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The Phelps Twins Go Virtual in Harry Potter

Twin brother James and Oliver Phelps are really into gaming Twin brother James and Oliver Phelps are really into gaming

COLOGNE, Germany -- When it comes to books, Harry Potter has found unprecedented success in both the movie theater in the videogame space. Over the past decade, audiences have watched the actors grow up before their eyes on the big screen. Twin brothers James and Oliver Phelps have starred in every film as Fred and George Weasley, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, which has a new videogame from Electronic Arts. The twins talk about the new game, as well as their own gaming background, and what it’s like to bid adieu to the film franchise in this exclusive interview from GamesCom.


What’s it like to see yourselves in the new Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows videogame?

James Phelps: It’s really cool I suppose, because growing up when we were playing computer games, you could try and make your own character that looks like you. But you’d always end up doing it badly and it looked nothing like yourself. When you see the professionals do it with all the technology they use, it’s superb and it looks cool, really cool.

Oliver Phelps: It’s awesome, it really is. It’s like none of the other Potter’s before it. it’s a third person action game and it’s pretty much Harry’s now outside of Hogwart’s so he’s not protected by all the teachers looking after him; there is that chance that you could be attacked by the Death Eaters and the Snatchers. What’s really cool is that Oliver and I showed off the Kinect technology the other day, which was something completely different and that was really fun to do.

Harry Potter is one of the new games available for Microsoft Kinect. What do you guys think of this whole motion-sensor phenomenon?

James Phelps: Yeah, I think it’s really exciting to see that it’s gotten to the point now where you can control a game without a controller; you’re just using your body movement. And I think it’s really cool that Harry Potter’s the only live action game available on it at the moment. To be able to show it off for the first time here was awesome.

What games did you enjoy playing most?

James Phelps: There are a lot of cool games, especially being with EA because they’ve got so many cool games under their umbrella. I mean, yesterday we played Crisis 2, which is out next March, and that was really cool. We’re big FIFA fans, so playing the new FIFA 11 was enjoyable as always.

Oliver Phelps: We checked out the new Medal of Honor, which was pretty cool. One of the developers was telling me stuff about that game and it was stuff they hadn’t said in any of the press conferences or anything. It’s exciting to get that kind of insider information here. We also checked out BulletStorm and that was a lot of fun. There are so many games here that we want to play when they’re finally out, it’s really a gamer’s paradise.

Did you guys play a lot of videogames on the set of the Harry Potter films over the years?

James Phelps: Yeah, more than you think, to be honest, because there’s a lot of waiting around on set. So yeah, we’d have football (soccer) tournaments, we’d play Halo. There’s a cricket game, which being English, obviously, that was the thing to do. We’d play a bit of everything, really, when we were there. We’d also play when we go travelling to promote the film. It’s been quite cool because we have iPads and the games for that are just awesome. I was just checking out Madden on it, which looks awesome. I can’t get over the graphics, it’s such an awesome device.

Do you have any stories from gaming on the set that you can share?

James Phelps: Here’s a good one involving Battlefield 2. I won’t say who, but a certain cast member fell asleep right next to the TV that had Battlefield 2 connected to it. So we turned the volume to 100 percent, pulled out the automatic machine gun and started firing. You’ve never seen someone rise vertically before, but that was certainly fun to do. All those shoot em’ ups are fun to play, as well, because we kind of had them all linked up on a system link so we could all go in our individual trailers and everyone play against one another. It was a lot of fun.

What was it like to say goodbye to the Harry Potter franchise?

James Phelps: It was weird on the last day. I suppose it was quite surreal, but it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I think it will sink in when we finish all the promotional work and that’s it – Harry Potter is left there. I think that’s when it will settle in and I’m not really looking forward to that feeling of it being over. It’s hard to put into words, really, what it will feel like. But I can just imagine just as soon as we finish the last party for the last premiere, then that will be it and it will be quite a surreal feeling.

Oliver Phelps: Yeah I guess the way I’m looking at it is when everyone leaves school, you’ve grown up with all these guys and you know it’s going to end sometime. So it’s kind of like with school you stay in touch with your closest friends and everything from there, so I’m nervously excited for it.

And you guys will be able to relive the experience any time you want in the videogames.

James Phelps: Exactly, yeah and not many people can say they’re in a videogame so that was pretty cool.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:54

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