Extracted from Harry Potter: The Character Vault
Xenophilius Lovegood, Luna Lovegood’s father, works out of his house in the countryside as editor of The Quibbler. ‘This man has causes,’ says Jany Temime. ‘He believes in things. And because he lives in such an isolated world, I thought, he must work in his pajamas. You know, when you work at home, why should you dress.’
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit Lovegood at his home, he wears a long striped shirt covered by a vest and a bathrobe-type coat that has seen better days. ‘I found that engine coat, that beautiful handwoven antique coat, which was a very natural organic thing.’ The coat and its two duplicates were ‘broken down,’ but instead of pulling threads out, ‘We added threads,’ says Temime. ‘We wanted there to be threads hanging from the hem and there just weren’t enough.
‘When I was fitting it to Rhys,’ Temime continues, ‘I wanted more layers to show the different layers of his personality.’ Ifans and Temime had worked together previously and began discussing this idea. ‘Something we thought of were the little patches,’ says Ifans, ‘which I suggested Luna has made for Xenophilius.
‘I wanted some attachment to her because she’s very present in the scene even though she’s not actually there. So perhaps these would be things that she embroidered over the years for my birthday or her mother’s birthday.’
‘I remembered that Luna was always adorned in handmade jewelry,’ Temime adds.
‘So I had the idea that we could make a pieced waistcoat and each one of the pieces was something that Luna had stitched or appliqued for him. Then he would be wearing his daughter’s work on his chest, because Luna is his world.’
The natural imagery that Luna displays in her own outfits and jewelry is well represented on the waistcoat, which is covered in butterflies and flowers, mythological creatures, Dirigible Plums, and images that resemble Luna’s Gryffindor lion hat and the Durmstrang ship.
As Xenophilius, Rhys wears a long blond wig that echoes Luna’s long tresses. ‘He’s described in the book as having long golden hair,’ Ifans says. ‘He’s also got a cross-eye in the book, which I can’t really hold for very long. I did try a contact lens, but it was too excruciating. And I think it would have made him too comedic, in a way.’
While Ifans felt the character shouldn’t be too funny, it didn’t stop the actor from cracking up other actors on the set, something that’s called ‘corpsing.’ Emma Watson, who was particularly adept at keeping a straight face, found him hysterical. ‘I just couldn’t keep it together,’ she admits. ‘I couldn’t stop laughing.’ Ifans nicknamed her ‘Giggles’ by the end of their days filming together.