Sunday, December 5, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
‘Harry Potter’: Luna Lovegood actress says she was born for the loopy role.
Always sunny and usually daft, Luna Lovegood seems awed by the world around her in “Harry Potter.” It’s a comfortable mode for Evanna Lynch, the young actress who has portrayed Luna in the film series and has been called the “perfect” choice by author J.K. Rowling.
“I just felt that if anyone was to play her, it should be me,” Lynch said. “It was like studying for a math exam. I studied to be her. I really, really like her. I think that parts of me are like [Luna], but I am different. I had to be in the audition. I said ‘I know that you may have ideas of who Luna is, but here is how I see her.’ “
Lynch spoke after visiting Tokyo, one of her favorite places on this “Potter” ride of promotion and premieres “because it’s so different.” Lynch’s Luna doesn’t have a huge role in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1,” but has always been a favorite. Lynch has seen the overwhelming reaction from fans, and she often muses about how her character might handle all of the publicity that she has been getting.
“She wouldn’t avoid it. She rather likes talking to people. But I think that she would find it alarming — all these people shouting her name.”
Lynch herself has changed and learned to deal with the “Potter” phenom that has engulfed her. Before being cast as Luna, Lynch was part of the hysteria as a super-fan. Painted face and nails, homemade T-shirts, and trips to numerous locales just to celebrate Pottermania were a part of her pre-movie life. “I started reading the books when I was about 8 and didn’t get cast until I was 14. One of the producers came to my house and saw all of the posters on the wall and said that I had her life up on that wall.”
In “Deathly Hallows,” Luna’s famously positive attitude and demeanor is tested, but she remains steadfast in her optimism and detached calmness even while imprisoned in the dungeon-like gloom of the Malfoy Mansion basement. ”I don’t think Luna changes. The thing about her is that she’s so relaxed about herself. She has to be a bit more serious than normal [in "Deathly Hallows"] and has to accept that times are dark. She always sees the positive and has a spirituality about herself. She doesn’t think that death is the end.”
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Evanna Lynch is living the life she used to dream of: this Irish Harry Potter fan gets a role as Luna Lovegood in her favorite series.
PORTRAITS LORENZO AGIUS
She was chosen out of 15,000 contenders who joined the audition for the part of the kooky Ravenclaw. Her audition drove producer David Heyman to say, “Many people can play Luna, but Evanna Lynch is Luna Lovegood.” Although she was without previous acting experience prior to joining the Potter cast for the first time in Order Of The Phoenix, the 19-year-old doesn’t really need to pick her character’s brain. After all, Lynch is the resident Potter expert on set.
Her involvement in the production of these films that began in 2007 didn’t just stop at acting. She also pitched ideas for the unique design for fashion a la Luna in the movies: radish earrings and lion hats. We’re rather curious about her Lady Gaga-esque fashion sense so naturally our first question of Lynch was…
With her fashion sense, she’s a bit of the Lady Gaga of Hogwarts…
(laughs) Lady Gaga has nothing on Luna!
So, if she met Lady Gaga…
She was there first!
That’s very true. Well, if she met Lady Gaga, what would she say to her? Would she say, “I was here first”?
She wouldn’t… nothing shocks her, you know. Some people are like, “what are you wearing?” Luna would admire it. She’d be interested. She’d like diversity in everything. To be honest, I wouldn’t wear her things. Her clothes are fun to wear but I would feel too much looked at. But Luna is not doing it to make a fashion statement. She thinks radishes look nice on earrings so she’ll wear them. So I wonder what Lady Gaga would think of her. To be honest, I like Lady Gaga, but I think it’s more of an act. She does it for show business. Luna wouldn’t. That’s just herself.
Have you ever met anyone who copies her clothes?
No. Luna’s colour scheme is like purple and turquoise and I think it’s just something you have to be really confident wearing, really. Luna’s not over confident; she’s just secure. I think most people my age, they’re either doing it to make a statement, like, “I’m going to be looked at”, or else they don’t care. I would like to be like that but to be honest, I’m a bit shy… I don’t like to be stared at, so much.
Anyway, in Deathly Hallows, there’s Luna’s dad…
Yeah! That was nice. It was nice that everyone was back, everyone had their moment… You do feel it’s the whole Potter family all coming together… [Rhys Ifans] was fab to work with. He was great. I like that they showed more of Luna’s story because everyone’s like, “Where’d she come from? She’s so different!” And I also like how, at the very end, they’re forgetting who’s fighting with who… Harry and Malfoy have a moment where they understand each other… it’s nice. There’s a bit of Luna, at the end, who is sort of out of character as she has to shout at Harry a bit…
Luna, Neville and Ginny are leading the resistance at Hogwarts. Can you tell us a bit about that? Did you enjoy that character journey?
Yeah, that was really fun. I love how they sort of take over… when Harry comes back, and he and Ron comes into the Room of Requirement, and they’re like, “Oh, look at what they did!” It’s sort of like, um, I can’t remember … boys in a tree house and they have all these sleeping bags and these little statues in it… it’s really exciting. Harry’s the one who’s always taken the initiative. Harry, Ron and Hermione, they’re like… “we have to fight”… but now they’re gone and Luna, Neville and Ginny, they do take over. They realize, they can do something, and what they do is very valuable. All their contribution… so that was nice. It’s not like in the fifth book, where we’re just introducing her. Oh, look that’s Luna, she’s kooky, she’s fun. Luna’s just not in the background. She’s there, she’s helping and she’s fighting.
The scale of these films are much bigger than before. How was it different from you this time?
There was a whole different feel to them. Like they’re the end ones so nobody is going to be spared. We were all aware it was the end – there was a good spirit, we wanted to make it better and everything. It’s very hard to encompass that feeling.
You’re the biggest fan on the set and the fans next summer are going to have to go through a horrible withdrawal next summer with no more films coming out. But you’ve had your withdrawal this summer. Any advice for the fans?
It will be a shock. It was a shock for me. I’ve been with everyone for so long. We’ve always had this question, what’s it going to be like when it ends. And then on the last day, I was, like, “Oh, what’s going to happen now?” But what I realized was that it did end but I was still talking to all my friends. I think that’s what they’ll realize, that yeah, sure, officially it’s ending but because you have all these friends who are passionate about the same thing you’ll still be alive and you’ll still talking about it. So, yeah, just enjoy it and don’t… I wouldn’t think about the end until it comes.
Who are your friends on the set?
You know Katie [Leung]? She plays Cho Chang. She doesn’t have a lot of lines in this one but she’s going to be in it for a little bit. And Bonnie… and Afshan [Azad, who plays Padma Patil].
If you could change the ending, would you?
No. Everyone’s happy and… (laughs) I know people complain about the epilogue, but I really liked it. A lot of people say it’s too nice, too cheesy, but the whole story is one big bloodbath, you know, there’s stress the whole time. There’s not one bit where Harry’s just like relaxed, and he’s watching TV, he’s not just playing on the Playstation, like most people have those moments. He’s always worrying and he’s always, like, “What does the prophecy mean? How can I do this? Horcruxes…everything!” I really like the end, that it ends nice, and he has children. I’d like to know more about Luna.
Some have even thought she might end up with Harry…
I got a question back in there (she points to previous interview room): would you like it to be more raunchy? I was like, “oh, you’re mixing series here!” No, I don’t think Luna and Harry would at all. I just think she thinks differently to everyone. She’s really open minded. I think Harry would… I imagine him and Ginny. While they’re great together, I imagine they have a really stormy sort of thing… argue a lot… throw things and shout. I think Luna wouldn’t be so much the romance and passion. She’d be more about exploring things, like she’d get really excited about a creature, and she’d want to share that with someone, so it’d be more a friendship. And I think Harry’s more about the passion.
Do you want to continue acting when you’re finished Harry Potter?
Yeah, I’d love to. For the first time, I came in as a Harry Potter fan and I wasn’t sure… but then towards the end, I definitely don’t want to give this up so that’s why… I’ve learned so much from this, I’ve changed a lot. Like I was real shy before, I didn’t know acting and I think I would be so different if I hadn’t got this. For a young person to be traveling the world and meeting new people from all these different cultures… talking about yourself to remote strangers… it really makes you grow. And I think I like the idea you’re not in your head the whole time… because when you’re just studying in school, you’re obsessed with yourself, like “oh, I have to make an impact” And then when I go back to the films and I’m playing Luna, I’m like, “OK, here’s another person who has a different life and they’re just as important” and that’s what’s fun. And I like that. So yeah, I don’t want to give it up.
You can now look back at everything you’ve done with Harry Potter. So what kind of impact in particular has that had on you, in terms of values or how you think about life?
People say, “Oh, it hasn’t changed. I’m still with my friends and family.” In that sense, yes, you’re still you. But it’s definitely changed how I look at life and how I approach things now. Before Harry Potter, it was something out there. It was a dream, it was something I couldn’t touch… and those people, I had them on pedestals. And since I’ve been on this, and I’ve seen how it all happens, and I’ve seen how the magic happens. But anyway, it makes you realize, oh, I’m just another person, I can do that. They’re just people doing this. I’ve seen the way people, like fans… when I go to premieres, the way they treat me was the way I would’ve been then, but no, that’s an illusion. I used to think, like, “Oh, I would love to someday be a writer” and used to go, like, “that’s won’t happen”. But now I’m like, “No, that can”. You just take initiative and you just believe in yourself, and believe that you’re as good as anyone else and as able to do it as everyone else. So yeah, I hope people will see us, “Oh, she’s a normal girl. If she can do that, I can do that.”
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
RTE Radio 1′s presenter Miriam O’Callaghan recently talked to Evanna Lynch and her parents Donal and Marguerite Lynch.
Evanna explained to Miriam that her last day of filming on the Harry Potter films was on June the first of this year. It was an unexpectedly emotional day. Her father Donal was there too, with her on the last day of an adventure that had started in the same studios five years before.
Evanna doesn’t think that she is like Luna, but says that playing the role has had a big impact on her life. She has travelled alot and met new people. She used to by shy, but now she knows that she has to make the first move in conversation as many people assume because she has been part of something as big as Harry Potter that she mightn’t be interested in talking to them. So if she doesn’t make the first move, she could be very lonely. Her mothr Margueriet says that the experience has enriched the life of the whole family.
Marguerite tells Miriam about growing up in Dublin and the influence of her father on the family. He loved reading Joyce and was very interested in Picasso – an interest his grand daughter Evanna shares.
Donal tells Miriam about growing up in County Limerick where his father was the local postman who had a passion for books. Donal wanted to become a priest, but changed his mind six months before ordination. This broke his mother’s heart.
Many years later, Donal met Marguerite and proposed marriage to her within a month at the Liath Fail, the stone of destiny on the Mound of the Hostages at Tara. Although only acquainted a short while, Marguerite accepted. Evanna explains that her parents are great friends to each other. She spends a lot of time away from home, but it is always good to know that home is there and never changes. Her parents have influenced her in different ways. Her mother shares her interest in reading and in art while her father has shown her how important it is not to be snobby and to treat everyone equally well.
Evanna explains to Miriam that she had corresponded with JK Rowling for years before she got the role of Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films. JK had taken a great interest in her, especially when she was sick when she was younger. She got the role of Luna through open auditions, but when JK found out that the girl cast was the little girl she had corresponded with, she wrote her a letter of congratulations. It was the best letter ever, Evanna tells Miriam.
The Irish actress had the deadly eating disorder for two years from 11 and wrote to J K Rowling begging for help, reports the Sun.
"I told her the books gave me hope, particularly Luna Lovegood," said Evanna, who went on to play the character in the films.
"I told how I looked up to her. She wrote back and was like a counsellor. She told me anorexia is destructive, not creative, and the brave thing was not to succumb to it," she added.
"I told her I''d love to be in the films and she encouraged that but said I''d need to be well to do so. In the end I think that''s why I recovered," said Evanna
Read more: Rowling saves Potter star from anorexia - The Times of India
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Thanks to LunaFans :)
Also, if you look at the second to last picture, you can see Evy's tattoo of michael jackson's eyes on the back of her neck~!! how amazing? :D
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The Norwegian premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows took place on November 12, and Evanna Lynch along with Mark Williams attended it.
“Luna is not strange. She is genuine and does not care about what others may think about her. It is very necessary to have little sense of confidence and I like that she does not think that way. She is who she is,” says Lynch.
“I read the books as soon as they came out, and they inspired me so much. My life changed so strongly, that I do not know how things would be without Harry Potter. I was almost obsessed,” said Lynch
Monster Island News posted an article on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and Evanna Lynch is mentioned, along with a description of the
Dominating the main floor of the house is an old-fashioned printing press, with belts of paper running the length of the ceiling. Since it is also the home of Luna Lovegood, her artwork i
s proudly displayed on every wall. Evanna Lynch was also asked to lend her inspiration to the décor. McMillan says, “Evanna has a wonderful eye and came up with some great ideas. The end result is wonderfully eclectic, but homey.”
More Norway pictures:
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Hi Evanna, what are you upto at the moment?
I’m repeating my Leaving Cert. I was so busy filming last year that I missed out on a lot, so I wanted to go back. I’m actually planning to go to art college and acting more, so a lot of my friends are wondering why I’m bothering becuse they are more portfolio based. But it’s like an insurance policy in case things don’t pan out with acting. I’m going to a different school to do my Leaving again because I need a push. In my old school, everyone was so lovely and accommodating about me not having homework done because I was so busy, but now I need someone to say, “No, that’s no excuse, do it.” No mercy!
Have you any acting roles lined up?
Not at the momet, because I’m repeating the exams. I’m taking a year off, but next year I’d like to start going for auditions. The final film is coming out next summer so I’ll still be on the radar hopefully, and I’ll be free and have a closure from Harry Potter.
Are you sad that it’s all coming to an end?
Oh, yes. It’s been a gradual thing because since the seventh book came out I’ve been thinking about “the end”. But on the very last day of the filming I was very emotional. That was around the time I was finishing school too, so I did feel very adrift at that time. There’s no clear end though, we’ve still got premieres and parties and press so I’ll be seeing all the gang and living in Harry Potter land for a while yet.
Are you still a Harry Potter super fan?
Yes! I’m still very passionate about the books. I always feel like I’m coming home when I read them because they’re so familiar. I like to touch base with them. I still love Luna as well! I have to keep myself to separate myself from the character, because to me she’s an idol. I feel so lucky.
Do you still have to pinch yourself when you remember that you’ve gone from fan to film star?
When I really think about it, yeah I do. I’m confronted with it all the time, so it tends to just become normal, but when I’m away from it all and remember that I’ve actually been a part of this phenomenon that’s so special to me. It’s very strange and amazing!
Is it weird to think that another girl reading the book would imagine Luna as you?
Oh God, yes! Sometimes, when I was reading the later books, I’d imagine the characters to look like the actors that play them, but never with me. That’s too weird! I think my hair is a bit too blonde in the films. I imagine Luna to be more white-haired, earthy, ethereal and natural looking than I look in the films; less colourful, more spiritual and just more in touch with nature. I know that’s probably not very cinematic, but that’s how I see her in my head.
Are you happy that Deathly Hallows has been split into two films?
I think we all are. The story needs time to unfold. You an’t put in all the emotions of the book if you don’t have time, so yes it was a relief that we don’t have to rush anything. The first one is mainly focused on Harry, Ron and Hermione, so you’ll see more of the rest of us students in part two.
J.K. Rowling has hinted that she might return to Harry at some point. Would that make you happy?
Completely! I would love it if she chose to do that, but if she doesn’t I totally understand.
New (very spoilery) videos!!
New clips of xeno and luna in DH: here!
New Lovegood dance and Xeno clips in DH: here!
PS. i haven't watched the 3 videos above, because i don't want to spoil all the luna bits before i see the film, so don't watch them if you want to wait till the film to see luna's parts :)
Question: I’m curious if you could talk a little bit about when you first got the seventh book. Where were you? What was your reaction to reading it?
Evanna Lynch: Yeah, I was invited to J.K. Rowling’s big thing in the History Museum. You know in London. And yeah, I went all dressed up and everything as usual and didn’t get recognized. Lucky. And, yeah, I read it in my hotel really quickly. My reaction, yeah, I was a bit overwhelmed. You know when you’re a fan you want to take it all in but you feel guilty when you put the book down because it’s like, there’s stuff I don’t know in there. I read it in a rush and sort of cried for ages after.
You’re sort of the ultimate dream come true fan because you became a character in the films and now you’re seeing it to the end here. What’s that like for you? I mean, this was kind of your first acting job. You’ve been with this franchise for a while now and now it’s coming to an end, what does that feel like for you?
Lynch: Yeah, weird I know. Someone asked me on set do you still get excited coming on – and I don’t get used to it at all. And I feel really sad because I don’t feel like I was one of the actors. I feel like I was a really big fan. You know, sure I could act but I don’t know what will happen, whether I’ll be back in films again. You know I hope so. Yeah it is like it’s a dream. What’s going to happen after? My whole life has been structured around it.
Has it sunk in quite yet?
Lynch: It did a while ago because in all the interviews we do people ask us how you are feeling now that it’s ending. But then one of the days we were watching the Half Blood Prince, the DVD, and I was watching it and there was just loads of scenes of us together and I just started crying and I just couldn’t stop because we were doing these at the moment. We were in the Room of Requirement and it feels like there was sort of symbolism because my first scene when I started was in the Room of Requirement and I was just really shy and everyone was learning. That’s the thing. Everyone has their wands [casting] the Patronus and that time we were doing the last scenes in the Room of Requirement and I just feel that it’s like a room where they learn everything, where they all grow up. They all leave the room, they are all sort of going into battle and it’s sort of like … to me it seems like leaving childhood, like leaving Harry Potter and going out into the adult world and battling. So yeah that really upset me.
We can see already that you have filmed Dobby’s death scene it looks like with Harry – Dan actually – when Book 7 came out it was the big question, who’s going to die, who’s going to live, were you as surprised as many of us were at how it ended up?
Lynch: At the death scene?
The death scene … everything.
Lynch: I suppose but she [J.K. Rowling] did say it was going to be a bloodbath or something. I was expecting everything, a massacre. I didn’t really predict any deaths; I didn’t like to do that. I was not surprised that Snape died, that was one thing I was pretty sure about. I was surprised in that it was a really nice ending. You know the way at the end of most books authors feel they have to have a massive sense of regret and everything, to complete it or something? You weren’t left with that. Sure everyone died but Harry, he finally got away from being such a, you know, freak and being looked at by everyone and he just has a normal life. Yeah, that was a surprise but it was nice.
Now, we were told that you sort of came up with a dance that Luna does with her father. Can you talk about that and what’s the dance?
Lynch: Yeah, it didn’t take much coming up with [laughs]. In the book, the day before the wedding scene, it’s Luna and her Dad I think, and I was wondering what we were going to have to do. I read through the chapter and it said that she was off in the corner by herself and she’s spinning. Harry thinks she’s batting away Wrackspurts. I was doing a few things how it could be and the next day we were on set. We do this whole thing where her Dad is talking to Harry and I have to drag him away, embarrassing Dad. Although it doesn’t really matter because we then go on to the dance floor. We just do this thing where we’re spinning and closing our eyes and everyone clears, you know. Everyone is sort of doing this step, this ballroom dancing thing, and they had this choreographer there and he was saying, what could we do? Because he was too experienced to put something that wacky [laughs]. We just did it, yeah.
What was it like working with him as your father?
Lynch: Oh, it was brilliant. Yeah, I thought he was just perfect. Sometimes when I’m playing Luna I feel like, in her clothes – she’s always wearing all this purple and her hair and all these funny things – I sometimes feel a bit like everyone else is in their Hogwarts robes [and I’m] a bit of an outsider and that’s how she’s meant to feel. And then when he came along it was like we were alone together because he’s in this yellow mad stuff. Yeah, it felt really relaxed. It was nice.
You also play a prisoner in this film, could you talk a little about filming those scenes and how intense are they?
Lynch: Yeah, it was with John Hurt, who plays Ollivander. It’s a really spooky place because the ceilings are so low. Oh, and he has to be sort of frail and everything. And Harry comes down and then there’s Bellatrix torturing Hermione – you can hear the screams. You just get the feeling like how can you get out of here and none of them have their wands. Yeah, it’s horrible.
Do you prefer playing the Luna that gets to dress up, for example Slughorn’s party and the wedding, or being captive and in battle? Which side do you prefer?
Lynch: I find it weird playing her in battle because … she’s so sort of Zen, she’s really calm and when she’s in battle like does she struggle? I think she really believes in fate and she doesn’t worry so much and yet everyone else is. I think she’s more in her zone. Yeah, being there and it’s not like dressed up for her, it’s just her. Yeah, I asked David Yates a few times what does she do when she’s worried? And he’s like, well she’s not worried about her own death but she’s worried for her friends. So we kind of played with that a bit but it still feels a bit weird.
Is this your first time seeing a lot of these photos [the Deathly Hallows promotional stills that were in the room]?
Lynch: Yeah, I’ve never seen them. I want to go around and see them [laughs].
So you’re just as much of a fan as all of us looking at photos like this?
Have you seen any footage? Do you watch playback when you’re acting? Did you watch that stuff or is this your first time really seeing it?
Lynch: We don’t really get a chance to, no. I don’t think they like you doing that. Sometimes we see it when we’re doing ADR, the voiceover, we see it then. Most of it’s a surprise. Yeah, it’s nice to keep it to the premiere. When you have to do interviews on the red carpet they’re like what was your reaction to this and when you’ve just seen it you really do feel excited and so it’s nice that it’s all a surprise then.
Is Luna much different in these two films than she has been in the past couple or is she sort of still the same?
Lynch: She’s always going to be the same [laughs]. Yeah she doesn’t change, that’s the thing about her, she knows herself so well. Most of them, they go through all these stages, where they’re like battling with themselves, but she’s so happy with herself that I think the only thing that changes is her surroundings. Like, you know, she has her friends this time and it makes her happier but it doesn’t really change her.
One of the most touching scenes early in the book is when Harry looks up and sees the ceiling that Luna has painted in her house with all of her friends. Is that in the movie?
Lynch: I don’t think so. The house is in there … I think Harry knows by this stage how much it [the friendship] means to her and like the way she sort of brushed it off in the last film where she says it’s a nice feeling that we were friends. I think he realises then but it was a pity that scene got cut out.
I guess the question I had is: she seems to be one of the few calming influences that Harry has in this book where she can bring him some relief, like after Dobby dies. Do you have a couple of key scenes with Daniel like that?
Lynch: Yeah, when Dobby dies everyone is really upset and everything. She says something like, oh he’s only sleeping, you know, if you close his eyes it looks like he’s sleeping. He worries so much, they’re sort of opposites in their attitudes to life and whatever because he’s always worried [with] things that don’t concern him. He thinks he has to [worry about them] and she just lets it breeze by. There is one scene where she’s not like herself actually, back to your other question. She feels she has to do something when she knows about where the Ravenclaw Horcrux is. Harry is getting distracted and he is running up the stairs and she’s like, Harry I need to show you something and he’s kind of thinking, here we go again I need some space because he’s in a hurry. She knows he’s going wrong, so I have to scream at him because he just keeps going and I have to actually shout. I thought it was really weird. I didn’t know how to shout.
A little out of character.
Lynch: Yeah. When needs be.
At the end of the day, how much of your own personality do you feel you’ve been able to inject into Luna or is it completely from the novels or is it sort of a marriage of both?
Lynch: Yeah, a marriage of both. I still would read the books and think I’m not playing her exactly the same. We’re not the same and you sort of have to find a balance. If I was too much like her I just wouldn’t be able to be objective. I think in the films a lot of the lines are trying to bring out the funny side in Luna. I always notice that kids always love Luna’s character. A lot of kids say she’s my favourite because she’s really kooky. I just think she’s really wise as well. It’s not that her head’s in the clouds – she sees that everyone talks about her. She knows she’s a bit weird and she’s so settled in herself and I think that’s really mature. Wise, yeah, I try to push that a bit but sometimes it’s impossible with the lines.
What’s something that you’re really going to take away from your several years now of being here and what are your plans for the future?
Lynch: I think more of a sense of belonging now. I’ll take that away because before when I came onto the set I really idolised the others and I just kept feeling unworthy. I didn’t know how to talk to them or anything. I used to be like, when people would say are you going to do more work, I’d be like no, I’m just a fan. I’ve seen more of the actors and you don’t have to be perfect all the time, it’s not like you’re born knowing all this stuff. Acting is just like having life experience. I’ll take that and feeling like I’ve been a part of this film. When I watch the film I’m proud because I had something to do with it and, yeah, I’d love to do more acting. I don’t know yet, I’m going to go to a performing arts college. I just feel like I cheated my way in a bit [laughs].
Evanna Lynch, 19, from Leinster, Ireland, who plays Luna, is one of the finest examples of casting in the entire franchise. With her huge eyes, wonderfully guileless approach and charm it is easy to see why producer David Heyman picked her out of 15,000 other Luna-wannabes. “The others could play Luna; Evanna Lynch is Luna,” he said at the time.
“I’m not Luna, although a lot of people think I am,” Lynch says. “When I was younger I used to be a little more like her. I’m like her in that I don’t like to judge people and I keep an open mind. She’s so free spirited, she wouldn’t judge someone by their clothes or demeanour and I like that way of looking at life.”
Lynch went along to the audition as a “professional Luna fan” and made her first appearance in the fifth Harry Potter film. She seems to have had a lot of fun with the character and tells me she particularly enjoys wearing Luna’s oversized cork hat and radish earrings.
Xenophilius Lovegood, Luna’s father, makes his debut in Hallows – Part 1. After huge deliberation Rhys Ifans was cast to play him. “They were casting my dad for ages and then someone said Rhys. I was like, ‘Oh my god this is perfect,’ why did no-one think of this before?”
Lynch tells me that all her friends really fancy Ifans: “It’s because of Notting Hill and his grey underwear,” she explains grinning. “Ifans was great to work with. Just nice, you know. We had fun. And he was totally up for the Lovegood dance. He had no reservations.”
The billboards advertising the final Harry Potter films are emblazoned with the words “It all ends here…” The Phelps twins, Lewis and Lynch all express their deep sadness that after a decade of attending wizard school they’re being booted out into the real world. But it also sounds like a bit of a relief.
“There are two sides to it,” Lynch explains. “On the one hand I love it and don’t want it to end. But then again you’re tied to it. It’s a contract. Yeah you can try and do other things at the same time, but Harry Potter has to come first.”
The four actors have all expressed a desire to stay in the film business. Lewis has been acting since he was five years old (“It’s all I know”), the Phelps twins would like to try a Bond film (“I’d be the evil twin,” Oliver says. “Just like real life,” James adds) and Lynch says she’d happily drop her studies for another year for the right role.
"I'm supposed to be starting today in the Institute, but I had to call and explain that I needed another week for work," the 19-year-old said when the Irish Independent met her in London in September.
"I decided to repeat the Leaving Cert because I was so distracted with these films. I knew I wasn't studying hard enough. We'd be on set, having a laugh in the green room, and I'd be saying to myself: 'I should be studying.' But then I thought: 'I can re-sit the exams -- I can't re-sit Harry Potter.' Besides, there'll be no more filming this year, just a bit of press, so now it's all about the exams."
The Termonfeckin native's time starring as ethereal spacer Luna Lovegood is now coming to an end with the premiere next week of part one of the final movie in the series, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (with part two to follow next summer).
It's a bittersweet moment for the young star, but she admitted that there are also positives to finishing up the series.
"I can dye my hair now," she laughed, and indeed she's quite unrecognisable today, her trademark blonde mane now replaced by long, red curls.
"I'm doing things now that I should have done a few years ago, like getting braces on my teeth, and learning to drive a car, and being with friends in one place for a fixed set of time."
Lynch's last day of shooting on the movie series was on June 1 this year.
"It was a big crowd scene that we had started in January, but had to re-film because Emma (Watson, who plays Hermione) was away in college. All the cast was there for it, so it was lovely.
"I'd always hoped my last scene would be one like that rather than just a shot of my hand or something. They took a huge photo of the whole cast and crew.
"It didn't really hit me until I was going into the producers to say goodbye and thank them that I felt this big rush of emotion. I couldn't contain it. But I felt like it had come full circle: my first encounter with Harry Potter was going into the producers' office to introduce myself and explain why I was suited for the role."
Lynch was discovered by the series producers at a casting call in London in early 2006 for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth movie adaptation. She was 14 at the time, and after doing a screen test with Daniel Radcliffe, she beat out 15,000 other girls to land the role.
"My best memories from all four movies are ones that involve the young cast," she said. "It's like school, though they're probably not the people I'd sit with in school. They'd be way too cool for me, and I'd be one of the weird people.
'But those scenes are just so much fun. We played jokes all the time. Like in the Hogwarts train scenes, they have this odd food that looks nice but tastes horrible. We'd convince new actors on set to try it -- one girl drank this tomato juice thing that had been out on the set for about three weeks. She spat it all over the place. You forget you're on a job and it's just fun."
She added that the movies' three main stars never expected, or indeed received, special treatment.
"When I first came on set, I expected to be told 'You can't talk to or approach them', but it wasn't like that. They're not precious about themselves. They are like normal people, and the people around them treat them normally too.
"Rupert has a great laugh with everyone, while Daniel (Radcliffe) is just a cool guy. There's no pretension with him, or strategising when it comes to careers and things like that. I really admire Emma for going to university in New York. She's doing that, even though she doesn't need to. She's realised that she doesn't know enough about the world or herself so wants to study more."
Although the series author JK Rowling had no say in casting, she later praised Lynch as being perfect for the role of Luna. However, the multi-millionaire writer stayed clear of the set during filming on the final movies.
"She trusts the film-makers," Lynch explained. "If they change any little thing in the script, they send it out to her for her approval, so she doesn't need to be there. I think she's busy. I write to her now and then, and she'll say, 'I've been writing' but she won't tell me what.
"It's cool for her because she can come to the premiere and see what people have made of her books. Besides, when she was on set, she couldn't stay long because she was too distracting. Everyone was looking for autographs. It was like the Queen coming to visit."
As for what comes after her exams, Lynch is staying open-minded. Has she considered drama school?
"I thought about it for a while," she replied. "My agent said to me that I've gotten a lot of great experience on these movies.
"It's not just the acting, but being on a set and meeting all these people, as well as doing interviews and learning to be confident enough to talk about yourself.
"So I think drama school is not for me personally. I know some girls who have experience in movies who then audition for these places and they're picked apart for every move they make. They're told 'Sorry, you've learned all these bad techniques from film', and I don't like that. It's good for some people, but I'm critical of myself enough already. I don't need that."
Anything that Lynch does will be borne of her passions and interests. She loves jazz and ballet dancing, and is a voracious reader; right now, she's reading Nabokov's Laughter In The Dark.
"I'd like to go to art college," she added. "I like art because you don't have any instruction for it. That's something that you have to be confident to do. It's not methodical, where something is right or wrong. It's scary, but you have to be your own judge. That's very freeing."
She paused before continuing: "A lot of young actors are trying to have it all. They think: 'I want to go to college, have a career, have a life.' This year will just be about studying. It's not like I'm going to be off the radar because the second film comes out in July and I'll be finished my exams then.
"After that, I might take a year out and try acting. You have to pursue it. You can't just be sitting on your ass crying over the phone because your agent isn't ringing. You have to be quite pushy."