Ellie Darcey-Alden was born on September 4, 1999, in Oxford, England. Prior to acting, she began training in dance in 2005 with the Dance 10 Theatre School, which she attended until 2009. She began her acting career in 2007, appearing in roles on stage and in television in England.
Darcey-Alden made the jump across the pond, and she now lives in Los Angeles with her family, which includes her younger brother Joseph, who is also an actor. She is a fan of Muggle Quidditch and attended the 2012 IQA Summer Games that preceded the London Olympics.
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Darcey-Alden made her stage debut in Aladdin in 2007. In 2009, she appeared on screen in a guest role as Mary in the BBC series Robin Hood.
In December of that year, the actress attended an open audition for the Harry Potter films, and was called back for a second audition in January 2010. After completing a screen test with Benedict Clarke, who would be cast as young Severus Snape, she learned she had secured the role of young Lily Evans for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
After she landed the part, she was unable to tell her friends at school the news, even as she left school to shoot the film at Leavesden Studios and on location near Hatfield House.
While Lily Evans has green eyes in Rowling’s novels, Darcey-Alden wore blue contacts to cover her natural brown eyes for the film, in order to match the eye color of Daniel Radcliffe. However, her eyes still showed brown on camera, and the error was never digitally corrected in post-production.
The actress and her family attended the special Quidditch exhibition that preceded the 2012 London Olympic Games. You can read her report from the incredible event right here.
Darcey-Alden has attended several Harry Potter-related conventions. She attended the LeakyCon Orlando 2011, Portland 2013, and London 2013 conventions. She also attended MISTI-Con in Laconia, New Hampshire, in 2013 as the featured guest.
The actress, and her younger actor brother Joseph, appeared in the Doctor Who Series 7 Christmas special in 2012.
On receiving the part of young Lily Evans:
I am still trying to get over that I am actually in ‘Harry Potter.’ When I got the part, I was so happy I was speechless. It was the best time of my life. It was very funny. Everyone was so friendly to me and it was really fun. At first, it was really difficult to keep the secret [of receiving the part]. But when my friends did find out, they were so happy for me and supported me all the way through it.
On meeting Daniel Radcliffe:
This story is when I just had my screen test for Harry Potter. [...] I was just about to leave and the second AD came up and said, ‘Oh, come up to my office. I got something for you; I got someone to see you.’ I thought, ‘Okay, this is a bit weird.’ So I come up there and she said, ‘Oh yeah, I’d just like you to meet Dan [Radcliffe].’ And I thought, ‘Oh my God! Hi! Hi, I’m Ellie!’ And inside my heart’s going boom-boom-boom-boom-boom! [...] And Dan was like, ‘Hi! I guess I’ll call you Mum!’ And I’m like, ‘Okay!’ And then he’s like, to my mum, he said, ‘Oh, you must be Grandma, then.’ [...] And then I walked away [...] and I’m shaking his hand [...] and was like, ‘I’m never washing this hand again!’
On what it’s like to be part of a major movie franchise:
I’m not famous; people don’t recognize me. I’m just a normal crazy 12-year-old who was very lucky to be in such a huge film.