Attention, thuggles! Ready for a little more Muggle Hustle in your life? We got the chance to chat with the man behind the tweets and it’s full of the usual dose of Harry Potter and hilarity.
If you haven’t heard of Muggle Hustle you’re missing out. Created around the concept of a 20-something reading the Harry Potter books for the first time and live-tweeting it for all of the Internet to enjoy, Muggle Hustle gained a loyal following as he made his way through each book, chapter-by-chapter. His unique perspective on the series (you’ll see what we mean below), combined with his hilarious nicknames for characters (take a guess as to who Hipster Prof is), and general commentary (“You could replace “Crucio” with “Call Me Maybe” and it would have the same effect on me” is just one example of his many tweets) makes for a laugh-until-you-cry-and-then-cry-again experience that is purely addicting.
Muggle Hustle concluded his live-tweeting of the series this past summer and assures his followers that he will be back to giving hustle updates very soon. If you haven’t followed along, or just want to re-live the hustle, you can read the entirety of the tweets on his website, which also features the best front page ever – randomized Muggle Hustle tweets on demand.
Go ahead. Go play with it. We’ll wait.
Back? Alright. Let’s get started. Note that there are some wizard swears throughout the interview.
LeakyNews (LN): What gave you the idea to start Muggle Hustle? What made you want to start reading the books?
Muggle Hustle (MH): I think I came up with the name “Muggle Hustle” a couple months before I knew what it was. I just liked the way those words sounded together. The cadence of it. My older sister got into the HP series late in life, and then my brother’s fiancée was making him read all the books before they got married, so all of a sudden I was the only one who hadn’t read them. So, that’s mostly what finally persuaded me to read the books. Then sort of separately I thought about live-tweeting the series. I knew I had the name, so it all kind of came together.
LN: When did you start to see it really taking off? Did you think you would ever get a response like this?
MH: I definitely felt strongly about the concept. That it might be something people would actually enjoy. But no, I never thought it would get this big. And the extent to which they enjoy it, holy shit. I never thought people would miss it when I took a few days off. But they would tweet at me like “BRO, READ THE NEXT CHAPTER ALREADY.” It was, and is, very humbling and gratifying.
I think it started taking off around the 4th book. I got some extra helpful retweets from some HP Twitter accounts. But I never take too much credit for the success. I think the source material is what brought everyone here. Really, it’s just a testament to how much people love the books. I’m just the guy who showed up late to the party.
LN: What was your favorite part of reading the series?
MH: I don’t know if I could say I had a favorite part. And it’s tough, because I could never separate my experiences with the books from my experience with the twitter account. I think I’ve had a really unique relationship with the series. It’s completely different from what everyone else got to experience, but I’m okay with that. So the way I look at it is that all the MAJOR plot points of the series – the big reveals, the deaths, the major triumphs – they were probably my favorite parts because of the responses I got from the tweets. But also because they were dope as fuck.
LN: When do you think you were “hooked?”
MH: I think book three is really where things started taking off for me. It started getting darker. I think J.K. Rowling started expecting more from her readers in that book. Which is always a good thing.
LN: Do you have any favorites from the series (Characters, books, story lines, etc.)?
MH: I have favorites, but in more general terms. I think as an author J.K. Rowling is at her best when she’s capturing those utterly human moments. The things you read and just instantly identify with. So in that regard I loved the relationships between characters and how those evolved over the course of the series. But mostly the awkward teens moments. Good lord.
I’d have to say my favorite character by far was Draco HAHAHAHA JK JK. He is the worst. But seriously, I loved the sharp tongues of Snape and McGonagall, the wisdom of Dumbledore, the comedy of Fred and George, the sexy outfits of McGonagall, and I loved how batshit crazy Bellatrix was. But yeah, my favorite character was definitely Peeves. No question.
LN: What is Muggle Hustle like behind the scenes? What’s life like outside of live tweeting the series? Do you have any other big hobbies?
MH: Okay, so you know how Batman is really Bruce Wayne, and when he’s not beating the shit out of criminals he’s like this billionaire playboy? My life is sort of the opposite of that.
LN: Would you consider yourself a geek overall? If so, what makes you a geek?
MH: I don’t know, I doubt it. Only because I’ve met some actual geeks before and they’ve given me some perspective. I think it’s easy to take someone who likes Game of Thrones and Star Wars and comic books and call them a geek, but really, all that stuff is pretty mainstream. I think as a culture we’re starting to be more accepting of people who are passionate about things, however trivial they may be.
But yeah, I geek out about things.
LN: Ok, so, not to make it weird, but there was a period of time where a lot of your followers thought you might be female. Any thoughts on that?
MH: Well, first of all, you absolutely made it weird. So thanks for that. And second of all, the gender ambiguity thing was one of my favorite parts of the twitter account. Basically, it was a comedy of errors. After awhile, I started noticing that the majority of the followers were girls. I thought that was very interesting, and I started occasionally writing some tweets from a female voice as a joke. I assumed the followers all knew I was a guy, and that juxtaposition is what made them funny. But as it went on, people were taking those tweets to be my actual voice and gender. I think there were a couple disappointed fellas out there.
LN: That also gets to the question of why have you stayed anonymous?
MH: I guess there are kind of two reasons. One is that the account isn’t really about me. It’s about giving people the opportunity to experience the books for the first time again. I guess I thought the less they know about me, the more this account belongs to them.
The second reason is that Muggle Hustle is somewhat of a character I created. I let some of my personality come through, but as a whole the voice of Muggle Hustle was pretty calculated from the beginning. So again, the less I reveal about myself, the more freedom I had to explore who that character might be.
LN: You have a pretty devoted fanbase. What’s the most outrageous thing anyone’s tweeted at you?
MH: Ha, yeah I don’t really get used to that. People love Harry Potter. WHO KNEW? I can’t really recall anything specifically. I get your garden-variety twitter marriage proposals pretty regularly. Uh, and like 6 or 7 girls have invited me to be their date at various sorority functions. In retrospect, I probably should’ve accepted those invitations. Seems like a lot of live-tweeting potential in that scenario.
LN: You’ve mentioned that you will be live-tweeting the movies next. You’ve also mentioned the possibility of livestreaming them. Is that still something you’d consider? Would you consider doing a podcast or something like it to go with it?
MH: I’m actually very excited about doing the movies. I’m going to try something different, but I think people might think it’s cool. Basically, I’m going to record an audio commentary and release it as a track that people can download. The really cool part is that they’ll be able to sync it up with the film and listen while they’re watching. It will be like I’m sitting on the couch next to you, making fun of Draco and drinking all your beer.
LN: Do you have any plans after that or is this a Potter Only project?
MH: I think it’d be cool to see how people react to this new audio commentary hustle system. After I finish with the Harry Potter films, I’d love to branch out to other series. Above all, I’d like to rip Twilight a new one. But there’s also Lord of the Rings. Hunger Games. Comic book movies. Maybe even TV series like Game of Thrones or Gossip Girl. So many hustle opportunities. It’d be exciting if people were open to an expansion.
LN: Two final crucial questions. First, what house are you in?
MH: Hmmm, that’s a good question. Based on all the women I haven’t asked out in my life, I don’t think I have enough courage to be a Gryffindor. And all the women I HAVE asked out would tell you that I don’t have much ambition, so maybe Slytherin is out too. I think my choice would be Ravenclaw. Just put me in there with the nerds. I’ll be fine.
LN: Are you excited for the new movies?
MH: Yeah, I’m definitely excited. Like, really excited. I feel a little guilty, though. A lot of people have been waiting much longer than me for more J.K. Rowling and here I am, finishing the books 100 years late like an asshole and then BAM – more content. But I guess I won’t beat myself up about it too much. I haven’t read the book the films will be based on yet, but I’m very interested.
Are you excited for what’s next with Muggle Hustle? Let us know below!