Evanna Patricia Lynch (born August 16, 1991 in Termonfeckin, Ireland) is an Irish actor best known for playing Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies. Her performance has been so widely acclaimed that one could almost say she is Luna. She is also one of the most involved in the Harry Potter fan community, regularly showing up at premieres and conventions.
In 2011, Lynch moved to Hollywood to continue acting and find new roles. In 2012, she was cast as Alehna in the TV series Sinbad, based on Sinbad the Sailor. She was set to act in the crime thriller Monster Butler alongside Malcolm McDowell and fellow Potter actor Gary Oldman, but the project has been impeded. She won plenty of acclaim in her native Ireland for a shockingly dark turn in the film My Name Is Emily.
Lynch is also on the Board of Advisors for the Harry Potter Alliance, a large charity. At Leakycon 2012, she announced she would play Luna Lovegood in the Team StarKid production A Very Potter Senior Year, which made all her fans very excited.
She released her autobiography The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting in 2021.
Tropes that apply to Lynch include:
- Ability over Appearance: She revealed in her book that she sent in an audition tape for Luna to the casting people and actually got told that her accent meant she wasn't suitable for the role. Later by chance, she saw an ad for an open casting that specified any nationality could audition.
- Cloudcuckoolander: In real life. If you get the chance, read her Twitter account. As accurate as her portrayal of Luna Lovegood in the movies is, you get the feeling she might not be acting...
- Dyeing for Your Art: She's a natural brunette, but has become so associated with Luna's golden tresses that she seems resigned to keeping them. She had dyed her hair before the films (Luna in the book is described as a more dirty blonde) but obviously has kept it since.
- Friendship on the Set:
- She says Katie Leung was one of her best friends on the Harry Potter set and would often visit her apartment afterwards to see how she was. Evanna has joked that they bonded over their Celtic roots.
- Simon Fitzmaurice, the director of My Name Is Emily, she described as "a dear friend", and her autobiography is dedicated to him.
- Granola Girl: Lynch is a vegan, and promotes animal rights causes on her Twitter.
- I Am Not Pretty: Despite the Adaptational Attractiveness that Luna received, Evanna struggled to see herself as pretty, even admitting to sobbing in her trailer after she saw her first promotional pictures. She took it to an absurd degree when she went on the Mugglenet forums to see what fans and trolls were commenting about her casting and read every single negative comment...and then responded anonymously with equally critical posts about her own appearance. She continued to do so for months and some of her comments were even banned for being too mean.
- I Am Not Spock: So associated has Lynch become with Luna that J.K. Rowling herself said that while writing the final two books, she heard Evanna's voice in her head when writing the character. This could very well be a unique case of a character becoming an actor. She doesn't appear to mind however, and details much of her autobiography to how she related to the character, and even boldly said in a screen test that she understood her better than anyone else they were likely to cast.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: She's got several cats named after Harry Potter characters.
- Method Acting: Due to being naturally very nervous and anxious, she found it easier to basically act like Luna between takes as well; even speaking in a higher pitched voice.
- Playing with Character Type: Emily Egan of My Name Is Emily shares many similarities to Luna - a Missing Mom, an eccentric writer for a father, considered the oddball in her school. However, Emily is essentially Luna Played for Drama; she's suicidal, anti-social and has to learn to be nice to people.
- Promoted Fanboy:
- Lynch heavily identified with the character of Luna Lovegood since the day the character was introduced. Her audition consisted of her walking in on a whim, telling the producers "Nobody understands Luna like I do," and portraying the best Luna they had seen. She made many of the props and trinkets Luna wears in the films, notably her radish earrings, and, for all of this, portrays one of the few characters the fandom universally agrees the casting was great for.
- The first time Lynch was ever the subject of a news story was not for being cast as Luna; it was a puff piece on the release of an upcoming Harry Potter book whose midnight release Lynch was going to have to miss because she was in the hospital at the time. Instead, her hospital allowed her to leave just for that morning to collect her own copy at the bookstore that had been reserved for her, one of the few autographed by J. K. Rowling (with whom Lynch had corresponded). The name of the book? Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the same book that introduced Luna.
- There is a piece of glurge circulating that Lynch was hospitalized because she was battling anorexia. When she heard, Rowling promised her that if Lynch beat her anorexia, she could audition for the films. However, it should be noted that, in this case, "could" means "has the potential to," so she was not guaranteed the role. While heartwarming on the surface, it raises Unfortunate Implications that Lynch had the role handed to her out of pity! She herself refuted this in her autobiography, stating her annoyance with journalists writing puff pieces that made it sound like she "walked from a clinic straight to a film set", ignoring that the two years between her discharge and actually getting the part were among the most difficult of her life.
- Suppressed Mammaries: She was strapped down for her role as Luna in the seventh and eighth movies particularly, although it is a more minor example.
- Throw It In: The skipping that Luna does in Order of the Phoenix was something Evanna came up with in an improv exercise when she was screen testing for the part.