James and Oliver Phelps are pretty fortunate. They were the right age, gender, and look for the
characters of Fred and George Weasley at the perfect time.
They had always been interested in acting, as well as sports and music. But if not for the perfect
casting call, they may not have ever had the chance to turn their acting skills into a career.
Oliver was born to Martyn and Susan on February 25, 1986, and James came along 13 minutes
later. They first attended Little Sutton Primary School and then Arthur Terry Secondary School.
They developed different personalities during their time at these institutions despite their
strikingly similar physical appearance. Oliver was more outgoing and sociable while James
was known to be more serious and hard-working.
When they were fourteen, their mother heard about open auditions in Leeds for the new Harry
Potter film. They were the perfect age and description for the characters of the twin brothers of
Harry Potter’s best friend, Ron Weasley.
While they had both acted in school productions, neither Oliver nor James was prepared for the
six call backs that followed their audition. Each time they met with another executive working
on the film, including the writer, the producer, and the director.
It wasn’t long after that the boys were told to start dying their hair red — James had received the
role of Fred and Oliver the role of George.
James and Oliver have reprised that role in every Harry Potter film to date and are scheduled to
finish out the last two films.
Much like their characters, they are known for playing pranks on the set. They have ranged
from the simple: switching names, to the more involved: once causing the cast to redo every
scene for the day after switching places.
The cast and crew have since learned that Oliver has a mole on the right side of his neck—just in
case it ever happens again.
They have made up for their antics with their philanthropic works. Both James and Oliver have
planted trees at the National Forest in Leicestershire since that wood helps make the
broomsticks for the film.
James and Oliver are both avid music and sports fans, and have made several public
appearances in support of both fields.
Every year, they attend the V Festival sponsored by Virgin Media and held in England in August
as well as the Download Festival, a three day rock music festival managed by Live Nation held in
Donington Park, England at the end of spring.
In May 2006, they headed to Birmingham City and participated in a celebrity football
tournament known as the Celebrity World Cup Soccer Six, playing alongside other celebrity sports
enthusiasts such as television presenter John Leslie.
They enjoy playing football together, however, James and Oliver support rival football clubs —
Oliver roots for Aston Villa while James supports Birmingham City.
With the Harry Potter films drawing to a close, James and Oliver Phelps must decide which path
to take for the next chapter of their lives, including whether they will continue to work as pair or
go their separate ways.
They have already managed to find another acting job together, playing Callum and Finlay
Anderson in an episode of the show, Kingdom.
Individually, Oliver is still considered to be the more outgoing twin while James, the more
diligent twin, worked as a runner on The Da Vinci Code and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Either way, James and Oliver will be known for bringing J.K. Rowling’s characters of Fred and
George Weasley to life and will forever be considered significant, impressive, and unforgettable
members of the Harry Potter family.
James Andrew Eric Phelps andNickname:
Oliver Martyn John Phelps
Date of Birth:
Place of Birth:
Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, England
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