A Report from Collectormania

Oct 05, 2003

Posted by: Melissa Anelli | Comments


Victoria, in Milton Keynes for CollectorMania IV, spent some time this weekend interviewing Christian Coulson and the Phelps twins for us at The Leaky Cauldron. Here’s her report:

Christian Coulson

At Collectormania 4 there is no shortage of slightly hysterical girls
waiting to get, at best, a hug, and at the least, an autograph with Christian
Coulson. For those who have just crawled out from under a stone, a huge
picture of him is positioned rather precariously above his head. In person,
Christian is about as far away in character from Tom Riddle as you would

‘It’s like being in a zoo,’ he says, smiling as we look at the
banks of people snapping away or just plain staring. ‘I expected to be
called Tom but everybody seems to know an awful lot about me. It was my
birthday yesterday and a lot of people have given me presents. One girl
gave me a lemon, I am not all that sure what that is supposed to mean.’

Playing “You Know Who” has set his acting career off to a flying start;
recently Christian has been called the new Jude Law. ‘I’d like to have his
roles! Not so sure about everything else.’ He has, so far, trod the well
beaten path to Los Angeles to test the Hollywood market, and also to Prague
where he has recently finished filming a BBC drama on Charles the 1st. ‘I
play Charles’ son the Duke of Monmouth, I spent a few weeks out in Prague,
the buildings are quite similar to London, well the lack of distractions, … the ones we use, because the Great Fire had reduced huge parts of the Capital [London] to ash. It was great doing that kind of drama, I have done quite a variety, for example I played Romeo in Liverpool, as well as Tom as I like to call him.’

Christian had not read any of the Potter books until he read for the part.
‘I read the first three books quite quickly and I am now read nearly at the
end of ‘Goblet of Fire’, I guess I am slowly catching up with everybody
else!’ Asked if he would like to come back to the part of Voldermort. ‘I
would love to, but he is 50 years older and much more evil, if that can be

‘I had a great time during filming, although I only worked with Dan who is
absolutely lovely and Richard Harris who was great, he gave us tips on how
to act out a part and gave you great feed back and advice. He was always
friendly and personable, I’ll miss him. It was great to have the
opportunity to work with him.’

With that I am ushered away by his over-protective assistant, obviously
quite jealous of my occupation of her seat. More girls hover around him
blushing furiously but he takes it in his stride smiling, signing and

Oliver and James Phelps

Through the masses of people at Collectormania it is quite easy to spot the
two Weasleys. The casting director got JK Rowling’s description to the
letter. As the twins wade back from a PR event at a nearby department
store, cameras flash in every direction. This is a great way to make some
extra pocket money for these two sixth formers ‘we have tutors on set so we
can’t escape homework’, and also to meet the fans of the book. People are
queuing with full sets of books, DVD’s videos, and homemade Quidditch
robes. The queue for itself stretches back to the entrance doors, but James
and Oliver Phelps take it all in their stride. ‘This is brilliant. I’m
really enjoying myself; we have met soooo many people. All sorts; little
kids, teenagers, mum, dads and grannies,’ Oliver says waving at the waiting

‘The little kids are great, some are really shy, a brother will come up and
his sister will hide behind him plucking up the courage to talk to us.
(James). We’ve seen some great costumes, there are mainly hobbits and
Gandalf’s about but I have seen Draco Malfoy go past a couple of times, she
hasn’t asked us to sign anything yet though.’ Behind them is a pile of
presents in varying shapes and sizes. ‘I think the strangest one is the
potatoes sellotaped to a bra.’ Oliver holds it up with more than a
quizzical face; I can’t work that one out either.

The Weaselys have not had much of a look in so far in the movies,
understandably due to the sheer volume of information that JK provides, but
with ‘Prisoner of Azakbahn’, the infamous twins come more and more into
their own. So, are we going to see more of you in PoA’ ‘Definitely,’ says
Oliver, ‘I think the twins come into the story a lot more as the books
progress. We have just, last week, filmed the Marauders Map scenes and they
are really great, the way they do the map is brilliant, what a great idea.
Prisoner is going to be well worth the wait.’

‘We really enjoy our characters, when I (James) were reading the books it
was great seeing everything George and Fred get up to, we like mucking
about. When we are in trouble we try and give the excuse that we are still
in character but that never seems to work.’ Oliver and James have read all
the books – well Oliver has, James is just finishing ‘Order of the Phoenix’.
‘I keep hinting at what the ending is to him.’ Laughs Oliver, ‘I like the
way Fred and George have developed as people I am looking forward to when
we leave Hogwarts and start growing up and being more aware of the world
around them and the dangers of that world.’ James says, ‘I am looking forward to ‘Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes!’

So what is Cuaron like? ‘Really good, he brings a different viewpoint to
filming, which can be refreshing as he brings a different perspective, so
you see things in a different way. (James) Michael Gambon is great too, he
always says hello, very friendly, despite his distinguished career he is
very down to earth.’

Are you friends with the rest of main characters’ ‘Of
course (Oliver) Dan’s great and we have been hanging out with Matthew. We
have never been to Milton Keynes before so he has been showing us around.
We also went down to London together. Mathew’s a fan of David Blaine so we
went to see him in his box.’

The clamour behind me is rising; understandably people queuing can run
quickly short of patience. Do you get writer’s cramp signing all these
autographs’ James and Oliver, almost simultaneously ‘Nah, not yet when you
meet all these people who are so excited about what you do, it’s really
great and things like that you don’t even think about!’

Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.