Author JK Rowling was unknowingly the victim of a “tasteless” prank performed by two Russian men posing as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a Zoom call.
In the video, discovered by The Rowling Library on Tuesday, the ‘Harry Potter’ author was duped by Russian comedy duo Vovan and Lexus, who are known to prank high-profile celebrities.
The duo’s former prank victims include Elton John, Boris Johnson, Kamala Harris, Prince Harry, Billie Eilish, Bernie Sanders and George W. Bush – and it looks like they can now add Rowling to their star list.
The multi-millionaire author – who apparently didn’t know she was taped – felt like Zelensky was calling to thank her for her charity work in the country.
Earlier this year, Rowling announcement she would match donations of up to $1.2 million after her Lumos Foundation launched an emergency appeal to help vulnerable children and families in Ukraine.
Fully thinking she was talking to the war-torn country’s president, Rowling seemed invested in the conversation as the pranksters asked increasingly bizarre questions throughout the interview.
During the increasingly awkward 12-minute call, impersonators asked Rowling what she thought of the imposition of sanctions on Russian actor Aleksandr Kuznetsov, who starred in the latest ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film. “.
“Fantastic Beasts has been a very interesting experience. I’m definitely going to talk to people and see what we can do,” Rowling said, raising her eyebrows while taking numerous notes.
The prankster duo, whose real names are Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, then pressured Rowling to answer whether Dumbledore was gay or not as they asked who the friendly giant had slept with.
“I hope it’s not with a transgender,” the duo said as Rowling continued to think it was Zelensky on the other line.
“I said in 2007 that I had always seen Dumbledore as gay,” she said in response.
The pair later said they were writing a book about missiles called “Avada Kedavra” – the infamous Death Curse of the wizarding franchise.
The duo asked Rowling: “By the way, I ordered our fighters to write ‘Avada Kedavra’ on the missiles we are going to launch in Donetsk and Luhansk, so how do you like this joke?”
“I like the joke, I like the joke, really,” she replied.
Afterwards, the couple told Rowling that the Harry Potter lightning bolt scar on his forehead looked a lot like the Russian war symbol displayed on their military vehicles. They asked him if he could be replaced by the Ukrainian trident as a sign of solidarity.
” I will look at it. Might be good for me to do something about it myself on social media because I think it’s going to end up in the papers,” she replied.
After an uncomfortable 12 minutes of calling, the prank was over. The duo turned their camera to feature three elderly people wearing T-shirts that read “Only Putin!” in Russian.
Rowling’s rep has since called the prank “nasty” in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“JK Rowling has been approached to talk about her extensive charity work in Ukraine, supporting children and families who have been affected by the ongoing conflict in the region,” Rowling’s rep told the outlet. “The video, which was edited, is a distorted representation of the conversation.”
New York Post