By the time Luna Lovegood debuted in the Harry Potter universe, the tale of the Boy Who Lived was already around halfway through. Nevertheless, once she showed up in The Order of the Phoenix, Luna became a fan favorite, and naturally she was included in the latter Harry Potter movies too, with Evanna Lynch playing the character.
That said, the Harry Potter mythos was important to the actress even before she was cast in The Order of the Phoenix, which marked her film debut. Even before she got to leave her stamp on the Wizarding World, she was already a hardcore fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, to the point that she even wrote to Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe. As Lynch recently recalled:
I was a really, really obsessive Harry Potter fan. I started reading them when I was about eight, and that was my whole identity for a while. I cued up for the books, I wrote fan mail to Daniel Radcliffe. I even got his autograph.
With Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (or The Philosopher’s Stone, if you prefer) hitting bookshelves in 1997 and the film adaptation coming out in 2001, Evanna Lynch got in on the Harry Potter craze during those early years. Lynch even noted how she wrote to J.K. Rowling and the author wrote back, leading to the two starting a friendship. So one can only imagine how excited she was upon being cast in the later movies.
However, looking back at her Harry Potter fandom, Evanna Lynch realized that her deep obsession with the lore and talent involved wasn’t the greatest. As she explained later in her interview on the Talking Tastebuds podcast:
I also found that the whole fan culture is a bit unhealthy, you know being obsessed with a person. Because when I met Daniel, Emma and Rupert, I knew everything about them. I knew their pets' names, I knew their birthdays, I knew their parents' names, and I had to pretend I didn’t.
While there’s nothing wrong with being a fan of Harry Potter or any major franchise/property, Evanna Lynch walked away understanding that it can be problematic having your whole identity revolve around said franchise/property, particularly at an impressionable young age. In her mind, fan culture can get to the point where it’s “dangerous” and you can “lose yourself in it.” In the actress’ words:
Being an obsessive fan is kind of disempowering. It happens when you're a teenager, you're so insecure and you're trying to find yourself. And then you see these other people and they seem great and amazing and kind of godly.
Still, looking at the big picture, Evanna Lynch’s connection the world of Harry Potter was enormously beneficial, and not just for her career. Back in 2018, Lynch talked about how reading the Harry Potter books helped her through an eating disorder, and she’s far from the only person who those books have been a source of comfort through dark times.
Following her four-film stint as Luna Lovegood, Evanna Lynch reprised the character in the A Very Potter Senior Year stage production and the LEGO Dimensions video game, as well as was one of the voices on the Tales of Beedle the Bard audiobook. Her other credits include GBF, My Name is Emily, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and taking part on Dancing with the Stars Season 27. Lynch is also a veganism and animal rights activist.
While the Harry Potter film series concluded nearly a decade ago, the Wizarding World continues with the Fantastic Beasts prequel saga. The next installment, Fantastic Beasts 3, will work its magic in theaters on November 12, 2021.