Acting in “Harry Potter” Saved Evanna Lynch From Her Illness. Now She Helps Millions of Girls Accept Themselves

According to statistics, about half of young girls are familiar with strict diets firsthand. Millions of kids worry about their weight and damage their health trying to lose weight. So, it is all the more valuable when celebrities find the strength to talk openly about their illnesses. For example, actress Evanna Lynch, famous for playing Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter, shared with her fans about how she suffered from an eating disorder and gave them hope that it is possible to fight and overcome this illness.

WARNER BROS. PICTURES / CLOSE, MURRAY / Album / East News, © evannalynch / Instagram

Actress Evanna Lynch was only 14 when she got her dream job: she successfully auditioned for a role in the Harry Potter film series. The girl was noticed among 15,000 applicants and was cast in the fifth movie about the adventures of the boy who lived. Years later, Lynch recalled, “I just adored the Harry Potter franchise and Luna Lovegood was my favorite character, so it was just like a lot of things to process at once.”

The producers were amazed by Evanna, who had no serious acting experience, noting her 100% fit for the role: “Others could have played Luna. But only Evanna Lynch was the most Luna-like.”

In 2018, Lynch shared that she had suffered from an eating disorder — anorexia — since she was 11 years old. It turned out that her favorite books about Harry Potter were the only effective way to distract her from this condition.

She began corresponding with the author of the book series, having found a true friend in her. At the same time, Lynch underwent several hospitalizations, but always received letters from J.K. Rowling: “Books and her kindness really made me want to live again.”

In the end, her passion became her salvation from illness. The opportunity to play her favorite character changed her life. The fragile, self-doubting teenager realized that she had something to offer the world.

Years later, Evanna posted a photo on her social media from after her first audition for the role of Luna. She accompanied it with an honest text about not always valuing herself, regretting that the desire for self-improvement can radically change one’s personality: “You have to be careful when you’re swept up in the wave of self-improvement. You may become older and wiser with each passing day, but you may risk losing that authentic, pure self.” Fans warmly welcomed Lynch’s confession, giving her words of support.

I love the feeling of creating and acting more than I love the feeling of being skinny or of being perfect.

Lynch documented her eating disorder struggle in her memoir The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting: The Tragedy and Glory of Growing Up, published in 2021. The actress now firmly states that she has been able to overcome this condition and start eating like a healthy person, but the recovery process is not yet complete.

Lynch urges everyone who has faced this disorder not to give up: “And you have to learn how to do it in a functional way. So, I do believe you can properly recover and move on. But I think the healing process continues.”

Aside from writing, Lynch is involved in animal protection, vegan activism, and charity work. The actress hosts podcasts that draw attention to how to show more compassion towards people and animals, making this world a better place. Similar to Luna Lovegood, who charmed fans around the world with her charisma and quirky outlook on life, Lynch remains true to her convictions and stands up for them.

Preview photo credit WARNER BROS. PICTURES / CLOSE, MURRAY / Album / East News, evannalynch / Instagram
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