Oliver Phelps Talks Playing George Weasley Again, Makes 'Harry Potter' Expansion Seem Awesome
The most important event of our summer just got even more awesome. When we found out that Universal Studios' Wizarding World of Harry Potter was expanding, we were obviously really excited. But now we've discovered that Oliver Phelps, who played half of our favorite red-haired, jokester pair of twins, has stepped back into the George Weasley costume to film some extra special footage to be used in the new parts of the theme park. So naturally we're beyond excited and have entered pure fangirl stage.
The expansion seeks to bring in elements of wizard shopping area Diagon Alley. Among the new installations will be shops like the the Dark Arts vendor Borgin and Burkes, Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour, and Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes. But that's not even the part Oliver Phelps helped collaborate on. In addition to getting more Weasley with the addition of their joke shop, a new ride will allow people to ride the Hogwarts Express from Hosgmeade to Diagon Alley, and will let us see George Weasley in action again. Phelps and representatives for Universal Creative explained that on the ride, "guests will be able to look out the windows and see an actual Harry Potter scene play out. Depending on where participants are seated on the train, the scene will appear differently." Um, yes. Sign me up.
It's not yet known what scene that will be, but we do know that Phelps had a hand in acting it out. Phelps said it was "weird" to step back into the role he thought he'd said goodbye to for good, but that it also felt like he'd never left. Phelps described the feeling to Entertainment Weekly saying,
I said, “I’m not dyeing my hair again!” And they said, “That’s OK.” And as soon as I got a wig, and got back into costume, it was nice. It was nice seeing the crew again…same camera people and all that. So that was great. It was the same stunt guys who do the broomstick movements. It was a weird time lapse where you felt like you were never away from it, but at the same time you were on a brand-new soundstage.
Die-hard fans will also be glad to know that the joke shop has Phelps' stamp of approval. During a behind-the-scenes sneak peek he got to take a look at the structure being built. He said:
When they showed us around Diagon Alley, I was like ‘Yeah, there’s Gringotts, there’s King’s Cross, WHERE’S THE JOKE SHOP?’ Seeing that being made – it wasn’t dressed or anything, it wasn’t painted — it was still very much workman in their hard hats. The size of it just blew me away; it’s exactly how they built it in the film.
The artist renderings of the new additions to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park make it look awesome, and knowing that we'll get to see George Weasley again makes the trip to Florida even more worth it.
Images: Warner Bros; Universal Studios Orlando; Universal Orlando Resort/Facebook