Vovan and Lexus are a Russian comedy duo, known for their prank telephone calls on celebrities, such as Elton John and former president of the United States of America, George W. Bush. This time, their victim was Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Due to J.K. Rowling’s support for Ukraine in the current conflict, and the allegations that the duo are in some way state actors for the Russian government, it can be suspected that the author was a political target.
Vovan and Lexus released the above video on RuTube, a Russian video platform, where one can see their conversation with Mrs. Rowling. Sputnik (Russia state affiliated media) claims that the duo presented themselves as Volodymyr Zelenskyy, current president of Ukraine, and this can be inferred from the recording of the call too. It seems, as well, that this was planned as a private talk and J.K. Rowling was not aware that she was being recorded.
The prankster, claiming to be Zelenskyy, asked J.K. Rowling if it was possible to impose any sanctions on Russian actor Aleksandr Kuznetsov, who played Helmut in the latest Fantastic Beasts movie, at which the author replies “Fantastic Beasts has been a very interesting experience. I’ll certainly talk to people and see what we can do.” Later on, they explained to the author that Harry Potter’s scar looks like the “Z”, the symbol used by the Russian on their military vehicles, and ask her to change it to the Ukrainian trident. Rowling took notes and said “I will look at that. It might be good for me to do something with that myself on social media, because I think that will get into the newspapers.”
The conversation continued and the prankster told J.K. Rowling that they were writing “Avada Kedavra” on the Ukrainian missiles. They also asked for Boris Johnson’s gender and if Dumbledore was really gay. Then, they turned their webcam on to introduce the “The Order of Ukrainian Phoenix”, which was none other than a group of people pranking Rowling: their t-shirts said “Only Putin!” in Russian. To end the prank, the fake Zelenskyy asked Rowling to say “hello” to his two favourite Russian writers, Vovan and Lexus.
We contacted J.K. Rowling’s team and they declined to comment.
The author’s spokesperson called the hoax “distasteful” and noted, “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 video, which has been edited, is a distorted representation of the conversation.”