Is this man the worlds best Ron Weasley lookalike?
Seeing double? Red head Lewis Parker reckons he’s the UK’s best Ron Weasley lookalike – and charges up to £1000 a time for appearances.
Lewis, 25, can charge four-figure sums to appear at Harry Potter conventions – and says that since the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, his bookings have skyrocketed.
Lewis, from Holbeach, Lincs, has spent almost a decade working as a marble mason – but is hoping to become a full-time Ron Weasley impersonator after he began working as a lookalike last year – despite being more than a decade older than Ron.
He said: “My parents had always told me I looked like Ron and tried to get me to be a lookalike, but when I was a teenager just being ginger was bad enough.
“My friends also used to call me Ron Weasley. Sometimes it was positive and sometimes it was to take the mickey.
“But a year ago I decided I might as well get into it.
“At first it was a bit quiet but since the book it has been really crazy.
He said: “I don’t like to talk about how much I get paid it outright, and it depends from job to job, but it does pay extremely well.
“It’s often three figures and then for the bigger jobs it does reach four.”
“I haven’t been abroad to do any work yet, but I would love to work in Orlando.”
But working as a lookalike hasn’t come without Lewis putting in some work – he’s spent hundreds of pounds investing in a full set of Hogwarts robes – and has to make sure he shaves regularly to keep his auburn beard at bay.
True to the Harry Potter universe, Lewis, travelled over 220 miles to Alnwick Castle in Northumbria, the Hogwarts set for the first Harry Potter film, to buy his robes and wand.
According to the castle’s website, the clothing and accessories come to over £200, although Lewis says his girlfriend bought him the £50 jumper as a present to get him started.
Lewis is being booked for birthdays, weddings, and conventions, with his latest appearance coming last weekend at Nottingham’s Harry Potter convention, alongside several actors and extras who starred in the films.
He added: “Chris Rankin, who played Percy Weasley in the films, came up to me and said: ‘wow, you look like a spitting image,’ which was cool.
“It’s obviously great that people who have worked with Rupert Grint think I look like him.
“Some real Potter-heads came up and threw their arms around me. To them, I just am Ron. They don’t see me as anyone else.
“Kids are star struck and their faces light up, and the parents will often do a double take.”
Lewis hopes Ron’s enduring popularity can keep him in work as long as possible. With the current revival and Ron’s sudden jump to a middle-aged parent, there is scope for Lewis to keep going.
He said: “I would like to continue as long as I can. It will eventually die down, but it helps now the books are out.
“I cannot quite play a 14-year-old Ron, but I do look a lot younger than I am in all the Harry Potter school uniform.
Lewis is now setting his sights on getting regular work at the Warner Brothers studio in London.
He said: “They really should talk to us, because we could enhance the visitors’ experience so much.
“I would be happy to work for a little over the regular wage they pay there.”