THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH MAGIC
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.” AA/LJ
Note: This online version of the interview contains additional Q&A answers from the one printed on the magazine (the one in green). They had the taken out due to character limitation but they’re put back here for your reading pleasure.
With her one-of-a-kind style, Luna can easily compete with Lady Gaga. If you know where to look, you will find that the Internet has caught on to this parallel. Still in disbelief? Check this out!
[Photo commentary from left to right]
1. Ra-ra-rawr… Gaga’s furry head is divine, but Luna’s lion hat is fierce! | 2. Both look crazy cool but can they see? | 3. Gaga’s a vanilla pudding, Luna’s a Christmas tree. Yummy.
For more of my articles in TOTAL FILM INDONESIA, buy Issue #13, November 2010.