November 7, 2010

Earlier this year, I got to visit the set of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows when the production was still shooting at Leavesden Studios outside London.  As you might imagine, it was an amazing experience and you can read about it here.  In addition, while on set, I got to participate in group interviews with a lot of the cast.  Here’s Daniel Radcliffe, Warwick Davis, Rupert Grint and director David Yates.

However, I also spoke to a few other cast members and with the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 getting released in a few weeks, it’s time to post the rest of them. Up first is Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood).

During the interview, Lynch talked to us about filming the final instalments, the dance she does with her father, what was her reaction to reading the final book, and she also talks about some of the differences between the movie and the book.  Hit the jump to either read or listen to what she had to say and look for more Harry Potter interviews this week:

Since many of you like to listen to an interview, you can click here for the audio.  Or you can read the transcript below.  And for the two people that haven’t seen it, here’s the amazing trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 which gets released November 19, 2010:

Note: Spoilers are discussed.  If you have not read the book…you have been warned.

Question: I’m curious if you could talk a little bit about when you first got the seventh book. Where were you? What was your reaction to reading it?

Evanna Lynch:  Yeah, I was invited to J.K. Rowling’s big thing in the History Museum. You know in London. And yeah, I went all dressed up and everything as usual and didn’t get recognised. Lucky. And, yeah, I read it in my hotel really quickly. My reaction, yeah, I was a bit overwhelmed.  You know when you’re a fan you want to take it all in but you feel guilty when you put the book down because it’s like, there’s stuff I don’t know in there. I read it in a rush and sort of cried for ages after.

You’re sort of the ultimate dream come true fan because you became a character in the films and now you’re seeing it to the end here. What’s that like for you? I mean, this was kind of your first acting job.  You’ve been with this franchise for a while now and now it’s coming to an end, what does that feel like for you?

Lynch:  Yeah, weird I know. Someone asked me on set do you still get excited coming on – and I don’t get used to it at all. And I feel really sad because I don’t feel like I was one of the actors. I feel like I was a really big fan. You know, sure I could act but I don’t know what will happen, whether I’ll be back in films again. You know I hope so. Yeah it is like it’s a dream. What’s going to happen after? My whole life has been structured around it.

Has it sunk in quite yet?

Lynch:  It did a while ago because in all the interviews we do people ask us how you are feeling now that it’s ending. But then one of the days we were watching the Half Blood Prince, the DVD, and I was watching it and there was just loads of scenes of us together and I just started crying and I just couldn’t stop because we were doing these at the moment. We were in the Room of Requirement and it feels like there was sort of symbolism because my first scene when I started was in the Room of Requirement and I was just really shy and everyone was learning.  That’s the thing. Everyone has their wands [casting] the Patronus and that time we were doing the last scenes in the Room of Requirement and I just feel that it’s like a room where they learn everything, where they all grow up. They all leave the room, they are all sort of going into battle and it’s sort of like … to me it seems like leaving childhood, like leaving Harry Potter and going out into the adult world and battling. So yeah that really upset me.

We can see already that you have filmed Dobby’s death scene it looks like with Harry – Dan actually  – when Book 7 came out it was the big question, who’s going to die, who’s going to live, were you as surprised as many of us were at how it ended up?

Lynch:  At the death scene?

The death scene … everything.

Lynch:  I suppose but she [J.K. Rowling] did say it was going to be a bloodbath or something. I was expecting everything, a massacre.  I didn’t really predict any deaths; I didn’t like to do that. I was not surprised that Snape died, that was one thing I was pretty sure about. I was surprised in that it was a really nice ending. You know the way at the end of most books authors feel they have to have a massive sense of regret and everything, to complete it or something? You weren’t left with that. Sure everyone died but Harry, he finally got away from being such a, you know, freak and being looked at by everyone and he just has a normal life. Yeah, that was a surprise but it was nice.

Now, we were told that you sort of came up with a dance that Luna does with her father. Can you talk about that and what’s the dance?

Lynch:  Yeah, it didn’t take much coming up with [laughs]. In the book, the day before the wedding scene, it’s Luna and her Dad I think, and I was wondering what we were going to have to do. I read through the chapter and it said that she was off in the corner by herself and she’s spinning. Harry thinks she’s batting away Wrackspurts. I was doing a few things how it could be and the next day we were on set. We do this whole thing where her Dad is talking to Harry and I have to drag him away, embarrassing Dad. Although it doesn’t really matter because we then go on to the dance floor. We just do this thing where we’re spinning and closing our eyes and everyone clears, you know.  Everyone is sort of doing this step, this ballroom dancing thing, and they had this choreographer there and he was saying, what could we do? Because he was too experienced to put something that wacky [laughs]. We just did it, yeah.

What was it like working with him as your father?

Lynch:  Oh, it was brilliant.  Yeah, I thought he was just perfect. Sometimes when I’m playing Luna I feel like, in her clothes – she’s always wearing all this purple and her hair and all these funny things – I sometimes feel a bit like everyone else is in their Hogwarts robes [and I’m] a bit of an outsider and that’s how she’s meant to feel. And then when he came along it was like we were alone together because he’s in this yellow mad stuff. Yeah, it felt really relaxed. It was nice.

You also play a prisoner in this film, could you talk a little about filming those scenes and how intense are they?

Lynch:  Yeah, it was with John Hurt, who plays Ollivander. It’s a really spooky place because the ceilings are so low. Oh, and he has to be sort of frail and everything. And Harry comes down and then there’s Bellatrix torturing Hermione – you can hear the screams. You just get the feeling like how can you get out of here and none of them have their wands. Yeah, it’s horrible.

Do you prefer playing the Luna that gets to dress up, for example Slughorn’s party and the wedding, or being captive and in battle? Which side do you prefer?

Lynch:  I find it weird playing her in battle because … she’s so sort of Zen, she’s really calm and when she’s in battle like does she struggle? I think she really believes in fate and she doesn’t worry so much and yet everyone else is. I think she’s more in her zone. Yeah, being there and it’s not like dressed up for her, it’s just her. Yeah, I asked David Yates a few times what does she do when she’s worried? And he’s like, well she’s not worried about her own death but she’s worried for her friends. So we kind of played with that a bit but it still feels a bit weird.

Is this your first time seeing a lot of these photos [the Deathly Hallows promotional stills that were in the room]?

harry_potter_and_the_deathly_hallows_part_1_movie_poster_ralph_fiennes_01Lynch:  Yeah, I’ve never seen them. I want to go around and see them [laughs].

So you’re just as much of a fan as all of us looking at photos like this?

Lynch:  Yeah.

Have you seen any footage? Do you watch playback when you’re acting? Did you watch that stuff or is this your first time really seeing it?

Lynch:  We don’t really get a chance to, no. I don’t think they like you doing that. Sometimes we see it when we’re doing ADR, the voiceover, we see it then. Most of it’s a surprise. Yeah, it’s nice to keep it to the premiere.  When you have to do interviews on the red carpet they’re like what was your reaction to this and when you’ve just seen it you really do feel excited and so it’s nice that it’s all a surprise then.

Is Luna much different in these two films than she has been in the past couple or is she sort of still the same?

Lynch:  She’s always going to be the same [laughs]. Yeah she doesn’t change, that’s the thing about her, she knows herself so well. Most of them, they go through all these stages, where they’re like battling with themselves, but she’s so happy with herself that I think the only thing that changes is her surroundings. Like, you know, she has her friends this time and it makes her happier but it doesn’t really change her.

One of the most touching scenes early in the book is when Harry looks up and sees the ceiling that Luna has painted in her house with all of her friends. Is that in the movie?

Lynch:  I don’t think so. The house is in there … I think Harry knows by this stage how much it [the friendship] means to her and like the way she sort of brushed it off in the last film where she says it’s a nice feeling that we were friends. I think he realises then but it was a pity that scene got cut out.

I guess the question I had is: she seems to be one of the few calming influences that Harry has in this book where she can bring him some relief, like after Dobby dies. Do you have a couple of key scenes with Daniel like that?

harry_potter_and_the_deathly_hallows_part_1_movie_poster_dobby_01Lynch:  Yeah, when Dobby dies everyone is really upset and everything. She says something like, oh he’s only sleeping, you know, if you close his eyes it looks like he’s sleeping. He worries so much, they’re sort of opposites in their attitudes to life and whatever because he’s always worried [with] things that don’t concern him. He thinks he has to [worry about them] and she just lets it breeze by. There is one scene where she’s not like herself actually, back to your other question. She feels she has to do something when she knows about where the Ravenclaw Horcrux is. Harry is getting distracted and he is running up the stairs and she’s like, Harry I need to show you something and he’s kind of thinking, here we go again I need some space because he’s in a hurry. She knows he’s going wrong, so I have to scream at him because he just keeps going and I have to actually shout. I thought it was really weird. I didn’t know how to shout.

A little out of character.

Lynch:  Yeah. When needs be.

At the end of the day, how much of your own personality do you feel you’ve been able to inject into Luna or is it completely from the novels or is it sort of a marriage of both?

Lynch:  Yeah, a marriage of both. I still would read the books and think I’m not playing her exactly the same. We’re not the same and you sort of have to find a balance. If I was too much like her I just wouldn’t be able to be objective. I think in the films a lot of the lines are trying to bring out the funny side in Luna. I always notice that kids always love Luna’s character. A lot of kids say she’s my favourite because she’s really kooky. I just think she’s really wise as well. It’s not that her head’s in the clouds – she sees that everyone talks about her. She knows she’s a bit weird and she’s so settled in herself and I think that’s really mature. Wise, yeah, I try to push that a bit but sometimes it’s impossible with the lines.

What’s something that you’re really going to take away from your several years now of being here and what are your plans for the future?

Lynch:  I think more of a sense of belonging now. I’ll take that away because before when I came onto the set I really idolised the others and I just kept feeling unworthy. I didn’t know how to talk to them or anything. I used to be like, when people would say are you going to do more work, I’d be like no, I’m just a fan. I’ve seen more of the actors and you don’t have to be perfect all the time, it’s not like you’re born knowing all this stuff. Acting is just like having life experience. I’ll take that and feeling like I’ve been a part of this film. When I watch the film I’m proud because I had something to do with it and, yeah, I’d love to do more acting. I don’t know yet, I’m going to go to a performing arts college. I just feel like I cheated my way in a bit [laughs].

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