Katherine McNamara

Blending the Arts and Education
A Passion for Learning Drives a Brilliant Artistic Career

“I guess the ultimate [role] is something unexpected and challenging…[and I’d like to] be considered as someone who does good work and who is respected for bringing their best to everything that they do, because those are the actors that I look up to.”

Growing up in a family of military, academics and scientists might have seemed an unlikely environment to support a career in the arts. But for Katherine McNamara, these people were also artists and musicians who nurtured her creative spirit, as well as her voracious appetite for learning. In this episode, Katherine shares her jaw-dropping journey through obtaining a degree in business (at just 17 years old) while pursuing her passion for the entertainment industry.

Katherine McNamara is an American actress, best known for her lead role as Clary Fray on the fantasy series, Shadowhunters, and the role of Mia on Arrow for its seventh season. Being exceptionally bright, she was home-schooled and graduated high school at just 14 years old. Shortly thereafter, her mother, a research scientist and college professor, moved with her to New York for her first Broadway role. Katherine continued her university studies, mostly online, and graduated summa cum laude, receiving a B.Sc. in Business Administration at the tender age of 17. She has worked continuously in the entertainment industry ever since.

What You’ll Learn from This Episode:

  • How Katherine’s childhood home in the woods shaped her career as an actor
  • How her family of people in military, science and medicine influenced her path to the entertainment industry
  • Why home-schooling was so beneficial for her
  • What made Katherine want a career in economics at the age of 7 years old
  • The moment she knew she was meant for the stage
  • Her astonishing educational journey and how she balanced it as a teen with a role on Broadway
  • How a business degree has helped with her career as an actor
  • How she was able to move easily from the stage in NY to film and television in LA
  • Some of the gruelling aspects of the business and how they keep her on her toes
  • Why she is involved in Girl Up
  • The two people who were her most inspiring mentors, and why
  • Why Katherine wants to get into directing and producing
  • How a poker game is connected to Hollywood celebrities and a charity that never turns away a sick child
  • What her favourite roles are, and always will be

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