Harry Potter & The Order Of The Phoenix - Evanna Lynch interview
Interview by Rob Carnevale
HARRY Potter newcomer Evanna Lynch talks about playing Luna Lovegood in The Order Of The Phoenix and why the character appealed to her so much.
She also reveals the joy of working with co-stars Helena Bonham-Carter and Imelda Staunton and the pressures of living up to JK Rowling’s characters…
Q. What was it like to be on the set after being such a super fan?
Evanna Lynch: It was this feeling the whole time like I shouldn’t be here among all these stars and professionals. I was trying to keep my distance because I wanted to watch everyone. But they want you to feel at home and be part of it, and it became normal very quickly.
Q. Is it true you wrote off and said you wanted to be in this film? Did you ever imagine it would prove so successful?
Evanna Lynch: It wasn’t from the letter – I went to an open audition. When they told me, I know I had been kind of prepared for years, thinking it’s going to be like this, but that was more of a fantasy.
Q. How did your mum react? Because she didn’t think you’d get it…
Evanna Lynch: She was over the moon, and she couldn’t believe it either. She really regrets all that stuff: “Oh, they think I’m a right pessimist.” She loves it and she’s a fan as well.
Q. How nervous were you on your first day?
Evanna Lynch: I was a bundle of nerves. I didn’t expect that because during the screen test I was fine, I thought I was ready. But I thought I’d be holding everyone up because I didn’t know the ropes, but I did a few takes and got used to it.
Q. What was it about Luna that first appealed to you?
Evanna Lynch: It was just because she was happy, she’s got everything sorted out, she’s kind of like Dumbledore – she doesn’t need anyone’s approval. She’s happy being free. I wish I could as free as that.
Q. At what point did you decide to make the switch from being a fan to actually auditioning for a part in the film?
Evanna Lynch: Watching the movies, I always thought: “God it would be so cool to be in Harry Potter and to make that your job.” But before Order Of The Phoenix I didn’t know who I’d be so I thought I’ll just watch. Then 2003, on June 21, I thought: “That’s her – I want to go for Luna.” I’m not one to sit around and wait for fate to do things, so I got my friends and made a tape. They were Harry and Ron. They were very good about it, very patient – and I sent that away. That never really came of anything because they can’t deal with individual applications because they get so many but I did get a letter the same day I heard there was going to be an open audition, so I thought that meant I had to go.
Q. Has it been lovely to find out that JK Rowling thinks you’re the perfect Luna?
Evanna Lynch: Yeah, that’s nice. If she’s happy with you playing one of her characters and she trusts you, that’s an honour. She still hasn’t seen it, she’s just going from meeting me, so I’m really scared when she sees the movie. I’m always picturing the moment after she’s seen it and I’ve had nightmares where she just walks away…
Q. What has everyone said about you on the fan site?
Evanna Lynch: I don’t want to know what they think of me – there’s always going to be someone who won’t like it and that’ll just upset me. So, if I’m happy with it, it just matters if I’ve done my little vision.
Q. I’ve heard that you’re also a fan of Tim Burton? It must have been an extra dream then that it’s Helena Bonham Carter’s first Harry film too?
Evanna Lynch: I was so shy about that. Sometimes she’d be in make-up chair beside me and I was thinking of what to say to her, and then she’d get up and leave. I didn’t want to go: “Oh, I love your husband! Or partner or whatever.” The one of the runners told her and she said: “Oh, you’ll have to come for tea sometime!” I don’t know how I’d deal with that. Hopefully, he’ll be at the premiere.
Q. What do you think of her playing Bellatrix?
Evanna Lynch: There was a girl playing Bellatrix before Helena but she got pregnant and I’d never met her but they all said great things about her. When they said Helena was playing her, I was really excited and I thought she’d be perfect. She’s so wonderful and she gets really into the part. One time on set she had to hold Matthew by the hair and she got so into it that she put a wand into his ear and it was bleeding. And he was deaf for two days! Just in one ear though. But it was also her son’s birthday and she brought in all these cakes she’d made, so she’s not Bellatrix.
Q. And was it a pleasure to work alongside Imelda Staunton?
Evanna Lynch: Imelda as Umbrage is – perfect. Ah, she makes you laugh so much. I didn’t see a lot of her scenes, but in one, she’s making a boring horrible speech and she’s say something awful and make a little squeaky laugh and then, like Helena, she’d so different in real life. She was the most friendly of the adults, always asking how you are.
Q. Will you get book 7 in advance?
Evanna Lynch: I don’t want to get it in advance. Sometimes talking to Jo, I’d ask her questions and actually say: “No, I don’t want to know!”
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