Evanna Lynch solemnly swears fan culture is up to no good.
In an interview from the “Talking Tastebuds” podcast that’s now making the rounds, the “Harry Potter” actor opened up about the dangers of fandom. Lynch explained she was an obsessed “Harry Potter” fan long before she was cast as Luna Lovegood at age 14 in 2006, often visiting fansite MuggleNet and writing letters to the cast.
“It was so weird to go from being a fan who used to stalk Daniel Radcliffe to being someone that people would send fan mail to,” Lynch said.
After she joined the films, she realized how closely her “Harry Potter” fandom was tied to her own identity.
“The whole fan culture I think is a bit unhealthy, being obsessed with a person. Because when I met Daniel and Emma [Watson] and Rupert [Grint], I knew everything about them. I knew their pet’s names, I knew their birthdays, I knew their parents’ names. And I had to pretend I didn’t,” Lynch said.
She added, “My whole identity was poured into theirs and to kind of adoring them that I was just suddenly confronted with like, ‘Who the hell am I?’ When they asked me what I’m interested in, I can’t, what do I say? And then I realized being an obsessive fan is kind of — it’s disempowering.”
Being on the other side of things disarmed her old perspective faster than you can say expelliarmus. Now that Lynch is on the receiving end of letters from obsessed fans who think they’re her “best friend,” it’s not so magical.
“I don’t respond to those people, because I don’t — it’s just not healthy. And I think it’s hard because some people, they don’t have the experience where they see it from the other side as I do, or they don’t have therapy or things like that. But I do, yeah, I just think fan culture is kind of dangerous and you can lose yourself in it,” Lynch said.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be a fan at all. As recently as 2017, Lynch told HuffPost she still adored the series, saying, “The books almost have a resetting effect on me. They bring me back to who I am.”
It’s clear in the podcast that the actor is calling out overly obsessive, sometimes dehumanizing, fan behavior. For instance, earlier in the conversation, Lynch, who’s a vegan and an animal lover, speaks about Netflix’s “Tiger King” and animals being exploited for photographs, relating it to bad fan interactions.
“I get people calling me Luna and that really irks me. Or they’ll be like, ‘Can I have a picture?’ And then they’ll take it without asking,” Lynch said, explaining those fans don’t take her feelings into consideration.
“That hurts me and puts me in a bad mood, and imagine that’s what we do to animals in captivity all the time,” she added.
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