A pair of Russian pranksters managed to pull a fast one on J.K. Rowling.
As pointed out by The Hollywood Reporter, notorious comedy duo Vovan and Lexus recently tricked the Harry Potter author into believing she was on a Zoom call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. The comedians—real names Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, respectively—impersonated the European leader while firing off questions about the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.
Video of the 12-minute Zoom call, shared by The Rowling Library, shows the controversial author doing her best to answer Vovan and Lexus’ increasingly awkward questions. They pressed Rowling about “cancel culture,” government sanctions, and her decision to cut business ties in Russia.
“Maybe it’s better to demand the Russians not read your books at all,” they told Rowling. “Because they did not deserve it.”
Vovan and Lexus went on to express their objections to Harry Potter’s forehead scar, saying it resembled the letter “Z,” which Russia has placed on its military tanks. They suggested Rowling change the scar to a Ukrainian trident. She told the duo she would “look into that.”
“It might be good for me to do something with that myself on social media,” Rowling replied, “because I think that will get into the newspapers.”
They then told Rowling they were writing the Harry Potter killing curse, “Avada Kedavra,” on the Ukrainian missiles, and invited her to read the book series to Ukraine’s Azov battalion.
Nearly nine minutes into the call, Vovan and Lexus asked Rowling to confirm Dumbledore’s sexuality. Rowling reiterated she always believed the character gay.
“I will never tell this to anyone,” the duo said, before alluding to Rowlings’ anti-trans comments. “Hopefully not with a transgender person.”
Vovan and Lexus have made headlines over the years with pranks on western celebrities and political figures, including Elton John, Billie Eilish, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Prince Harry, and former U.S. President George W. Bush. Rowling’s spokesperson slammed the stunt as “distasteful,” claiming the released video had been edited.
“J.K. Rowling was approached to talk about her extensive charitable work in Ukraine, supporting children and families who have been affected by the current conflict in the region,” the representative told THR. “The video, which has been edited, is a distorted representation of the conversation.”
You can check out the video above.