Harry Potter star shares some secrets


EVANNA LYNCH was a fan of the Harry Potter books before she improbably got a role in the blockbusting movie franchise.

On Saturday she got to speak to an audience of similarly enthusiastic primary school children about playing the part of Luna Lovegood in the series which ends when the second part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsis released this summer.

The class of about 30 students, aged between eight and 12, have been studying the Harry Potter books as part of a course in Dublin City University organised by the Centre for Talented Youth, Ireland, which provides courses for children of high intelligence.

“They know so much,” says their teacher Claire Hennessy, herself a published author before she left school.

Had she been a few years younger, Lynch would probably have been sitting in the same class. She is also a former protege of the centre.

“I don’t think she is weird, she is completely herself. She is okay with being eccentric and a little different,” she said of the character who made her name.

Lynch wrote to the casting agent and to author JK Rowling before landing the part in 2006. With 15,000 other hopefuls in the frame, she got the role because the producer believed she personified what Luna Lovegood was about.

Lynch is just 19 but she told the class she could remember a time when the Harry Potter books were not the big deal they are now. The students would have no conception of a time before Harry Potter.

There was no shortage of questions for the actor, who will sit her Leaving Certificate and intends to emigrate to London during the summer to pursue an acting career.

Each response elicited another forest of hands from a knowledgable audience. What is her favourite Harry Potter book/film/scene/character? What was it like to see Dumbledore die? What was it like to act alongside computer generated characters such as the Dooby, the house-elf, or Thestrals, the winged horse? Was there anybody on set she did not like? “No,” she replied.

Lynch also provided some insights into the cast and characters of the film franchise that fans will find interesting.

She met author JK Rowling about five times and had written to her before getting the part. “She’s so warm. I’m going to write to her and tell her about this course. She would be really chuffed about it.”

Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the title role, is unspoilt by his fame and never complains, although he has not had a normal life since he was 11. “He really appreciates that he has been given so much. You could have had an actor who said he was sick of being typecast.”

She does not know what Alan Rickman, who plays the sarcastic teacher Professor Snape, is really like because he is a method actor who is never out of character. “I hear he is a nice guy.”

The other Irish actor on set, Seamus Finnigan, is great fun to be around and “totally enjoys himself”.

There was also information that fans might not care to know. She revealed Miriam Margolyes, who plays Prof Sprout, asks permission to fart on set. “What can you say to that?” said Lynch, “she is a veteran actress. You can’t really say no”.