Interview: Kat McNamara Dishes on Her New Role on CW’s ‘Arrow’

Kat is best known for her role as Clary in the Freeform hit series, Shadowhunters. While the end of Shadowhunters is bittersweet, fans cannot wait to see Kat on the CW hit show, Arrow. Kat recently sat down with Glitter Magazine to talk about the new season, her character, Clary, and a few new projects she’s working on. Did you know that she has a love for traveling? Or that she received her B.S. in Business Administration summa cum laude at 17? Her favorite book right now happens to be one of our favorites as well. When she’s not shooting new episodes of Shadowhunters, you’ll find Kat reading, training, and hanging out with friends. Read on to find out more about this talented actress.

GLITTER: Did you always want to be an actress?

KAT: I didn’t actually. I sort of fell into this industry but I’m so glad I did. Some things are meant to be I think. Originally, I had planned on pursuing a career in economics and finance. I loved math as a kid and applying those skills to the real world through the science of economics always fascinated me. I still ended up going to school for business however and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration summa cum laude. It took dedication and a good deal of creative time management, but it was so worth it. I was not only able to pursue a real passion of mine educationally, but I am able to manage a career in my other passion from a business standpoint as well as a creative one.

GLITTER: What can you tell us about this last season of Shadowhunters on Freeform without giving anything away?

KAT: Not much! There’s so much new going on this season and so much of it has to do with spoiler content! What I can tell you is each character is forced to face their demons in a very real way this season. There is no holding back as everyone must either vanquish these foes or succumb to their will. For Clary, in particular, she finally comes face to face with the consequences of her actions in the previous 2 seasons and has to take responsibility for her actions on her own in a very real way. On top of that, she has grown up quite a bit and finally sees this world for what it is – cold, brutal, and often deadly.

GLITTER: What’s it like playing Clary?

KAT: Playing Clary has been one of the best experiences I have ever had the opportunity in which to partake. I am very careful not to take any aspect of it for granted. I am playing a character that is strong, smart, and yet still flawed. She is constantly learning and growing as she makes her way through the story and as such, I learn along with her. I’m constantly training and gaining skills with different weapons and in a variety of martial arts disciplines. On top of that, I am surrounded by an incredible cast, crew, and creative team who all take care of each other and push each other to create the best show possible. It is, however, a huge responsibility as I understand how much this character and this story means to people. My whole goal in all of this is to do justice to the source material and provide an interesting, informed, fresh look at a world so many people love.

GLITTER: What can you tell us about your new role on CW’s hit show, Arrow?

KAT: Not much! I wish I could share but I’m sworn to spoiler secrecy. Here’s what I can tell you. Maya is tough, she’s scrappy, she’s a fighter. In other words, don’t mess with her. I cannot wait for ARROW fans to meet her.

GLITTER: We’ve heard that your character is very Buffy-esque. Would you agree or disagree with that assessment?

KAT: I plead the fifth…

GLITTER: Is this a guest starring role or will it turn into something more?

KAT: I plead the fifth…

GLITTER: Will you get to do your own fighting scenes?

KAT: The fact that Maya is a fighter is one of my favorite aspects of this new project. I learned so much from the amazing stunt team on SHADOWHUNTERS and I’m thrilled to be able to continue honing my skills with the ARROW stunt department. Like Shadowhunters, I do get to do the majority of my own fighting on the show while the more dangerous falls and tricks are done by my fearless and incredible stunt double.

GLITTER: Can you tell us anything about season 7 without giving any spoilers away?

KAT: Hmmm… I can tell you I’m in it. In all seriousness, I’m really excited for folks to see this season. Beth and the rest of the team have done an amazing job turning the world on its end and giving the show new life with so many turns you won’t see coming. It’s really impressive – I think the ARROW fans are going to love it.

GLITTER: What other roles have you had in the past?

KAT: I have had the pleasure of playing a variety of roles in film, television, and theater. I’m excited and hopeful to return to all of these forms of media at some point soon. Just as each character does, each platform requires a different skill set and allows me to utilize a variety of aspects of myself as a performer. It’s always exciting to be kept on my toes.

GLITTER:  What do you love to do in your spare time?

KAT: In my spare time I generally focus on training, reading, and spending time with friends and family. Basically, the things that, unfortunately, go by the wayside when I’m working. I do also love to travel. I’m committed to see as much of the world as possible while I still live a nomadic lifestyle and have the freedom to do so. I learn so much every time I visit a new place – it is the best food for the soul I have found.

GLITTER: We know you also love to bake. Is there a recipe of something you love to bake that you can share with readers?

KAT: Ooh, I mean most of what I bake are family recipes passed down to me so they aren’t mine to share. However, I will tell you this. Phoebe was right – the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of the chip bag really is the best. 🙂

GLITTER: If you weren’t an actress, what would you want to do instead?

KAT: If I wasn’t an actress, I would probably end up writing or directing. In fact, those are both fields I intend to pursue, although I have no plans to stop acting at any point in my life. If I were not in the entertainment industry at all, I would most likely have ended up in developmental economics. I have always been fascinated by and in awe of that field and would have happily pursued it further.

GLITTER: What is something fans may not know about you?

KAT: I’m pretty sure most people know this about me given my antics on social media, but I’m a bit of a grandma. I knit, I bake, I love old classic films, and that’s only the beginning of it. I mean I could even show you my stash of Werther’s Caramels in my purse right now…

GLITTER: How do you give back to the community?

KAT: However, and wherever I can! I’m always on board to do my part to make this world a better place. Often it only takes a few seconds of a simple task to make a big difference in the long run. I am of the mind that if everyone in the world took a few seconds of their day to do their part and do something for the greater good, the world would be a much better place. My main initiative to do so in an official capacity is by being an ambassador for Girl Up. They are a truly admirable organization and the results of their efforts are nothing short of miraculous. You can find more information on their initiatives at or through the United Nations Foundation.

GLITTER: Best advice you were ever given?

KAT: The best advice I was ever given is to never forget the parts of myself that make me different. In an industry and especially in a world that tries to make everyone conform to the same stencil, it’s important to remember that sometimes, you have to break the mold. There is a reason you are different – that’s what makes you special and that’s where the magic is. Don’t ever lose that.

GLITTER: Favorite quote?

KAT: Oh, I love quotes. I always find it interesting that the words of others can speak so eloquently something we all feel, or even provide us a different perspective in one momentary snapshot. My favorite quote describes how I live my life. “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

GLITTER: Favorite exercise and ways to stay healthy?

KAT: I am always changing up my fitness. It keeps me excited and focused on whatever workout I’m into at the moment. Currently, my favorites are spin and boxing. Both are super intense and quite the challenge but there’s no better feeling than accomplishing a difficult goal. Exercise has become my “me time.” It can be almost meditative for me. I know that no matter what’s going on in my life or what kind of day I’ve had, it is something positive I can do for my body and my mind that clears my head and resets everything.

GLITTER: Favorite book right now?

KAT: Alice in Wonderland! I read it when I was a kid and of course, enjoyed its whimsy and saw it as a fairy tale. Recently, however, I was looking at some quotes (of course) and re-read some lines from the book. I realized they had a completely different meaning and depth now that I’m an adult. So, I’m now in the process of re-reading it.

GLITTER: Favorite Disney princess?

KAT: I always have gravitated toward the warrior princesses. Mulan and Pocahontas were always my go-tos- badass warrior women who fought for what they wanted and what they felt was right. That’s what I’ve always aspired to be.

GLITTER: Do you have any new projects coming up that you can tell us about?

KAT: I can’t say anything definitive at the moment, but there’s a few things in the works that I’m very excited about.

GLITTER: What positive message do you hope to send women who follow you?

KAT: I really do make a conscious effort to spread whatever positivity I can in this world. Overall, the message I hope everyone receives from what I post is one of acceptance, motivation, and joy. I hope that people can be more accepting of themselves and others, can be motivated to improve themselves and the world around them, and that they can see life through a lens of light and joy whenever possible.

GLITTER: Many women are coming forward in media and standing up for their rights as women. How important is this issue to you?

KAT: Being a woman in media, this issue is very important to me. I do however think there is a lot of work to be done in the way this battle is fought. A good deal of clarity needs to be shed on the situation as well as the willingness of both sides to listen to each other to better come to a cohesive place. I am also a firm believer in fighting for equality for everyone in a way that does not give special treatment to or deliberately diminish any group involved. It’s a long road ahead, but it’s one worth taking.

GLITTER: What role are you dying to play?

KAT: I can honestly say – I don’t know. That’s the most exciting thing about being in this industry, you never know what is right around the corner. Of course, there’s a whole slew of theater roles I hope to have the opportunity to play someday, but that List is far too long to share here. Ultimately, the dream role would be one that transforms me, challenges me, and is something that I have to immerse myself in fully. Those are the moments where you grow the most as an artist.

GLITTER: How can fans follow you?

KAT: Folks can find me on twitter @Kat_McNamara, on Instagram @Kitkatsmeow, and on Facebook OfficialKatherineMcNamara.

Download our app on iTunes.

Photographer: Hudson Taylor Makeup: Jenna Kristina Hair: Justine Marjan Stylist: Natalie Hoselton