Call it karma, but when James and Oliver Phelps were cast in the Harry Potter films as the red-headed twin wizard brothers of the equally flame-haired Ron Weasley, James knew that he was in for a spot of payback. Now, some 12 years and eight Harry Potter films later, the 26-year-olds have arrived in Hollywood to try their luck.
Asked whether the Harry Potter films made them grow up quicker, Oliver replies: a€?When we were making and promoting the films we had to understand grown-up kind of things about how hotels worked, what we needed when travelling, stuff about airports, motorways, that kind of thing.
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Therea€™s a time and a place to talk about your hair and a football match probably isna€™t one of them.a€™Oliver and James were just 14 years old when they auditioned for the roles of the Weasley twins, ostensibly, says Oliver, a€?to get a day off schoola€™.
As Hogwartsa€™ resident pranksters, Fred and George Weasley dressed the same, acted the same and even finished each othera€™s sentences.

A couple of months prior to the auditions, their drama teacher had advised them not to bother with acting, a€?because you wona€™t do anythinga€‰a€¦a€‰you should try something elsea€™. That made me grow up a lot quicker.a€™Today, they live just a couple of streets from the wide sandy Pacific beach in Santa Monica a€?so ita€™s a bit different from our home in Sutton Coldfielda€™, says Oliver. Everyone might be expecting the police to burst through the door at any moment, but you'll be able to relax and just keep on drinking the punch.
All the years of joking at Andrewa€™s expense just came back and slapped me in the face.a€™As Fred and George Weasley respectively, James and Oliver had to dye their brown hair ginger every few weeks. James may be the quieter, more relaxed of the two, but he usually waits till his brother finishes before coming in with a quip.
When the final film of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a€” Part 2, was released last July, James says: a€?It was a bit scary.

She made a big effort for us.a€™They remain good friends with their a€?younger brothera€™ Rupert Grint. Oliver got a text from Rupert about one of the old cast members who got sent down [Jamie Waylett, who played Hogwarts school bully Vincent Crabbe, was jailed for two years for his part in last yeara€™s London riots]. He knew all the cool places to go, especially this one place where it was three knocks to get in and then there was this really huge restaurant inside, so we were sitting there with Kevin Spacey about three tables behind us.

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