// Katherine McNamara //

Women in Hollywood

Katherine McNamara in 5 words:
Storyteller. Chameleon. Shapeshifter. Optimist. Student. 

What’s your annoying habit? Forgetting to reply to text messages. I WISH there was a “mark as unread” feature or something. PSA – to my friends and family – I am NOT ignoring you. I think I’ve finally figured out the root of the problem though. I just get so excited to hear from folks that I foolishly open the message immediately when it comes in, read it, then inevitably get called to set or pulled into something. By the time I’ve shot a few arrows or killed a few demons, I’ve completely lost the train of thought and the message gets lost to the ages. International travel and inconsistent cell service doesn’t help either. I feel a New Years resolution coming on…  

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week? This week, I had the privilege of presenting at the CNN Heroes Tribute, an event honoring 10 individuals who have devoted their lives to a problem faced by people in the world today and have taken great strides to make a difference for the better. I was so humbled to be surrounded by so many people who put the greater good above their own – it re-inspired my faith in the good in humanity. The news today is so saturated with stories of negativity and tragedy that it was refreshing to hear about so many diverse issues that are being helped if not solved by the work of these incredible people. It just goes to show that if you have the courage to stand up for what is right and believe in the good of others, real change will happen – no matter how impossible or daunting it may seem. 

What is one message you would give to your fans? Thank you! That’s always my answer but it will never cease to be true. They are the reason I have a job, the reason I am able to do what I love for a living, and a huge part of what has made my last couple projects so special. As an actor, I pour blood, sweat, and tears into every character I play and to have people so viscerally connect with and respond to the stories I’m telling is something I really cherish. I have been so lucky to have had such a positive relationship with the fandoms and I credit the viewers with that for being receptive to the journeys we put in front of them. With projects such as SHADOWHUNTERS however, it has reached another level. They have taken the fandom beyond the story and our characters and started a movement, a community that celebrates and promotes love and acceptance of everyone. It’s a place where people can feel free to express themselves and be their true selves without fear of judgement. In the world of social media that can be so negative and discriminatory at times, it is so admirable to see such a global group of fans that have been able to establish such positivity among them and continue to spread it to others. So thank you, for letting me be a part of your journey, and for your stories, your art, your friendship, and your love. I am eternally grateful.  

What’s the weirdest thing a fan has ever done for you? Well I wouldn’t say this is a weird thing necessarily, but it’s certainly a special one. Every Monday on my insta story, I post a quote for Monday Motivation. It’s often silly or sweet, just something to make people smile as they start their week. Nothing much, just my little contribution to the general spirit of positivity for folks. What I didn’t expect, however, was for people to respond to it so much. I get so many messages from folks saying how it brightens their day or helps them through a tough moment. When I go to comic cons, folks have even made me their own jars or books of Monday Motivations they love. It’s the simplest little thing that makes a big impact. 

What would be a good theme song for your life? Anything Goes by Cole Porter. Anytime I feel I have life figured out or I know what is going to happen next, something changes – for better or for worse – and the choice is up to me how I react and handle it. I feel as though change is the only constant in my life anymore but I’ve decided to embrace and celebrate that. Variety is the spice of life as they say and the more open and flexible I can stay in that, the more experiences and opportunities I can allow into my life. At this point, anything goes and that’s a beautiful thing. I’m ready for whatever life wants to throw my way, and if not, I’ll learn from it. 

Which fictional character would be the most exciting to meet in real life? Sherlock Holmes. I’ve been fascinated by his ability to notice and infer seemingly impossible conclusions from the most mundane of details for most of my life. His methods of deduction have always been a superpower to me. I’ve read the majority of Doyle’s books and stories and never tire of the tales of the unorthodox detective. I’d love a chance to pick his brain or even just observe. 

What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing? My mother always called me her zebra as a child because I tended to treat certain things as very black and white. For example, if I was told not to do something, I would never even remotely think about or come close to doing that thing for fear of completely ruining my life or dying or some other drastic fate. I would vow to never ever do that thing for the rest of my life. Obviously, I have since learned to appreciate the grey areas of life, but this quality made for some pretty humorous anecdotes of my gullibility as a child. One of my favorite instances was a discovery I made when I was about 10 years old. In my grandmother’s kitchen, there was an opaque ceramic jar with the phrase “This is a crock of chips.” painted on the front. My grandfather loved BBQ potato chips, so I always assumed it was full of his favorite snack food. However, one day when I was baking with my grandmother, she asked me to put a batch of my favorite fresh made cookies in this same jar. First I was confused – why would she want me to put cookies in with the chips? Suddenly, an impossible thought occurred to me – could this crock of chips actually have been a cookie jar all these years? I raced over and threw open the lid and sure enough, full of cookies. I was horrified thinking of all the years and opportunities I had misused of having my favorite cookies always at my fingertips! What makes this even more ironically hilarious in retrospect is my entire family thought I knew it was a cookie jar the whole time! Turns out, I just didn’t get the joke. 

What projects are you currently working on? I just finished up the final season of CW’s ARROW. I’m still relatively new to the Arrowverse but it was still bittersweet to bring that story to a close. It’s been such a lovely time and brought so many incredible people into my life. Also, seeing the legacy Stephen and the team have built over the last 8 years be honored in such a heartfelt way has been really special. However, we did shoot a pilot for a potential spinoff in which I take on the mantle as the next Green Arrow (airing this January) – so who knows! Currently I am in the middle of shooting a miniseries for CBS All Access based on Stephen King’s THE STAND. It’s a great new turn into a different genre and a completely different character for me. I’m having the time of my life stretching this different set of muscles and playing with this incredible cast. As a massive Stephen King fan myself, I can attest that this retelling is going to be one for the ages. Now that I have a bit more time on my hands, I have several other irons in the fire as well (can you tell I’m a bit of a workaholic?) including music, directing, producing, and some other interesting collaborations coming soon. 

What will you do after answering these questions? Well I am currently sitting at a hair salon getting my hair dyed pink for my next project – multitasking for the win! After this, I’ll head to the gym and then start my annual holiday baking endeavor. I turn into quite the cookie elf this time of year!

Photo Joe Holtrichter Styling Alexandria Ceranski
Hair Stylist Jasmine Burnside  Makeup Artist Whittany Robinson 
Producer Andre’ Adkins

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