Hailing from the village of Termonfeckin in Louth, Evanna Lynch is mainly known as being the actress who played Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter films. It’s one of the world’s most successful film franchises to date and it truly propelled the actress to the world stage. But acting isn’t Evanna’s only calling in life.

The Harry Potter films may have finished a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean that Evanna hasn’t been up to much since. In fact she’s busier than ever – and the acting career isn’t the only thing she’s maintaining! In fact, she’s also been working hard on her fantastic podcast on veganism. Named The ChickPeeps, it’s a collaborative effort that shines the spotlight on several topics during the course of each episode and spreads awareness of issues such as animal welfare and sustainable lifestyles.

Since I’m back making podcasts myself, I was curious to find out a little more about Evanna’s own podcast and her experiences making it, as well as what veganism means to her.

Exclusive Interview with Evanna Lynch

Background | The ChickPeeps Podcast | Vegan travel | Ethical travel | Future plans

Background

Anyone who’s seen the Harry Potter films will know already who Evanna Lynch is. By far her most famous acting role to date, Evanna’s portrayal of Luna Lovegood is what propelled her to the world stage. An incredible 15,000 people auditioned for the part when it was announced back in 2006, but it was the special kinship that Evanna felt for the character that helped secure her the role – at the age of 14 no less! Even J. K. Rowling herself has said that she was perfect for the character.

Evanna always knew that she wanted to get into acting even from a young age. But hearing her stories about what it was like to work on the set of Harry Potter, it was fantastic to hear how friendly and supportive the rest of the star-studded cast were. And that’s exactly what you need when you are put into such a huge role when you’re a only teenager – it’s clearly helped to foster a fantastic sense of confidence and she was able to truly blossom not just as an actor, but as a person as well.

In addition to having worked on the Harry Potter franchise, Evanna has also starred in several short and independent films as well as even featuring on the stage! She’s recently starred in a Broadway adaptation of cult classic Disco Pigs, as well as starring in the BBC drama Danny and the Human Zoo and an independent short It Don’t Come Easy.

The ChickPeeps Podcast

Acting isn’t Evanna’s only passion however. Since becoming a vegan 5 years ago, she’s fully embraced the lifestyle and is an impassioned campaigner for animal rights and ethical life choices. And this is exactly what the ChickPeeps Podcast is all about! Co-hosted with three other people, each episode of the podcast covers several issues and discussions relating to veganism. And yes – there are some special Harry Potter-themed episodes asking questions such as “Which house would have the most vegans?” and “Can vegan wand cores be just as powerful?” All very good questions for the ethically-minded witch or wizard – could you think of a vegan alternative to phoenix feathers?

What I love in particular about the podcast is that it isn’t prescribing any fixed form of veganism, or telling people to act or live a particular way. The whole idea behind the podcast is to make it accessible to non-vegans; introduce the ideas and the concepts behind it and show that it isn’t as perhaps scary or daunting as one may think. There’s loads of debates in the vegan community that to this day don’t really have a fixed answer. Evanna brought up the dilemma behind chicken’s eggs for example – even if the hens were hand-reared, living a great life in your garden being pampered, would it still be OK to use their eggs?

[People’s] food choices are not the most interesting thing about them.

While the podcast does bring up these ambiguous issues, it’s still up to you at the end of the day where you stand on the topic! And I think that’s a wicked way of approaching things. It goes against the grain in away – even Evanna admits that veganism gets a bad rap due to some individuals within the community showing a holier-than-thou attitude towards non-vegans. But the podcast is Evanna’s special way of showing that vegans aren’t all the same. In fact they’re just as chilled-out as any other person, and someone’s dietary choices or eating habits isn’t a person’s defining feature. Trust me – even if you’re a non-vegan, you’ll learn loads from the podcast!

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Vegan travel – tips and tricks

Naturally as your Holidayguru, I was curious to find out more about how being vegan may influence the choices and options open to you on your travels – and how you might get around any potential pitfalls. Of course Evanna was there right away with some fantastic tips and tricks for vegan travel that I am sure will come in handy for anyone listening!

While Evanna does view travel as the most challenging aspect of veganism, it isn’t impossible. The first thing she recommended was an app named Happy Cow. This fantastic app will show you restaurants close by to you that have serve vegan menus or feature vegan options. I can see this being incredibly handy if you’re in a large city you’re not familiar with. And who knows – perhaps you might discover somewhere new to check out in your home town too!

Another potential problem for vegan is trying to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you feel those cravings starting to kick in but you’re on the other side of the world, how do you exactly go about finding those familiar brands that you know and love? Well, Evanna actually recommends to bring these vegan sweets and treats with you in your luggage. That way you have a handy stash of deliciousness on hand that you can dip into while you’re on the road. No worries, no stress – just get stuck in!

But perhaps the most challenging aspect of vegan travel are airlines and flights. Doesn’t matter if you’re vegan or not – we all know very well that the options open to us on flights can be limited at best! If you have the opportunity to specify in advance which meals you’d like on the flight, then do it! Otherwise you may be caught out during a long-haul trip, and suddenly that transatlantic flight is going to feel a lot longer.

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Ethical travel

But of course, veganism isn’t just about the food that you eat – a huge part of it is also about the ethical treatment of animals and the very nature of our co-existence with them. With travel becoming increasingly common and widespread in the age of blogs and Instagramming, more and more attention is being brought to the plight of animals that suffer in the name of tourism. From people taking selfies with baby tigers to swimming with dolphins in tiny enclosures, I’m certain that you’ve encountered debates surrounding such topics in your own social media feeds and it is something we should all keep in mind, even if you don’t consider yourself a vegan.

Evanna herself is also doing her part to bring attention to these issues. In fact just recently she ventured over to India to showcase the horrible reality of elephant riding. These gentle giants live a life full of fear and abuse as they’re ‘trained’ for their ultimate purpose: letting tourists ride on their back. Knowing that all of this is going on, it should be enough to make you think twice should you be eyeing up tours in brochures!

On the ChickPeeps podcast there have already been discussions surrounding similar topics. Take zoos for example – on one hand, some really do provide inadequate living conditions for the animals there, yet on the other hand they can play a huge role in the conservation and breeding of endangered species. There are loads of ways of looking at this, but again, it’s all about bearing these things in mind and simply doing a bit of research to ensure that you’re travelling as ethically as you can. Every little bit helps!

Thailand elephants

Future plans for Evanna

The podcast is certainly quite the project for Evanna, but fans of her on the silver screen don’t have to worry – acting is still her priority! Evanna is looking for those perfect roles that will really speak to her. Whether it’s in theatre, TV, dramas or even independent films, she certainly has broad horizons and is open to many opportunities that will come her way, but what ever it is she does I am sure Evanna will absolutely own it. She managed to play the role of Luna Lovegood so convincingly because of that personal connection with the character, so I’m excited to see what other characters she’ll bring to life that way.

In terms of travel, Bali is also very high up on her bucket list which doesn’t actually surprise me at all! Bali is often seen as a place of spirituality, and I could definitely see Evanna using her time there to really get in touch with the breathtaking nature there and get inspired for new personal projects.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan at sunrise, Bali, Indonesia

Listen to the interview over at our Gurucast!

Evanna was an absolute delight to chat with and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. And I’m sure you will do – in fact you can listen to the whole exclusive interview with Evanna Lynch here over at Soundcloud, or you can give a listen to on iTunes and YouTube as well.


Take a look at some of my other interviews!