Evanna Lynch says 'Harry Potter' author JK Rowling helped her through an eating disorder at 11 — before the actress was cast as Luna Lovegood

David Livingston/Getty Images and Chris Jackson/Getty ImagesEvanna Lynch starred as Luna Lovegood in the ‘Harry Potter’ films.
  • Evanna Lynch opened up about how JK Rowling and the “Harry Potter” series helped her overcome an eating disorder when she was 11 or 12 years old.
  • The actress shared the story on the latest episode of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” which she is competing on.
  • “The only thing that could actually take my attention apart from that was the ‘Harry Potter’ series,” Lynch explained.
  • The 27-year-old said that while she was in and out of the hospital, she became pen pals with Rowling and “her books and her kindness really made me want to live again.”

Evanna Lynch is known for her role as Luna Lovegood in the “Harry Potter” films, but she had a special connection with author JK Rowling before being cast in the franchise.

Lynch shared the heartwarming story on Monday evening’s episode of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” which she is competing on with professional dancer Keo Motsepe.

As part of the third week of competition, the stars were challenged to choose their most memorable year and perform a dance based on it. Lynch explained that 2006 was a highlight for her, because it was the year she booked her role in “Harry Potter.”

The 27-year-old said that when she was 11 or 12 years old, she was battling an eating disorder.

“Anyone who’s had an eating disorder knows it completely takes over your life,” Lynch said.

The actress added: “The only thing that could actually take my attention apart from that was the ‘Harry Potter’ series.”

In addition to being “the biggest fan” of the franchise and the quirky character Luna, Lynch said that she eventually started exchanging letters with Rowling.

“I started writing to JK Rowling and she wrote back and we became pen friends after that,” Lynch said. “I was in and out of hospital and I would be getting these letters.”

The actress went on to say that “her books and her kindness really made me want to live again.”

In January 2006, Lynch discovered the open casting call for Luna Lovegood and landed the part.

Harry Potter Luna Lovegood bunny patronusWarner Bros.Luna Lovegood’s patronus in ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’ is a hare.

“I love the feeling of creating and acting more than I love the feeling of being skinny or of being perfect,” she added.

“Being in ‘Harry Potter’ changed my life because it proved to me that I could do something, that I had something to offer the world.”

Watch Lynch discuss how “Harry Potter” helped her overcome an eating disorder in the video below.

This isn’t the first time Lynch has credited Rowling and “Harry Potter” to turning her life around.

In 2017, the actress appeared on the British morning show “Lorraine” and said: “Luna especially inspired me because I think a lot of my problems were because I felt odd and felt weird and she made me see that that was OK and that was actually empowering me.”

Previously, Lynch explained that she didn’t realise that being “open” about her struggle would gain so much attention.

“I had talked about how I had a relationship with JK Rowling, writing to her beforehand, that it meant a lot to me,” she told Sunday World magazine. “People would ask: ‘Why did she write to you?’ And it was because I was sick, and I was asking for advice, and telling her how much her books had helped me, and that was what touched her.”

Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.