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    17 Behind-The-Scenes Secrets Katherine McNamara Just Revealed About "Shadowhunters" And "Arrow"

    "Those are real tears because walking away from him was the last piece of the show that we ever filmed."

    A header reading "behind the scene with Katherine McNamara" and photos of Kat as Mia from "Arrow" and behind the scenes of "Shadowhunters" with Matthew Daddario
    Nora Dominick / BuzzFeed / Freeform / The CW / Getty Images

    After starring on both Shadowhunters and Arrow, Katherine McNamara is no stranger to kickass TV shows with dedicated fanbases. So, she sat down with us to spill some behind-the-scenes secrets about playing Clary Fray, Mia Smoak, and what it was like wrapping two extremely beloved shows. Here's everything we learned from Kat:

    1. During her audition for Clary, Kat actually walked straight into a wall in front of everyone.

    Kat McNamara in the series premiere of "Shadowhunters"

    "At the end of the scene, I had to sort of storm out emphatically and I was so focused and so committed and just ready to dive in." She explained, "In the middle of the audition, in front of everyone, I turned around and stormed away and straight into a wall."

    2. Also, her audition process for Clary was very long because the creators knew "that the characters are the heart of that story" and they wanted to cast exactly the right people.

    Kat McNamara filming a scene from Season 1 of "Shadowhunters"
    John Medland / Getty Images

    During the months and months of auditioning, the cast was able to bond even before officially getting the roles. Kat said, "So it was several auditions over several months, including a few edit chemistry tests with Dom [Sherwood] and a chemistry test with Alberto [Rosende] and we were all sort of in that process together and by the time we got through it, we were already bonded in a way."

    3. Meanwhile, for Arrow, Kat only had one audition and the material was for a character completely different than Mia Smoak.

    Mia shooting an arrow
    The CW

    She said, "The sides were not even for anything like Mia Smoak. They were for a rookie cop with a different name with a dark past. It was this whole, sort of, disguised situation. So I had a completely different mindset going in. But I just remember having the best time just playing with it and really working with them and just experimenting in the room, and it felt very comfortable straightaway."

    4. In fact, she didn't find out she was playing Oliver and Felicity's daughter until after she booked the role.

    Mia revealing to William that she is actually Felicity's daughter and his sister
    The CW

    Kat said that right after she was cast, Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz called her and told her, "Hey, we're so happy to have you. By the way, everything you know is a lie. You are Oliver and Felicity's daughter, and we're not sure what your name is yet, but we'll figure it out. Awesome."

    5. Kat remembers seeing Alberto Rosende in one of the early rounds of auditions for Shadowhunters and immediately knew that he was going to play Simon.

    Kat McNamara and Alberto Rosende laughing while on set of "Shadowhunters"
    John Medland / Getty Images

    She recalled seeing Alberto alongside dozens of other actors auditioning for Simon, Clary, and Isabelle, and thinking "Oh, well, that's Simon. There's no question in my mind." Kat also said her bond with Alberto was really strong even before filming began because they went through the audition process together.

    6. Kat didn't even know how to throw a punch before Shadowhunters, and about halfway through Season 2, she was doing a majority of her own fighting.


    Reflecting on her stunt training, Kat said she owes a lot to the incredible trainers behind the scenes of Shadowhunters. She said, "I would train with these guys three to five times a week and martial arts and boxing and different you know, high intensity interval training and weight training and things like this. And it changed my life and it changed everything."

    7. Also, she worked really closely with her stunt double on Shadowhunters and together they helped create Clary's unique fighting style.

    Clary and Jace fighting

    Kat said, "I had an amazing stunt double, and she is a world champion martial artist. So, she moves like a fighter. She had that sort of physicality, and I didn't. So together we sort of created how Clary fights and how she moves and sort of what that is."

    8. Every fight sequence on Shadowhunters was actually styled differently based on the characters' relationships and the creatures they were fighting.

    Clary and Aline fighting with swords

    Kat explained, "Our stunt coordinator on Shadowhunters, Darren McGuire, was so brilliant, because he taught us to go beyond the fight. Every different character and every creature on Shadowhunters fought a little bit differently. It wasn't purely one martial art or the other. He would take pieces that he thought suited the creature or the character, and he would blend them together so it was unique. Every fight had its own story based on the character relationships and based on what was actually going on beneath the physicality."

    9. The very last scene Kat filmed for Shadowhunters was Clary and Jace's dance at Magnus and Alec's wedding — in fact, this was the last scene filmed for the entire series.

    Clary and Jace dancing

    "Those are real tears because walking away from him was the last piece of the show that we ever filmed. And it was so perfect because we had everybody there. I mean, even Isaiah [Mustafa] was shooting It Chapter Two at the time but he came over to have fun and be there with everybody for the toasts."

    10. One of the memories for Kat that sticks out from filming the final season of Arrow was being right beside Stephen Amell as he said goodbye to the series and Oliver Queen.

    11. Also, she loved watching Stephen Amell and Emily Bett Rickards' final scenes together as Oliver and Felicity.

    12. One friendship Kat wishes was explored even more on Shadowhunters was Clary and Alec's.

    Matthew Daddario and Kat McNamara filming a scene from "Shadowhunters"
    Sven Frenzel / Getty Images

    She said, "I didn't get to shoot with Matt Daddario very much, but Clary and Alec's friendship was so unique and so full of a sarcastic spark, and it's very similar to my friendship with Matt. He really is a big brother to me. So anytime I got to work with Matt was like a special treat."

    13. And during the entire run of the series, Kat said one of the people she learned from the most was Harry Shum Jr.

    14. Kat ended up keeping some flechettes — tiny arrows — that were holstered on Mia's legs in her superhero costume on Arrow.

    Mia in her Green Arrow superhero suit
    The CW

    She said that she played with the flechettes a lot on set because they wanted her to be able to "twirl it and play with it."

    15. And, from Shadowhunters, Kat was gifted the artist mannequin that was in Clary's bedroom — in fact, the entire camera crew signed it before giving it to her.

    A circle pointing to Clary's artist mannequin in her bedroom

    Kat shared, "One of our camera operators, who did my very first shot on Shadowhunters ever and was there until the very end, took that on the last day we shot in Clary's room and had the whole camera crew sign it, and then gave it to me as a surprise. That was the biggest gift because you don't see them as an audience, but they're there for us, and I learned so much from all of them. They're just as much family as anybody else."

    16. One of Kat's favorite things from filming the Arrow backdoor pilot, Green Arrow and the Canaries, was getting to play the "duality" of Mia's character.

    Juliana Harkavy, Kat McNamara, and Katie Cassidy in "Green Arrow and the Canaries"
    The CW

    She explained, "We had such a blast shooting that and it was really exciting to sort of play that duality of character. Having both of Mia's personalities blending together, and kind of expanding her skill set even more into, you know, trying to take on her father's legacy. We couldn't have done [this backdoor pilot] without the crew too."

    17. And finally, even though both Shadowhunters and Arrow have ended, Kat is extremely grateful for the two "devoted and loving" fanbases that keep the shows alive even now.

    Kat McNamara accepting her award for "Female TV Star" at the People's Choice Awards
    Christopher Polk / Getty Images

    She said, "Honestly, as an actor, you pour blood sweat and tears into everything you do, and hope that someone else, you know, invests at least a little bit into it. These are a couple of fandoms that are just absolutely invested and so on board, so kind, and loving. It's really amazing."

    Of course, you can rewatch Shadowhunters and Arrow anytime and be sure to check out Kat's "See What Happens" campaign in partnership with Alcon and PRECISION1.

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