Bonnie Wright Interviews Evanna Lynch on Working Beyond “Harry Potter”
Most of us have had the experience of being “the new kid,” whether it’s in school, on a team, or in the neighborhood. Evanna Lynch, however, may have had one of the more nerve-wracking experiences when she joined the cast of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
I had a chaperone. Everyone else had their parents, and their parents would let them be, but I had this crazy, strict chaperone. She was not allowed to let me out of her sight for all the time she was supervising me, so she didn’t…I always felt embarrassed.
As often happens, though, friendship finds a way to blossom and grow, as it did between Luna and Ginny, and also between Evanna and Bonnie Wright. In the latest issue of Interview magazine, Bonnie interviews her long-time friend Evanna about her new movie, My Name is Emily, their time filming Harry Potter, and the fear and freedom of working on independent films.
Bonnie asked Evanna about the lasting effects of their acting experiences during that magical period and how she learned that wonderfully rich writing helps make acting the part much easier.
I hadn’t really realized that Jo [Rowling] had done so much of the work for us. I could just step into the role, and the whole backstory is there, all the details just fit.
I certainly felt disillusioned for a while after—probably for one to two years after finishing filming—when I realized that everything isn’t so well-written. I was auditioning for so many pilots, and I was like, ‘I wouldn’t even want to watch these things.’ I started feeling if I hadn’t had Potter, if I had pulled my way to the top in a different way, I think I wouldn’t have had an appreciation for really good writing.
And that’s what’s exciting about going into independent films—there aren’t that many people looking after you. You do really have to build the role, to be more of the author. I felt like on Potter I was more of an interpreter.
Evanna continued, relating how important the writing was in finding her character, Emily, in her new movie.
It was such a great part. I’ve not had that many parts where you read it and it feels like they’re words that would come out of your mouth. It’s just so natural. There are some scripts I have to work a lot harder to get certain words to feel natural. With her, I knew what she was saying—it just was in me or something. Simon [Fitzmaurice]’s writing is so beautiful. It was so poetic and thought-provoking.
Since both women have also done smaller independent films since Harry Potter, their conversation touched on the differences in an actor’s process on the two very different types of film sets.
There are pros and cons to both. I feel like the main difference for an actor between studio and independent films are the opportunities to [censored]. I always felt like on Potter, there were so many people looking out for you—tweaking your wardrobe and your hair and correcting you—that you couldn’t mess up. The end result was cool, and the magic is awesome, but you’re very much aware that a lot of people went into the performance. When I first started doing independent films, it was thrilling that I had to fight for myself more, that I could actually mess up. It was more stressful, but it was more rewarding artistically. Also, [on Potter] we had the luxury of time. I really missed that about studio films. I’d mess up and be like, ‘What? We can’t just do another one? Just one more?’ And they were like, ‘Nope! Moving on!’ You have to be looking at your performance, and you have to really trust the director.
Both women learned much about all aspects of movie-making during their time in the Potter universe, and we look forward to many more projects from Evanna and Bonnie in the future on both sides of the camera.
The full interview can be found here.