- In a comprehensive, exclusive interview with Insider, Harry Potter actress Evanna Lynch spoke about her animal rights activism, her connection to autistic Potter fans and how JK Rowling dealt with Dumbledore’s sexuality.
- Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood in the fantasy franchise, is currently fighting John Hopkins University for their experiments with owls. She even wrote a letter asking them to stop.
- The actress said she receives many letters from autistic fans expressing her love for Luna and believes it is Luna’s self-acceptance, given that she is considered an “outsider” who bonds with them.
- Lynch also said that Rowling was “sensitive” to Dumbledore’s sexuality, although in the second film, “Fantastic Beasts,” he fought against the non-explicit scenes between him and Grindelwald.
- Lynch said, “I don’t want him to show up in rainbow-flag robes and say, ‘I’m finally free,’ that would make it sensational. I think it has to be handled with delicacy. “
- You can find more stories on the Insider homepage.
Evanna Lynch is definitely a Gryffindor. The actress, who portrayed Luna Lovegood in four “Harry Potter” films, said she was much wilder than the character she played in whimsical perfection.
“My initial reaction to things – I can get very fiery and angry,” Lynch told Insider as she talked about her activism, which is not the kind of light Hollywood activism often seen with stars taking photos and share videos on social media.
Instead, lynch is more of the kind of active acting that embodies a number of young Hollywood stars. In fact, the actress is in a WhatsApp group chat with fellow “Potter” actors, Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) and Katie Leung (Cho Chang), telling Insiders where she “talks” about the issues that make them fight.
“We all have our things, you know? Bonnie is an environmentalist. Emma is a feminist. Katie fights for racial equality – and they are all connected. It’s about social justice and equality, ”Lynch said. “Certain things lately have made us feel more in touch and talk about how we can properly address the issues.”
One such thing that Lynch is currently battling is a series of experiments on owls being conducted at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland for ADHD research. It’s no wonder PETA tapped the actress to add her voice in amplifying the problem. In “Harry Potter” owls were often seen communicating with the wizards. That’s why Lynch found her own connection with the birds.
“When I read things that upset me, I think the Gryffindor hero is stepping in,” Lynch said of why she campaigns for animal rights
In her letter to the Hopkins President urging the university to close the “vicious” laboratories with immediate effect, Lynch writes that scientists cut into the owl’s brain and insert electrodes to force it to hear noises to record their brain activity.
“When I read things that upset me, I think the Gryffindor hero will step in,” Lynch told Insider, referring to the experiments. “I can get very fiery and angry, but I don’t think this is the most powerful place to be in activism.”
Insider reached out to a representative for Hopkins but didn’t hear back immediately.
Lynch believes that “effective activism is finding common ground rather than just blaming yourself and saying you are on the wrong side.”
While the 29-year-old actress can’t help but stand up for what she believes in, the same can’t be said about her “Harry Potter” character, she admitted.
“I’ve always wondered – would Luna have been an activist? Because she is not a fiery figure. She is very accepting of the present moment and seems to go with the flow, ”said Lynch. “I don’t know how much good the animal rights movement would have done.”
Lynch said she got a lot of fan mail from Potter fans with autism because they “have a lot to do with Luna.”
While Luna may not have been an activist, that doesn’t mean the quirky Hogwarts student isn’t making a positive impact on an entirely different community. In fact, Lynch’s character means a lot to a particular group within the Potter fandom.
“I always get a lot of letters from people with autism who have a lot to do with Luna,” Lynch said.
The Irish actress stated that while she can never fully understand autism as this is not her lived experience, she certainly knows what it is like to be misunderstood and have difficulty communicating.
“You just want people to see your heart and how you are feeling, but it’s difficult to communicate that,” added Lynch. “When I grew up I always felt so out of place. And I just couldn’t quite tell. Why do I feel different from other people? Why is it easier for them to just adapt? How do you know how to do it? ”Be fun, how to be cool? I felt like this, but I felt bad about it. ”
“But then Luna comes along and she’s like that in society, but she doesn’t feel bad about it. She just accepts herself completely, ”Lynch continued. “I think it’s similar to autistic people. Of course everyone is very different and every case of autism is different, but I think you see that Luna is someone who doesn’t quite fit in. ”
In the “Harry Potter” franchise, Luna is a Gryffindor. And although Hogwarts students keep making fun of her for being different and even calling her “Loony Lovegood,” she’s still brave and brave. And it is her confidence that leads her to become an important part of Harry’s friendship group and Dumbledore’s army. It’s a pretty powerful message for anyone who has ever felt ostracized.
“She’s just a little off-center and more of an outsider, but she manages to accept herself even though she’s been ostracized for being ‘weird’. That was so inspiring to me when I was growing up. I think maybe that’s what fans associate with autism, “Lynch said.
It’s also a unifying message for the Potter fandom at a time when controversy and injury are rampant. Rowling tweeted an article about “People Who Menstruate” back in June. She added, “I’m sure there used to be a word for these people. Someone help me. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud? ”The message she continues to focus on has hurt not only the trans community, but Potter actors and fans as well.
Lynch has previously spoken of JK Rowling’s comments on the trans community and said she was “sad” about the impact this is having on those who are the trans community.
“I talked to some friends about what we can do about it? But then it was like, no, we shouldn’t be the ones trying to speak for these people, ”Lynch said, referring to Rowling. “It should be about amplifying those voices … there should be more of them and fewer people trying to say the right thing because sometimes you can do more harm than good.”
Rowling told Lynch that Dumbledore was gay long before the announcement, and made it clear that the writer was not “trying to get on the guard train”.
Another issue that has split fans is Dumbledore’s sexuality.
The former Hogwarts headmaster was identified as gay by Rowling in 2007, although he was not named or even mentioned in the franchise.
While memes and Twitter jokes have surfaced criticizing what some see as Rowling trying to retrospectively make her work more inclusive, Lynch insists it isn’t
“Years before the Grindelwald franchise she told me he was gay and years before it was even announced she told me he was gay,” Lynch told Insider. “I was trying to send Luna out with someone and asked, ‘Can Luna be with someone like Dumbledore? Can you make someone like that? ‘ And she said, ‘No, I don’t think so. I really think Dumbledore would be gay. ‘ ”
Lynch continued, “So people said, ‘Oh, it’s just exploitative. It’s just trying to get on the guard. ‘ It is absolutely not. I think it was such an integral part of his character that she thought about it deeply, and I think they are sensitive to it because she doesn’t want to make it sensational. ”
As many Potter fans know, Dumbledore had a relationship with Grindelwald, who is considered one of the most dangerous wizards. Their relationship actually went beyond friendship – they were in love. It was the deterioration of Dumbledore’s relationship with Grindelwald that broke the wizard.
Nevertheless, the fans felt short-circuited by the suggestive plot points. In “The Crimes of Grindelwald” from 2018, which Rowling wrote, we see Dumbledore and Grindelwald together for the first time as the two young wizards make a blood pact. The two hold hands in it and Dumbledore from Jude Law declares that they were “closer than brothers”.
It’s much more than an indication of their intimate relationship, but far less than an explicit “coming out” that some fans may have wanted.
Lynch didn’t want Dumbledore “to show up in robes with a rainbow flag”. She added, “It must be treated with delicacy.”
“It’s not about Dumbledore coming out and being a huge gay icon because that’s kind of reductive. It would reduce him to his sexuality, while I find it more interesting if it is that this is a person who happens to be gay and that is not a defining trait, “Lynch continued.
She added, “I don’t want him to show up in rainbow-flag robes and say, ‘I’m finally free.’ That would make it sensational. I think it has to be handled with the delicacy that JK has. ”
Lynch said that when Rowling “returns to the wizarding world” she would like to see more representation of the LGBT community “in her writing”.
And the actress knows the power of the British author’s writing. It’s Rowling’s pen that drew Lynch’s attention to the problem that matters so much to her, Owls.
“’Harry Potter’ drew my attention to these creatures – they are not just mythical creatures. They are real intelligent animals, ”Lynch said before adding. “All animal experiments are inhuman and there must be better ways.”
It appears that the Gryffindor hero is coming out.
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