Itâ€™s every Harry Potter fan’s ultimate fantasy – rocking up to a train station (owl in tow) and jumping on board the Hogwarts Express.
The latest video from online pranksters Improv Anywhere sees the employers and travelers at New York City’s Penn Station perplexed with a real-life Harry Potter lookalike strolls through the station in search of his train to Hogwarts.
In this week’s video, the young actor must navigate through New York’s Pennsylvania Station to find Platform 9 3/4, known in the books as the platform where Harry and his friends must catch the train to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
“Harry Potter has a huge fan base, and the idea was to recreate the scene where Harry is first heading to Hogwarts and searching for Platform 9 3/4 at the King’s Cross Station,” Improv Everywhere’s founder Charlie Todd share with the fans.
The group brought in an 11-year-old actor for the latest segment in their “Movies in Real Life” series. Each week, the group releases a new video bringing an iconic movie to life in the real world.
Complete with a British accent, cart of luggage, and a white owl, anyone who has seen the Harry Potter films or read the books would immediately know who the actor was trying to portray. Â With a straight face, the child asked laughing commuters where he could find platform 9 3/4.
While plenty of those approached seem to be Harry Potter fans who understand the joke, some are a little slower to comprehend the situation, like a concerned conductor who asks him if he has permission to be wandering around platforms nine and 10. A worker manning the Amtrak help desk has to tell the Potter doppelgĂ¤nger that their trains don’t go to Hogwarts, and informs him that he’s in New York, not England.
“I’m even more lost than I think I am,” Thomas replies. The worker grows progressively more concerned until a cameraman hidden nearby reveals himself.
At one point, he even approaches the luggage counter to ask a worker if he needs to check his owl. Then the Potter lookalike even has a go at ramming his trunk against the pillar between platforms 9 and 10, just as Harry does in the famous novels.Â Kudos to 11-year-old actor Sebastian Thomas for playing Harry Potter during this and really selling it.
Improv Everywhere pulled off the prank with the help of tiny GoPro cameras and a few cameramen who stealthily followed Thomas around the station for an hour. You might think it’d be difficult to carry on the charade with a straight face, but Thomas is no amateur: He’s a trained actor currently performing in the Broadway production of Kinky Boots, says the Today website.
“Everybody really loved him,” Todd said. “People who were not Harry Potter fans didn’t know who he was, but it was still striking to see someone with cool luggage and an owl that looks pretty real.”
On Tuesday, the prank collective posted a video of the footage they collected in Penn Station, which turned out to be nothing short of magical.