Blog: Obliging Oliver happy to talk Villa and Voldemort
6th Jul 2011
On arrival at North Stand's waiting area, I was greeted by a very amiable young twenty-something, bedecked in claret and blue scarf, blue tee-shirt, denim jeans and white trainers.
I'd met Oliver Phelps before - several times - and, as always, he was in good mood, jovial and full of Villa-inspired conversation.
Just a normal meeting with any other Villa fanatic you'd think from the outside looking in.
However, Oliver, as you're all probably aware, is an accomplished actor who has starred in all eight of the Harry Potter movies from Philosopher's Stone through to the Deathly Hallows Part Two, which is released on July 15.
The film series is based on the novels by the British author J. K. Rowling. Distributed by Warner Bros, the series of fantasy films stars Phelps as George Weasley, along with good mates Daniel Radcliffe [Harry Potter], Rupert Grint [Ron Weasley] and Emma Watson [Hermione Granger].
Amazingly, Harry Potter is the highest grossing film series of all time, with over six billion dollars in worldwide receipts. In fact, the current seven motion pictures are on the all-time list of 30 highest-grossing films worldwide.
Enough ammunition in these movie statistics to create a person of sufficient swagger to put a reporter like me ill-at-ease.
None of it from Oliver, who must be one of the most down-to-earth guys in the industry.
It was some offer from Oliver to pop into Villa's communications HQ for the interview with AVTV in the first place as his time this month is absolutely precious with promotional work on the final instalment of the series in full swing.
In fact, the day he came in was the only one he had available in the month of July - and you got the feeling he was more than happy to give it up for the good of his passion for the claret and blue.
He is one of several actors in the franchise who support Villa - the main other one being David Bradley, a thespian of some note who has starred in various theatrical productions as well as Harry Potter and Hot Fuzz, the comedy creation of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.
In the world of film, they are joined, of course, by Tom Hanks.
We're not stupid in the corridors of Villa Park. We appreciate Tom's knowledge of claret and blue matters is limited - the scarlet and blues, Spikey O'Rourke and the Villa Dome just some examples of his need to swot up.
But the same can certainly not be said of Oliver who was brilliant during his interview to camera with AVTV.
It has two distinctive themes. He discusses his feelings towards the Harry Potter adventures through the years, starting back in 2001. He also focuses on his addiction to Villa, which is impressive.
He remembers the atmosphere against Ajax in the UEFA Cup clash, discusses the upcoming season and even suggests Alex McLeish's midfield line-up for the opening day match against Fulham.
All very engaging stuff - and available on our online television channel next week. Don't miss it!
The fabulous movie franchise, of course, pits Harry Potter against his arch-enemy Lord Voldemort. A battle of its own is being waged in the Phelps family too, with fellow movie hero and twin brother James following the fortunes of our own 'arch enemy' Birmingham City.
Oliver jokes about these split loyalties in the AVTV piece and it's certainly funny viewing.
As it is, we're thrilled to have Oliver as part of our own flourishing celebrity claret and blue family.
Guarantee AVTV with your season ticket for next term - click here.
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