Drawing easily one of the largest crowds of Supanova’s latest Adelaide jaunt were James and Oliver Phelps, otherwise known affectionately as Fred and George Weasley from the popular Harry Potter film series. With a Q&A panel on Sunday apparently cracking a 900-strong crowd number, the British siblings fielded questions from fans of all ages, covering all different topics. Surprisingly, James commented that he’d never been asked some of the questions which were lobbed his way which, after the years of attending these type of events, is slightly refreshing to note! Still, incredibly friendly and approachable, the Phelps twins met a staggering amount of fans over the weekend and didn’t look faded at all by the time Sunday afternoon had rolled around, even though it’s evident that jet lag is still being a cruel mistress to the brothers. In between trips to the photo booth and the signing table, both James and Oliver took five out with me for a quick chat.
For Oliver, who has been to Adelaide previously, this trip for Supanova has been particularly nice. “It’s been great, it’s my second time to Adelaide, so it’s been nice to get back! It’s been really fun. People have been receptive and it makes the weekend a lot easier.”
“I got in on Wednesday night,” James adds. “I had a long weekend in Dubai. I thought I’d do a holiday and then I got in on Wednesday, so I’ve just been exploring the town! The jet lag did kick in [on Saturday]; I woke up at 4:30am, so I just watched all the rugby from back home!”
For the now seasoned travellers, coming out to Australia is a trip they’ve both done before. Convention favourites, the Phelps’ remain popular guests at these kinds of events the world over, regardless of how long it may have been since Potter wrapped. Taking a walk around over this weekend of Supanova activities, the amount of children dressed in full Hogwarts regalia was almost equal to the amount of Quidditch enthusiasts taking part in the – land bound – game outside.
“I watched that yesterday!” James laughs, as the game continues outside the window behind the brothers. “I’ve never actually seen a live Quidditch game before, so that was…interesting! Universities play it!”
“What we’ve found,” Oliver says. “Especially at these events, is that the guys who grew up with the films are now old enough to go on their own to these types of things. I think that what keeps it…I mean, a lot of the guys [cast members] wouldn’t have been able to come to a Supanova or an expo, had it not been for the Potter films, which is great. A lot of people have actually been all over the world, following parts of the film, which is quite cool. They’ll be wearing the scarves, even though it’s like, 30 degrees outside.”
While they’ve been in Adelaide for a sweet amount of time on this trip, both James and Oliver admit that they’d love to stick around Australia for a bit longer, if it weren’t for their schedules set up for the end of this year. In reflecting on his previous visit to Adelaide and their general love for travelling around the country, Oliver comments on how the city and his perception of it has changed in the year gone by.
“To me, it’s exactly as how I remember it,” he says. “Although it is nice to see the Victoria Square all finished. Fortunately, we’ve been able to do a few things like the market tour and this thing called Temptation Sailing, where you go out and hold on to the back of a catamaran – that was really cool. It’s a cool city. I’m home for about four days and then I’ve got to go out to LA, I’ve got about six meetings out there. It’s not too bad! It’s a shame we can’t spend more time in Queensland, because we travelled around quite a lot at the beginning of this year and the end of last year. We got a big camper and drove from Sydney to Cairns and doing that drive was great. We saw some amazing stuff. I really underestimated how big [the drive] was. It was fun!”
As for James, his December is looking to be as busy as Oliver’s – dividing their time and bases between the US and their native England seems to be what many Brits are doing these days, though to look at them, the only affect the American life is noticeably having on them is a slight tan. As James points out, there’s no place like home, somewhere he’s looking forward to returning to at the end of this year.
“I’m heading back to the UK,” he says. “I’m home for about two days and then I’m shooting a film in LA for two weeks! I’m then back for Christmas, so that should be good. I’ll have my own bed, which I’m excited for. Hotel rooms are great and everything, but there’s nothing like your own bed.”
Meet James and Oliver at Supanova Brisbane, coming through to the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre this weekend, November 28th – 30th. Head to www.supanova.com.au for more information!