Heroes Fall, Legends Rise
At the tender age of 13, Katherine McNamara was already working. In 2010, she landed the role of Fredrika Armfeldt in the 2009 Broadway revival of A Little Night Music, starring opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury. “That job was really everything to me,” she recalls. “It was the job that I left home for, and it was my first time living in New York City, and my first time living away from home. Suddenly, I was thrust in the middle of working with legends of stage and screen and these powerhouse women I’d looked up to my whole life.” The now-24-year-old learned indispensable skills while working on the production and observed first-hand what it takes to be a woman in the industry. “They were such beautiful examples of how to lead a production and how to be kind and gracious and wonderful but also truly kickass on stage,” she adds.
In 2015, McNamara went on to accept her most notable role of Brooklyn-teenager-turned-demon-hunter Clary Fray on Shadowhunters, and has since played Mia Smoak on Arrow, Supergirl, Batwoman, and The Flash; she feels that each role has an element of “responsibility” and does whatever she can to breathe life into the characters. “I pour my heart and soul, and blood, sweat, and tears into each character. They’re kind of like my babies,” she says with a laugh. “As you play these characters, they become a part of you, and you leave a little part of your soul with them, and what I’ve come to realize is that I am so grateful for each and every one because they provide different challenges and different opportunities to grow both personally and professionally. I’m definitely very aware of and very grateful for the journey that each one provides.”
Additionally, the young actress has worked with Girl Up, a global movement of empowered young women who defend gender equality, initiated by the United Nations Foundation, as she values the work they do in “allowing girls the opportunity to make giving back a priority and to think about themselves as global citizens in a global community.” In fact, as a child, McNamara always knew she wanted to make major change in the world but wasn’t sure how to achieve it, or even where to start so this is a cause that is near and dear to her heart.
Moving forward, the self-described “perpetual student” hopes to expand her resume and continue to give her all in her career, no matter what the role may be. “I made a promise to myself in this industry that I would never get stuck for too long in one medium or in one genre,” McNamara says. “I would find opportunities to play every kind of character and be every kind of person, and I’ve really been able to do that – so now, with more time on my hands and a little more opportunity, I’m really looking for projects to take me out of my comfort zone and to provide that next challenge that I can rise to.”
Writer: Lydee Striplin
Photographer: Catherine Asanov (@catherineasanov)
Stylist: Andrew Philip Nguyen
Hair: Carina Tafulu (using amika & Shu Uemura Art of Hair)
Makeup: Simon Rihana (for Art Department - using Lancôme)
Editor: Eiko Watanabe
Special thanks to Pizzanista! (@pizzanista - www.pizzanista.com) & EPK Media (@myepk & @epkmedia - epkmedia.com)