The following article contains discussion of eating disorders some readers may find triggering.
Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch has opened up about how the franchise helped her amid her experience with an eating disorder.
Speaking candidly on The One Show on Wednesday (December 8), the Luna Lovegood star explained that her eating disorder started at a young age and began as a means of 'control' and "a coping mechanism". She explained that it made her feel "tired, obsessed" and "like I lost myself," adding that she "lost my personality".
One of the things that helped her feel more like herself was the Harry Potter books. "For some reason, they just grabbed my heart and made me love being alive," the Silent Witness actress shared, calling the books the "only thing that took my mind off eating and exercise".
It was after falling in love with the hugely popular books that she became involved with the films. She explained that it was a "big, big dream come true" for her when she auditioned and got the part of Harry, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley's schoolmate Luna Lovegood, explaining that her character further helped her on her journey.
"Luna Lovegood was a very positive influence on my life," she said, calling the witch "so still and self accepting". She also shared how the role helped her to further overcome her disorder, recalling how her parents explained to her that she could potentially lose the role unless she stayed focused on her health.
"It was a real blessing to get to play her," Lynch added.
The star also shared some advice for those experiencing similar issues, advising others to "appreciate yourself and how your body will evolve" and to "focus on self-worth" and "focus every day on getting strong".
Lynch previously opened up about her eating disorder past to E! News in October, sharing that she doesn't "have an eating disorder at all anymore". She added that she's had "years of eating like a normal, healthy person and having balanced habits" and shared her belief that it's possible for those experiencing similar issues to totally recover.
Beat (www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk) is a charity which raises awareness and understanding of eating disorders, and supports those affected by them. Beat now has a one-to-one secure messaging service. Its phone helpline for those aged 18 and over is 0808 801 0677, and there's also a dedicated Youthline for those under 18 – 0808 801 0711.
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