The 21st of June, 2013, marked the tenth anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix. -CRIES-
So, in honour of that, I wanted to write a bit about Evanna Lynch today. For those of you who are unaware, Evanna is the actress who portrays Luna Lovegood in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter series (I’m trying so hard to be professional right now, you have no idea). The casting of Luna was a massive deal for the fandom, given that she was probably the most major character introduced “later on” in the series. The majority of the rest of the cast began in the first film and continued on throughout the whole series, so Luna was someone we’d definitely had a chance to build up over time, and her casting was crucial. (Every bloody casting was crucial BUT THIS ONE ESPECIALLY. I can remembering thinking she looked “too much like a Malfoy” to be Luna… But they’d bleached her hair for the role anyway, oops.)
One of the best things about Evanna Lynch being cast as Luna was that she herself was a massive Harry Potter fan. Because the character was introduced and therefore cast much later, it happened at a time where the Harry Potter fandom was probably close to its peak, which was a beautiful time. When someone’s particularly passionate about a role, it certainly comes across in their performance. Evy Lynch takes that to a whole other level. To me, she is the perfect Luna. To JK Rowling, she is the perfect Luna. What more could you want in the Harry Potter world?
In terms of inspirational stories, this is one. Evanna Lynch suffered from anorexia nervosa and was hospitalised for treatment of the disorder at age eleven. She has said that the character of Luna Lovegood was an inspiration to her in her recovery, and she also wrote a letter to JK Rowling, who replied:
“She told me anorexia is destructive, not creative, and the brave thing was not to succumb to it.
“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.”
Words can’t describe how much love and respect I have for Evanna Lynch. Not only is her performance as Luna amazing, but she’s still continuously involved in the Harry Potter fandom, from being in the films but also from just simply being a fan, like everyone else. Like, I can’t tell you how awesome it is to know that someone portraying one of your favourite characters was a fan of the books just like. A fan who lined up for book releases and knows and loves these characters just like you feel you do.
Luna Lovegood was a character that many people could connect to- she was, for want of a better word, the loner. She was the odd one out, relatively socially isolated, the “weird” one in the eyes of others, but in reality she was a kindred, creative, strong spirit. She wasn’t afraid to tell it like it is, and her “away with the fairies” attitude made her one of the most calming, peaceful and also wise characters in the series, in my opinion.
Also, she joined Team Starkid for the epic finale to their Very Potter series of musicals, A Very Potter Senior Year.
Talk about a perfect ending to another amazing part of the Harry Potter Fandom. To many, Darren Criss is just as much the perfect Harry as Dan Radcliffe is. Obviously, their portrayals are very different and there are SO MANY things that I get angry about in regards to the HP Films. One thing I love about the AVPM Harry is how much they show his flaws (in an extremely hilarious way) that the films overlook, in some ways. Plus, it’s a musical. WHAT’S NOT TO LOVE?! (I’ve started saying that a lot.)
Any fandom, especially ones that involve book to film adaptations, are fiercely protective of their characters, and casting can bring up a lot of tension and debate. I can’t even begin to describe how nervous I am about the casting of the Jellicoe Road film. For me, Evy Lynch was the perfect Luna, and I’m so glad that her portrayal was put on film and now has a place in the history of Harry Potter.
Have a nice day!