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EXCLUSIVE: Katherine McNamara talks ‘Shadowhunters’ and ‘Arrow’ [INTERVIEW]

The 'Shadowhunters' star gives us the scoop on 3B and more!

Katherine McNamara is fighting all over our TV’s these days. On the CW, she is the scrappy, mysterious Blackstar on Arrow. And on Shadowhunters, she is Clary, a warrior with an uncertain fate. We chatted with her about the upcoming episodes of Shadowhunters 3B and when we can expect to learn more about her character on Arrow.

Pure Fandom:  Can you talk about what Clary’s state of mind is at the start of Shadowhunters 3B? 

Katherine McNamara:  Isn’t that the burning question! I think the first thing on Clary’s mind is confusion. And she’s definitely in a situation she never expected to be in. And she’s quite out of her element and has absolutely no control. So, she has to quickly use everything she’s learned from Jace and Alec and the other soldiers she’s been spending so much time with and assess the situation and figure out how to either escape or work it into her favor.

shadowhunters
(Freeform/John Medland)
KATHERINE MCNAMARA

She’s so smart, I love that. What was the vibe like on set while filming 3B? 

It was wonderful. You know, we had the best time shooting 3B. It’s really interesting, you’ve been on a television series for so long and working with people you genuinely enjoy spending time with, there becomes a certain level of comfort and of relaxation. And not relaxation in that we’re not working hard – but relaxation in that there is inherit trust. And the entire production starts to work together as a symbiotic being.

And suddenly everything just starts to flow and it allows for extra creativity, because you know how the system works. You know how the show works. The characters all know each other with the relationships and that all has been established. And now you just to let it sit and marinate and grow. You get to explore all of these different facets. And for all of us on set, that has been the most fun thing.

That’s awesome! So we heard that Magnus and Alec get to do a little dancing in 3B. Will we get to see Clary do some dancing, too? 

You do get to see Clary dance in 3B! You get to see Clary dance a couple times in 3B and that’s all I can say.

See now, in my head I’ve decided it’s a big musical number with jazz hands everywhere! 

Surprise! It’s a musical episode! (Laughs) No, no, no.

But that would be amazing! Okay, so how long do we have to wait before Clary is reunited with her crew?

Not as long as you might expect! But, reunited doesn’t necessarily mean permanently and it definitely does not mean that everything is okay.

shadowhunters
(Freeform/John Medland)
KATHERINE MCNAMARA, DOMINIC SHERWOOD

Got it. Here at Pure Fandom, we have really gotten to see the fans fighting for the show day and night. What has that been like for you to witness?

It is the most outstanding and humbling experience that I’ve had with this show, to be honest. Just to see an immediate and enthusiastic response to the show and to supporting the show from the moment all of this bittersweet news has been announced has been just the absolute biggest gift.

And on top of that, just seeing the community that has been formed. It’s been a huge example of the Shadow Fam as a community and as a space online, and in person, in which people can feel seen, and feel accepted, and feel loved. [To] feel as though they’ve found some kind of kindred spirits – which, as human beings – that’s all we want.

No matter what happens to the show, as has been the case this entire time, it’s one of these situations where you really get to see that love. You get to see what the fandom means to people.

Related: ‘Shadowhunters’ 3B Trailer: Sizzy, Malec and Dark Clary take center stage

Absolutely. Okay, switching gears – if you were going out to do karaoke with you (Katherine), Clary and Blackstar – what would you sing?

If we were to sing a song together, it would have to be something along the lines of Reflections, by Christina Aguilera or something because we would all look very similar! No, what would it be? It would have to be some sort of Imagine Dragons song or something that has a beat to it.

And real broody. I could see that being a real broody number.

Yeah, for sure!

arrow
Arrow Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW 2018 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Speaking of Blackstar, what type of preparation did you have to go through for that role?

A lot of training and fortunately, a lot of that was already done for me because of Shadowhunters When that show ended, I was so sad because I thought I wouldn’t have the opportunity to keep training, boxing and fighting and doing all of that that I had fallen so in love with. Then booking Arrow was such a gift, because here’s another role [where] I get to keep fighting and training even more and even harder because Blackstar is such a kick-ass woman.

But, it’s only been fun and it’s been really amazing. There’s lots! I’ve learned many, many new skills while being on Arrow and they’re really pushing me to my limits physically – which I love and welcome!

That’s awesome! I think my favorite Blackstar scene is that one with her in the cage match and she chokes the guy out with her legs. Just the look on your face – I loved it!

Yes! It was really fun. When they said it was a cage fight, I was assuming a MMA octagon cage. And then I show up on set and go, “Oh, no you mean a literal rebar cage. Cool!”

But the fact that we were able to integrate it into the fight was fantastic and a lot of that happened on the day and just wait! There are many, many more Blackstar fights to come.

RELATED: ‘Arrow’ 7×12: The 5 best moments from “Emerald Archer”

I can’t wait! So, staying on the topic of Arrow. One of the burning questions in the fandom is the question of Blackstar’s origin – specifically who her parents are. Is that something that we will find out the answer to soon?

Hmmmm. There are many questions about Blackstar and her past – and many of those questions will be answered on Monday (February 11th, a new episode of Arrow airs)! So, it’s a very pertinent time to be discussing all of this, but yes. There will be answers, maybe not all of the answers, but at least I can promise that as the season continues, every episode you will find out a little bit more and so will Blackstar. Because there’s a lot she finds that even she didn’t know.

shadowhunters
(Freeform/John Medland)
KATHERINE MCNAMARA, ARI SANDEL (DIRECTOR)

Very cool! Okay, back to Shadowhunters. Can you describe the finale of 3B? 

I can, it’s bittersweet. If I had to sum it up in one word, it’s bittersweet and to me, that’s the perfect way to end it. The way that everything came to a close was very bittersweet and that’s always sort of been the tone of the story anyway. In a sense that it shows, yes, you can fight for what’s right and you can take chances and make choices, but when you do make those big choices there, can be consequences and sacrifices that have to be made. That is definitely exemplified in the finale.

I do think that it answers a lot of questions that fans have and it ties up a lot of the storylines. And with the limited amount of time we were given and how much we really wanted to do, I think we accomplished quite a lot of it and in a really beautiful way.

I’ve seen a cut of the last two episodes and I was so happy with them. I’m so proud of everyone’s hard work that we put into creating it. The show feels so rich. All of 3B, particularly the finale, just feels like velvet. Everything has just settled in and there’s so much nuance and so much life to the world. It really has taken on it’s own character

That’s wonderful. As a fan, I can’t wait to see it! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat! 

My absolute pleasure!

What do you think about this interview? Are you excited for Shadowhunters 3B? Hit us up on Twitter and let us know!

You can catch Katherine in Arrow, Mondays at 8 PM on The CW! And as Clary when Shadowhunters 3B premieres Feb. 25th on Freeform! 

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Meg Bonney

Meg is a TV obsessed writer based in the Midwest. She is also the author of the award winning YA-Fantasy novel, EVERLY and tends to be overly caffeinated. Find her on Twitter to chat about TV, books and Bellamy Blake's freckles.

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