In a new interview with the Globe and Mail James and Oliver Phelps discuss the end of filming Harry Potter and what it has been like.
What’s it been like being wrapped up in the frenzy around Harry Potter?
Oliver: It’s been something totally different to what we thought it would be when we first started. I don’t think anyone involved assumed that it would get to the size it’s gotten to.
Have you had strange or frightening fan encounters?
James: There was one when we were on holiday in Mexico and I was having a swim in the sea, and this Mexican lady swam over and said, “Are you in Harry Potter?” Like, “Yeah.” “Oh, okay.” And then she just swam back. It was so random and surreal. But Potter fans in general, they’re really cool. We went to a Raptors game last night and the Leafs game on Tuesday, and people there saw us and said, “Hello, how’s it going?” but let us get on with our evening.
Is there ever a point when you think, enough with Harry Potter?
Oliver: I think we’ve been fortunate to play the characters where you can have a laugh, you know? It’s never too serious. It’s always really fun to play, you don’t get too down on it, and everyone treats us well at the studio. I think it’s coming to an end at the right time for everybody.
Were you readers of the series when you were cast?
Oliver: I’d read the first three when we went for our first audition, I think the fourth book had just come out. But I was kind of in a bubble on the whole thing, I didn’t realize the magnitude of it. I just picked the first book up when I was in the school library once. So we turn up for the audition and we suddenly realized that there was about 6,000 people going for all different parts and we thought, oh, are we doing the right thing here?
Do you spend a lot of time promoting the films?
Oliver: When the last film came out, we were fortunate to travel quite a lot around Europe and Scandinavia with our friends. And it’s great to go to new places because we’ve never been to Toronto, so it’s always a great excuse to check out the nightlife and everything.
Are you good friends with the cast?
Oliver: Yeah, definitely. We play quite a lot of golf with a few of the guys, go to music concerts and everything, so there’s always something to do with each other.