Harry Potter actor visiting Madison this weekend for first ExpectoCon

Stanislav Yanevski portrayed Viktor Krum in films
Harry Potter actor visiting Madison this weekend for first ExpectoCon
Photo by Maija Inveiss

Stanislav Yanevski, who is best known for his role as Viktor Krum in the film version of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” is visiting Madison this weekend as one of the special guests during the inaugural ExpectoCon in Middleton.

Yanevski, who is originally from Bulgaria, says he never intended to be an actor. The casting directors of the film discovered him while he was attending a boarding school in the United Kingdom.

He says since he was in school, he wasn’t able to go to the auditions, so the studio sent a car to pick him up and took him straight to film director Mike Newell’s office.

“I was brought into this world of making movies,” Yanevski says.

This trip to Madison is Yanevski’s first visit to Wisconsin. He’s been in the area since Monday after spending last weekend in Texas at a different convention.

During this trip, Yanevski says he’s visited the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Mount Olympus in the Wisconsin Dells, Camp Randall Stadium and the Memorial Union Terrace.

“I like meeting new fans and spending time with them,” Yanevski says.

While eating lunch at Memorial Union, Yanevski had one of those great chances to meet a fan. He looked at the next table and saw a girl reading a book. “I think she’s reading Harry Potter,” he says.

Heidi Grahn, one of the organizers of ExpectoCon, asks the girl what she’s reading and serendipitously it turns out to be the “Goblet of Fire.” Casually, Yanevski tells the girl that she’s reading his book. With confusion on her face, the girl stares at him until she realizes that Yanevski is, in fact, Viktor Krum in the flesh.

Yanevski will be meeting many of his fans this weekend during the inaugural ExpectoCon, where he will be available for photos and autographs and will also be attending some of the special events.

Grahn says ExpectoCon will be an immersive experience with all-original characters and storylines.

“This is not a normal festival or convention. It’s like you walk into a new world,” Grahn says. “There’s classes, there’s activities, you get to ride on dragons. Where else do you go where you ride on dragons?”

Attendees can take classes with special professors on various wizarding-themed topics like spells, charms, world building, astrology, quill writing and magical media. Other special guests include Ernest Gary Gygax Jr., the eldest son of Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax and one of the original play-testers for Chainmail and D&D.

One of the classes Grahn is excited about is Dragonology, where there is a chance at seeing a “real” dragon hatch out of an egg. There will also be a large life-sized dragon at the festival and dragon jousting.

Not only will the immersive convention be happening this weekend, but the 2018 Major League Quidditch Championship will also be in Middleton. Twelve teams will be competing over two days to determine the winner.

All of the characters are unique to ExpectoCon and the convention does not feature only one magical story. Attendees are free to dress up as any wizard, witch or magical being to fully embrace the immersive experience.

ExpectoCon will be Aug. 17-19. For more on ExpectoCon or to purchase tickets, click here.