Katherine McNamara is wowing fans of Cassandra Clare’s best-selling series The Mortal Instruments, in Freeform’s dark and action-packed new series, Shadowhunters. In the series, 18-year-old Clary Fray discovers that she comes from a long line of shadowhunters — human/angel hybrids who hunt demons.
McNamara shares a lot of insight into her character and the shadow world in our interview, and one thing I wanted to ask the actress about is her character’s luscious locks. She shares, “[Executive producer & Director of the pilot ] McG and myself, and [Series creator/executive producer] Ed Decter, and all of the creatives on the production really worked hard to figure out the exact right shade of red … It’s a color that I wouldn’t want to repeat for any other character.”
And the actress reveals why she revels being a redhead. “It really is an outward expression of who Clary is on the inside. She has such a fire and such a passion, and she’s so fiercely loyal to the people that she loves that her red hair is kind of where that fire escapes into the outside world.” And when McNamara answered our “5 Questions,” we discovered the actress is just as fiery and courageous as her character.
1. What are three things that you have to have in your refrigerator or pantry?
Apples, rice cakes and some kind of fresh vegetable.
2. If your TV had only three shows or networks on it, what would you be watching?
I’d have to say Freeform/ABC Family because that’s Pretty Little Liars, that’s The Fosters, and that’s Shadowhunters — those are my shows. I’d say HBO, because I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones, and probably Turner Classic Movies, because I love watching old Hollywood films.
3. Tell us about a time when you were completely starstruck.
I was working on the revival of “A Little Night Music” in New York, and Stephen Sondheim was having a party at his home. I didn’t want to be the first to arrive — because I was new to the cast — so I showed up a few minutes late … I look around and the only people who have arrived so far are Stephen Sondheim and Angela Lansbury. I’m this 14-year-old girl from Kansas City going, “Well, legend number one, legend number two, what are we going to talk about? So here we go!” I ended up getting very close to them. We had a very wonderful time chitchatting until everyone else arrived.
4. Who has had the best reaction to you earning the role of Clary Fray?
It was probably my grandparents, because they are not necessarily 100 percent familiar with the series. They were going, “Oh! That’s lovely! You’re going to be doing what now? There are demons and vampires?” It was really adorable to get to explain to them what the series was, and all about the show.
5. Since the world of Shadowhunters deals with a lot of the mythical and fantastic, and your character has almost superhero abilities, if you could choose any superhero skill to have in real life, what would you choose?
If I could choose any superpower, it would be the power to heal. Not only do you always need someone to be able to heal in a superhero-type situation, but also I’m very clumsy, and I fall and bruise quite a bit. It would be nice to be able to take care of those bruises immediately as opposed to having to cover them with makeup.
Shadowhunters > Freeform > Tuesdays at 9pm ET/PT