J. K. Rowling Fooled by Russian Pranksters Impersonating Ukrainian President Zelenskyy
J. K. Rowling was the butt of a joke played on her by two Russian pranksters who managed to trick the author into thinking she was on a call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The comedians — real names Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov — recently impersonated the European leader on a Zoom call while firing off bizarre questions and commentary to Rowling about the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
The tricksters' 12-minute clip shows the Harry Potter author's attempt to answer the questions posed by the pranksters to the best of her ability. The questions get notably more awkward as the pair press Rowling about "cancel culture," government sanctions and her decision to cut ties with Russia when it comes to business opportunities.
In regards to cutting ties with Russia, Kuznetsov and Stolyarov ask her: "Maybe it’s better to demand the Russians not read your books at all ... Because they did not deserve it."
They also discuss Harry Potter's infamous lightning bolt scar. They link the scar to the shape of the letter "Z," which is often featured on Russia's military tanks, suggesting she change it to a Ukrainian trident. Her response? "I'll look into that."
To further mock the author, they say they're going to write the killing curse from Harry Potter — "Avada Kedavra" — onto Ukrainian missiles and also express interest in starring in a future film in the Wizarding World franchise.
Toward the end of the call, Vovan and Lexus ask Rowling to confirm Dumbledore’s sexuality and allude to Rowling's previous anti-trans comments, quipping, "Hopefully not with a transgender person."
Watch the cringe-inducing hoax interview below:
A spokesperson for Rowling has since slammed the stunt as “distasteful,” claiming the released video had been edited.
This is not the first time Kuznetsov and Stolyarov have pranked a celebrity. They previously pulled hoaxes on Billie Eilish, Elton John and Prince Harry.