Being Mia Smoak in Arrow and Saying Goodbye to Clary Fray and Shadowhunters: A Conversation with Katherine McNamara | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Being Mia Smoak in Arrow and Saying Goodbye to Clary Fray and Shadowhunters: A Conversation with Katherine McNamara

27 March 2019

Katherine McNamara began her acting career on Broadway, appearing in A Little Night Music with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury. She began guest starring on television series including Drop Dead Diva and 30 Rock. McNamara has appeared in theatrical movies such as New Year's Eve, and appeared in the Disney Channel original movie Girl vs. Monster playing the role of Myra Santelli. She co-starred in the film Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, playing the role of Tom's girlfriend Becky Thatcher. McNamara also appeared in the independent films Contest and A Sort of Homecoming.

She appeared on three episodes of the Disney XD series Kickin' It, in which she had a recurring role as Claire, Kim's rival, and in two episodes of the Disney Channel series Jessie, playing Bryn Brietbart, a rival to Emma Ross. She also appeared in an episode of the Nickelodeon series The Thundermans. McNamara was cast in the MTV series Happyland as Harper Munroe, a resident of the park who pursues a boy despite the fact that she already has a boyfriend, she also played the recurring role of Kat on the third season of The Fosters in 2015.

It was announced on May 6, 2015 that McNamara would be playing the lead character Clary Fray in Shadowhunters, the Freeform television adaptation of Cassandra Clare's best-selling book series The Mortal Instruments. Her first musical release, an original single titled "Ember", was included in the show's second-season finale. McNamara appeared in The Maze Runner film sequel, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, as Sonya, a co-leader of Group B. She reprised the role in the 2018 sequel, Maze Runner: The Death Cure. In September 2018, McNamara was cast in the seventh season of Arrow as the recurring character of Mia Smoak, the daughter of Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak.

Headshot Photo courtesy of Ryan Jerome

In our latest The Fan Carpet Chats To... interview, Kat tells The Fan Carpet's Marc Jason Ali about her start in the Industry, joining the Arrowverse and what props and wardrobe she was allowed to keep from her time on Shadowhunters.....


For those that don’t know, was there a defining moment for you to get into the entertainment industry, being that we know how much of an academic you are?

There actually was and, it sounds so silly when I kind of talk about it, but I feel so fortunate to have had this moment of clarity happen so early on. I was a dancer as a kid as a hobby and that was sort of my outlet into the creative side of things. I was also a softball player and a girl scout, and as a career I was looking to go into developmental economics, but I ended up running into a friend who was directing a community theatre show and needed a dancer. So I was a kid who would try anything and said “oh sure I’ll do this for a summer it might be fun” and I will never forget the first moment I stepped out on stage on opening night, there was this moment of clarity, that’s the only way I can describe it, that hit me like a brick wall, where I just knew in that moment that telling stories and creating characters was what I was put on this Earth to do and it’s for my soul too it’s what I have to do for the rest of my life.


That’s wonderful, because obviously you’re a shining light with everything you’ve worked on. So you’re Mia Smoak AKA Black Star on Arrow, how was it for you joining such an established and popular show, having to craft a character you initially weren’t told too much about?

Terrifying and exhilarating at the same time if I’m honest because when I first auditioned for the role, the character sides where sort of masked underneath this sort guise of rookie cop.

So I’m going in there thinking “ok”…….. even after I booked the part I started doing research on, you know, the kind of training police officers go through and all these other things and thinking about it from the perspective of the side of justice, and then I get a call from Beth Schwartz who’s the showrunner of Arrow who says “Hey welcome to the show, we’re really excited to have you. By the way everything you know is a lie, you’re Oliver and Felicity’s daughter and you’re going to be this fighter, underground thief. Good luck.” (laughs) And I’m going “Wait wait. What?, you have to reexplain this to me.”

It’s very exciting because I know and I’ve seen with Shadowhunters with Malec this kind of ship that so many people respond to and through that I’ve seen, the Olicity fandom adjacent to that and how beloved this couple is and now, in watching the entire series of Arrow and seeing that relationship build, I see why people respond to it so much and I understand the responsibility of taking on the, for lack of a better term, the end result (laughs) of the relationship.


Absolutely, you’ve been great on the show. One of my favourite reveals in Arrow history was when you revealed your identity to William, I was personally convinced you were the new Green Arrow, which fits with your badassery, but the reality is so much better. What was your reaction when you first read that in the script?

I thought it was the most Mia Smoak reveal that could have possibly been written. I was so excited, the writers had been teasing it to me for a long time and then telling me I’d be very excited about it and when I finally read it I knew why, because it’s just the most nonchalant and badass and unassuming bomb drop you could possibly have, just having the confidence to drop the knife and go “You have a gun to my head but you’re not going to shoot me” and I’m 100% confident in that and the fact that she is obviously reeling from figuring out that William is her brother which we though even prior to that, having her be able to steel herself and gain the power in that situation again is just so indicative of who she is and the survivor she’s become.






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