From Drogheda to Harry Potter Evanna living every girls dream
Its just over a year since Drogheda teenager Evanna Lynch was thrown under
the world media spotlight when she clinched the coveted role ofLuna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movie ‘The Order of the Phoenix’.
She talks to Marie Kierans EXCLUSIVELY for the Drogheda IndependentDuring the past year Evanna Lynch, a die-hard Harry Potter fan for years, has been living the dream, acting alongside the actors and actresses she admired and adored for so long from afar.
In an exclusive interview this week with the Drogheda Independent Evanna recounts those first few days of filming and how nervous she felt.
‘I was quite intimidated by all the actors having worshipped them for a long time. They didn’t try to be intimidating but that just happened.
‘I was so afraid of being the one who would mess up a scene but the nerves went quickly because there is such a good atmosphere on set.’
The film is due to be released in July with the premiere in London expected to be a star-studded and high-profile occasion.
Evanna will be there amongst the stars and as she told the Drogheda Independent it’ll be worlds apart from the last Harry Potter film premiere which she watched live through a link on the mugglenet internet site!
‘It will be amazing to be on the other side of the barrier this time. For the last premiere I watched the actors arriving and it will be so odd this time to be there also arriving with them.’
And whilst she spent six months of last year filming in England the Sandpit girl’s feet are now firmly on the ground as she prepares to sit her junior cert at the beginning of June.
She admits that it’s been difficult to combine her studies with filming because she was having so much fun on set!
‘I got very carried away with my Harry Potter life and we did have school but I didn’t study. I just had fun. After all the school I missed I have so much work to catch up on.
‘I just have to do solid work now and that is hard because there are so many distractions. I think it’s just because it’s my first film, hopefully on the next one I can balance the two worlds a bit.
It’s a year since we did our interview with you, has your life changed much since then?
Yes and no. While I was in London it was completely upside-down.
I got a whole new life and it was a challenge to keep in touch with my life in Ireland, but it was great fun.
Now though, I’ve been back home since November and gradually all connections with my HP life have been fading.
It’s gotten to the point where I feel like it was a dream because everything has gone back almost exactly to how it was before it all happened.
It’s possible to forget and it’s only when someone asks ‘when’s the movie coming out?’ that I remember ‘oh yes, that’.
How much time have you spent filming in England?
I was there from March to May and then September to November.
What has that been like?
Very hard to summarise in words! I'll try. It was like watching a story you imagined for years write itself.
It was just as brilliant and as perfect as I had hoped and even though I was determined that I would get into a HP movie before it all, I was a bit stunned. Everytime I stopped and thought and realised how smoothly it had happened. It reminded me of playing the Sims (except that my Sims often die).
Which actors / actresses have you gelled with the most?
Katie and Bonnie and Ryan, probably the most (they play Cho Chang, Ginny Weasley, and Slightly Creepy Boy respectively).
Also Afshan, Shefali, Nick and Matthew (Padma and Parvati Patil, Somewhat doubtful Boy, and Neville). We had some lovely times during filming, they made it fun.
Was it nerve-wracking on those first days of filming?
Yes, extremely. I was quite intimidated by all the actors having worshipped them for a long time.
They didn’t try to be intimidating but that just happened.
I was also afraid of being the one who would mess up the scene and they would have to keep cutting because of me.
But the nerves also went quickly because there is such a nice atmosphere on set and it is easy to fit into the family quite quickly.
It calmed me down to see that most of the time no-one gets the scene on the first take.
The film is due to be released in July. Have you stopped filming?
Yes, we stopped in November.
Are there many similarities between yourself and Luna Lovegood?
Yes, quite a few. Our taste in clothes is very similar. I proudly and happily wore her clothes and I think she would wear mine too.
I believe that almost anything is possible if you see the possibilities rather than the obstacles; Luna has some very unconventional beliefs that need no basis of fact and while I don’t share them I think it shows us that she won’t believe things are untrue until you have some very firm evidence.
There is no evidence to suggest that The Crumple Horned Snorkack exists but there is no evidence to suggest that it doesn’t exist, therefore she can believe in it.
I think the main difference between us is that I am a lot more ambitious and that makes me serious.
Luna is so free and seems to drift along with life, dealing with everything as it comes to her.
I have more goals so I’ve more worries. I think that’s why I love Luna so much.
She doesn’t have to have achievements or approval to feel satisfied and she’s as wonderful and balanced a person as anyone could be.
She knows worrying is pointless so she just floats and I really admire that in her.
The new Harry Potter book, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ is due out in July. Have you any idea what is going to happen in this book and what is ahead for Luna? Do you know what the Deathly Hallows refers to?
I know some things about what is ahead for Luna so I can’t give you my ideas there . . .
Deathly Hallows, well, none of us (‘us’ meaning the fans, we’re a community :)) know, but we have theories.
My favourite theory is that it refers to the veil in the Department of Mysteries.
All Hallows Eve is the time when the ‘veil’ between the two worlds is at it’s thinnest.
I think Harry will have to go through the veil for some Horcrux-hunt related reason and he’ll have to get to understand death more and he may meet Dumbledore because apparently JKR told Dan that DD was giving her ‘trouble’.
Also JKR is always emphasising that there are worse things than death and I think it would be very like her to trick us like that, so that Harry is ‘dead’ but we’re still with him, death isn’t the end.
Most people think that he either lives or dies but I like the idea that it’s an in-between.
We would have the best of both worlds because we’d still be with Harry and he’d destroy all the horcruxes and also Jamie from mugglecast would have to eat 50 sausages (a mugglecast joke).
To ‘hallow’ also means ‘to consecrate, to make holy’ and that makes me think of exorcism and that maybe Harry will have to ‘exorcise’ the horcruxes.
I don’t have much faith in this theory though because I don’t think JKR wouldn’t like to make religious references. So, yes, the veil I think.
There is much media speculation in Ireland this week that Warner Brothers is looking to shoot a large number of scenes of the next Harry Potter film in Ireland. Would that excite you?
Yes, I would love that. I think some of the cliffs in Ireland would be very beautiful for The Cave chapter.
There would also be some great spots for Dumbledore’s funeral. Needless to say I would be watching every day even if it wasn’t a Luna scene!
Has appearing in ‘The Order of the Phoenix’ lived up to your expectations?
Yes, but in a different way to what I expected. I thought I would be reliving Order of the Phoenix but it wasn’t like that at all.
I was a little bit heartbroken to find that all the sets were in separate parts of the studio or that some of them had been dismantled.
Also as I got to know the other actors I realised how different a lot of them are from their characters, extremely nice but different. As a fan that was tough to learn at first.
But I made so many good friends and met so many interesting people and I didn’t expect that at all.
I didn’t think I’d fit in as well as I did but I had the best time with all those people and I looked forward to it everyday.
It didn’t matter whether it was a Monday morning or a Saturday morning, I loved either.
Are you looking forward to seeing how HP fans will react to the movie or are you nervous?
Both, I suppose. I can’t fulfil everyone's vision of Luna but I would like to please a lot of them.
But the most important and scary thing is will I be pleased with myself? I would be devastated if I saw the movie and thought ‘what an awful Luna’.
Whereas if I see it and I am happy with my Luna but most of the fans aren’t, I won’t mind, I’m doing my idea of Luna.
I also want more than anyone for JK Rowling to be pleased with my Luna, because it’s her character.
I have a nightmare of being at the after-party and meeting Jo and she’s just standing there shaking her head, and looking sad. That’s my boggart (worst fear). But she has been positive so far, so I am optimistic.
I believe that the premiere is in London. Who will be accompanying you to that? Are you excited about going?
I don't know yet who’s accompanying me. Of course I’m excited!
It will be amazing to be on the other side of the barrier this time.
For the last premiere I was watching the actors arriving live through a link on mugglenet and it will be so odd this time to be there also arriving with them.
Have you found it difficult to combine your filming with studying for your junior cert?
Yes, very, very hard. I got very carried away with my HP life and we did have school but I didn’t study, I just had fun.
So now I find it very hard to motivate myself to do work. And after all the school I missed I have so much work to catch up on.
I just have to do solid work now and that is hard because there are so many distractions.
I think it’s just because it’s my first film, hopefully on the next one I can balance the two worlds a bit.
I’m grateful it’s the Junior Cert because it won’t really affect the future much. But I’m studying hard now, I do want to do well.
Finally have you any behind the scene secrets to reveal. In our last interview you said that you were looking forward to finding them out!
Oh, I’m sorry to end the interview with a disappointing answer.
No, no secrets that I can reveal.
But I think perhaps that is a good thing, because if you knew all the secrets, there’s no magic left.