Support The Moscow Times!

Harry Potter Is Real and He Lives in Russia

Nikolai Posleda / Instagram

Nikolai Posleda has never attended the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. His aunt and uncle never trapped him in the cupboard under the stairs, and he never led a successful rebellion against the most evil and powerful dark wizard in history.

That’s because Nikolai Posleda is not Harry Potter — but he looks almost exactly like Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who portrayed the boy wizard in eight blockbuster films.

A photo posted by Коленька (@anupliy) on

Posleda lives in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk, where he says locals started comparing him to Harry Potter about five years ago, just after the film series wrapped up in 2011 with “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.”

A photo posted by Коленька (@anupliy) on

On Instagram, nearly every one of Posleda's selfies draws dozens of comments from people screaming about Harry Potter.

A photo posted by Коленька (@anupliy) on

In an interview with the website TJournal, Posleda said that he is told about his resemblance to Harry Potter on a daily basis. “Most of the time,” he said, “people walk by and say to each other something like — wow — look, it’s Harry Potter! Sometimes they want to take a picture, but not too often, thank God. They don’t ask for my autograph, but a couple of times people have started speaking English with me.”

A photo posted by Коленька (@anupliy) on

Posleda describes himself as a big fan of J. K. Rowling’s books, saying he’s read the whole Harry Potter saga several times, and seen all the movies more than once, though he confesses that “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” was his least favorite installment.

The resemblance to Radcliffe’s Harry Potter has paid off in other ways, too, Posleda told TJournal. “Big Yorker,” a local fast food chain in Krasnoyarsk, actually hired him to be the face of the company in advertisements.

A photo posted by Коленька (@anupliy) on

Nikolai Posleda isn’t Russia’s first Hollywood lookalike to make waves online. Last year, a security guard named Roman Burtsev gained notoriety as “Fat Leonardo DiCaprio,” after being discovered by Internet users. Burtsev didn’t let the resemblance go to waste, either, and he later starred in a promotional video for a Russian television station, and then in a commercial for “Five Lakes” vodka.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.