the longest red carpet in the world.

"How many people can say that in their lifetime?" James says. "The streets of London, one of the biggest cities in the world, were closed down for [the premiere]. We brought London to a halt."

Once their promotional tour for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 wraps up, both James and Oliver have solo projects lined up.

"It's going to be good working independently after all the Harry Potter films," James notes.