The Phelps twins doing the red carpet & inteview at the Danish HP7 part 1 gala premiere
On Friday the 12th of November, 2010 the Danish gala premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 took place at the Imperial Cinema in Copenhagen and the Phelps twins (Weasley twins) came to town. Not that anyone knew, because for some odd reason the Danish press had decided not to write about it in advance! Only a few film clubs and fan clubs had mentioned the visit in connections with competitions about winning premiere tickets.
Anyway, I was the only one there to cover the twins’ visit for foreign press (America/UK). Although I’m Danish I was quite pleased with not working for a Danish magazine because…well, I don’t know why, but Danish press is not that interested in foreign visits in connection with premieres. What interest them are the Danish VIPs (mostly actors, strippers and reality TV-stars) who turn up for the prem. It is no wonder, then, that when the twins arrived in Denmark, neither press nor fans were at the airport to greet them. The twins spent less than a minute in arrivals, which was probably just as well. Their flight was an hour late, so when they left the airport it was 4.30 p.m. and the red carpet event in connection with the premiere was to start at 6!
When I arrived at the cinema in order to cover the red carpet, only about thirty fans had gathered outside to see the twins. Inside a handful of journalists and press photographers were lined up and as the Danish VIPs started to arrive, a true battle broke out. I’ve worked all over the world, but I’ve never experienced anything as brutal as the Copenhagen press! They were almost fighting for the best spots, and I still have bruises all over from being pushed around!
It was close to six thirty before we heard the loud cheers and screams from outside, indicating that the twins had arrived. It took another ten or fifteen minutes before they had worked their way through the fans, signing autographs and having their pics taken, and reached the spot where I was standing with the rest of the Danish press. Again fights broke out, but not as bad as when the Danish VIPs had walked the red carpet and I did manage to take some pics, although I bruised my wrist when the photographer standing next to me shoved me into a table.
When the pics were done, I gave Oliver Phelps a wave like I’d promised him on Twitter and his face lit up. "It’s you!" he said and came over to say hi and give me a hug and a kiss. We had a short chat, then Oliver Phelps gave the press co-ordinator his mobile phone and asked him to take a pic of us. Need I say that after that the other photographers stopped bullying me?
Because the twins had been so delayed, the planned interviews were postponed/cancelled. Instead the Danish press agency Ritzau was to do a short interview before the twins went on stage to introduce the film. I was allowed to listen in on the interview and here I learned that the only ones to surpass the Copenhagen press in brutality are the Copenhagen security guards. I was brutally pushed away by one and the press co-ordinator had to tell him to back off and let me do my thing, but I missed the first part of the interview because of that.
Anyway, according to my notes, Oliver Phelps said that this was their first time in Denmark, but they had heard about Copenhagen from friends who were here last year. James Phelps added that they’d had a fantastic welcome and said, "I can’t thank you enough."
The twins said that it was a bit sad that the Harry Potter saga is coming to an end.
"It’s difficult to say how things will be now that we don’t have to do Harry Potter anymore," Oliver Phelps said. "It’s been wicked being in the movies."
"When we agreed to do the movies we had no idea that it would be that big." James Phelps said. "If you’d told me ten years ago that I’d be here in Copenhagen today I wouldn’t have believed you. It has changed our lives, but we love it. It’s fantastic."
"Growing up on a film set is very different to what other people experience, I think," James Phelps continued, "but all of us who are in Harry Potter grew up together so we’ve been friends since childhood and we’re still friends today."
The twins agreed that they would never tire of playing Fred and George.
"It’s fun being Fred and George and if we’re a bit naughty we can always say that we are in character," James Phelps laughed and continued, "but I won’t miss having my hair dyed ginger every second week!"
Oliver Phelps told the press, that next year he starts filming without his brother.
"It’ll be different not being together," he said and James Phelps agreed. Asked if they were going to see some of Copenhagen after the premier, Oliver Phelps said that they hoped for a good night out in town, but when asked if the twins were single or had girlfriends, they both just smiled and refused to answer.
After the short interview, the press co-ordinator took another pic of Oliver Phelps and me with my camera (a very crappy pic, ha-ha!) and then the audience was over.
The twins did indeed have a good night out in Copenhagen (at the Hilfiger Denim LOUD event in Vega, actually) as well as a visit to Tivoli, the world’s oldest theme park. I hope to see the twins in Denmark again some day, but without the press and security brutality and I do wish that by then the Danish press has stopped calling Oliver James and James Oliver, ha-ha!
@ Lise Lyng Falkenberg, 2010