Actor Evanna Lynch on how Harry Potter helped with her eating disorder recovery

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Photo credit: Gregg DeGuire - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gregg DeGuire - Getty Images

Actor Evanna Lynch, best known for playing Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter film series, has opened up in her new memoir about her experience of having an eating disorder – and how the wizarding world played a part in her recovery.

Discussing her book, The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting, in a new interview, Evanna said that it's "no fairytale" read.

"I wanted to write a book about eating disorders and recovery, that wasn't triggering, that wasn't focusing on the physical symptoms, to discuss the depths of what was going on, to not get distracted by the shocking details, all the stuff you see on the surface," she explained to RTÉ's Today.

Evanna added, "The message is about putting your energy and focus into your dreams over your self-destruction. To me, creativity was a way out of those problems, it gave me a vision for a life beyond that very dark time."

Previously, during an appearance on Dancing With The Stars in 2018, Evanna recalled the time she spent in hospital while receiving treatment for anorexia. She said that at the age of 11, her eating disorder had fully consumed her and one of the only things that she found offered a form of escapism was reading the Harry Potter books.

Photo credit: Gareth Davies - Getty Images
Photo credit: Gareth Davies - Getty Images

"Anyone who's had an eating disorder knows it completely takes over your life," she shared candidly. "The only thing that could actually take my attention apart from that was the Harry Potter series."

Evanna also confessed that she reached out to author J. K. Rowling via letter and received a response back, which marked the start of their longer-term correspondence.

"I started writing to J. K. Rowling and she wrote back and we became pen friends after that," the actor said. "I was in and out of hospital and I would be getting these letters."

Speaking about how she feels following the book's release, Evanna posted to her 3.7 million Instagram followers saying how consistency was key to getting her story written up.

"A year ago, I had only two chapters written and was struggling through the more miserable parts of the book and really wondering would anyone be bothered to read it. It’s crazy how life can change when you hold the vision for a project, show up consistently and see it through, even on days when you’re not sure it’s worth it."

Beat is the UK's leading charity dedicated to helping people with eating disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling and want to seek help, call their helpline on 0808 801 0677 or visit their website for more details

Buy Evanna Lynch's memoir here:

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