Guest Author - Kris Bigalk
James and Oliver Phelps play the Weasley twins in the popular Harry Potter movies. Now twenty-one years old, the identical twin actors began portraying Fred and George Weasley at the age of fourteen, when the first Harry Potter movie was produced. James plays Fred Weasley, and Oliver plays George Weasley.
The twins were born on February 25, 1986, and grew up near Birmingham, England, in the town of Sutton Coldfield. James is thirteen minutes younger than his twin, and they have no other siblings.
Though the twins look very similar, Oliver has a mole on the right side of his neck, and James has a small facial scar. Now 6' 3" and quite handsome (they were featured in a People Magazine "Sexiest Men Alive" issue), the twins stand out in a crowd. Like many sets of identical twins, they have played pranks on teachers and friends by impersonating one another. On the set of one Harry Potter film, they allegedly traded places for a few scenes, but were forced to do them over when their prank was discovered.
The twins are both natural brunettes, and dye their hair a "ginger" color for the Harry Potter films. Both have expressed a preference for their natural hair color, but must wait for studio clearance to dye it back to its original shade.
In several interviews, the twins have stressed their individuality. James characterizes himself as more mischievous and outgoing, while Oliver is more reserved and sensitive, though also quite friendly.
Most interviews with the twins have centered on the typical interests of their fans, such as the twins' taste in music and movies, and what they think about the Harry Potter movies and their fellow actors. Like many young men, these tastes change fairly quickly, and they express different opinions in different interview situations. Generally speaking, both twins enjoy listening to retro rock bands, citing Queen, the Eagles, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers among their favorites. They also enjoy going to movies, and generally speaking, seem to prefer action-oriented movies; James has said he would like to play James Bond someday.
Though most of the twins' international exposure has been related to their success in playing the Weasley twins, both brothers acted in high school productions individually, and have expressed interest in having individual careers. Other identical twins have successfully done this in the past. A notable example of such success is Pier Angeli and her identical twin sister, Marisa Pavan, who were both acclaimed actresses in the 1950's and 1960's.