Even celebrities aren’t immune to the magic of prank calls, as the Harry Potter author JK Rowling recently participated in a 12+ minute Zoom call where Russian pranksters convinced her they were Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The prank call was pulled off by the Russian duo Vovan and Lexus, whose list of past victims includes Elton John, Kamala Harris, George W. Bush, Bernie Sanders, Prince Harry, and Billie Eilish. Check out their latest prank on Rowling below:
The video starts off innocuously enough before the ruse becomes more and more obvious to anyone but J.K. Rowling apparently. Some of the more ridiculous excerpts include a section where the prank callers mention that they’re putting “Avada Kadevra” on the missiles they’re using against the invading Russian army. Harry Potter fans will be familiar with this forbidden spell as the killing curse. They also mention how Harry Potter’s lightning scar, which resembles a Z, has been painted on Russian tanks and has become a symbol for support of the Russian army. The pranksters asked Rowling if she would change the scar to the Ukrainian trident to remedy this.
Another choice excerpt of the interview involved the pranksters asking JK Rowling if Dumbledore was gay. Rowling confirmed as much in the video before the pranksters remarked “hopefully not with a transgender.” This is of course is a reference to Rowling’s controversial relationship with the trans community. Rowling has been very outspoken regarding her opinion of trans rights in the past, so this joke was clearly poking fun at that dynamic.
JK Rowling’s charity Lumos is currently raising money to help children and vulnerable families in Ukraine who are affected by the ongoing conflict. The prank duo also referenced this, saying that the Lumos money will be used to buy weapons and missiles to use against the Russian troops. They topped the video off by showing Rowling the “The Order of the Ukrainian Phoenix,” which was three Russians wearing T-shirts that said “Only Putin.” Rowling’s spokesperson has since responded to the prank interview saying that it was “distasteful,” and that the video had been “edited, and is a distorted representation of the conversation.” Vovan and Lexus have often targeted celebrities who are outspoken against Russia, leading some people to believe that the two are actors for the state. However, at this point, most celebrities are outspoken against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so there probably isn’t too big of a pool to choose from in the other direction.
J.K. Rowling’s most recent project was co-writing and producing Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, the third entry to the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The movie may mark the end of the franchise, as it performed poorly at the box office. It’s currently available to stream on HBO Max, so perhaps it will find renewed interest there. The movie notably replaced Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen and features Ezra Miller in a prominent role, who has recently faced several legal troubles. Add Rowling’s ongoing controversies and Warner Bros might just view the franchise as more trouble than its worth.