The premiere of Freeform’s new series, Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments, is finally here!
Based on the young adult fantasy book series by Cassandra Clare, Shadowhunters follows Clary Fray, who finds out on her birthday that she is not who she thinks she is but rather comes from a long line of Shadowhunters — human-angel hybrids who hunt down demand. Now thrown into the world of demon hunting after her mother is kidnapped, Clary must rely on the mysterious Jace and his fellow Shadowhunters Isabelle and Alec to navigate this dark new world. With her best friend Simon in tow, Clary must now live among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves to find answers that could help her find her mother.
CelebSecrets4U chatted with Katherine McNamara who plays Clary Fray to get the scoop on what we can expect from the new series and her character in particular. We also asked her about the organization Girl Up that she’s involved in and she gladly spilled a behind-the-scenes secret — make sure to check out our Q&A with Kat below.
Shadowhunters premiers on January 12 at 9pm ET on Freeform.
CS4U: You and the entire cast have already been doing so much to promote Shadowhunters and its premiere in January. Are you worried at all about the hype and whether or not the fans of the book will like the changes made in the show?
Katherine McNamara: “That’s something that we took great care to take into account when we were making this series and you know, that is an element that you do hope people do enjoy the show. You never really know what the reaction is until it happens. I’m confident that the fans are going to enjoy the series. We’ve taken extra care to not only pay respect to the book and add in certain iconic lines and scenes that the fans will recognize and appreciate but we also want to make it fun and exciting for them so we have different story twist. The changes that we made only benefit the story, they don’t detract what people love about the original.”
CS4U: What can you tell us about your character Clary Fray on Shadowhunters?
Katherine McNamara: “So, Clary Fray is a strong, confident young woman who grew up in Brooklyn. She’s an art student. She’s ready to start her life as an artist and peruse that rode. When a series of very unfortunate events takes place, and she’s thrown into this world where everything she knows and loves is taken away from her, she’s left with nothing but her inner strength and her instinct to try and survive it and become a warrior. She has this great blend of constraint and vulnerability. As an actor it was very fun to play it because every time she thinks she understands what’s going on and every time she thinks she knows what goes on in this shadow world something else happens and it completely throws her off her game again and it humanizes her in a way that I think is very beneficial the series.”
CS4U: Is there any part of you that relates to your character?
Katherine McNamara: “Clary is totally the closest character I’ve ever played to who I am as a human being which is kind of very interesting and a little bit scary at times, to play and sort of feel part of myself that I never have before on screen but I think it really pays off. It really adds an element to these characters that’s very different. The show is very well casted through all of the characters. Being a fan of the book myself, I can see each one of the characters in the actors that they’ve casted and it’s very exciting!”
CS4U: Your hair is not naturally red so do you have any beauty tricks on how you maintain your hairs health with all of the coloring?
Katherine McNamara: “Yeah absolutely! My hair was dyed a lot. I am naturally strawberry blonde but we had to dye it a lot to get that perfect fiery, Clary red. My hair gets a lot of heat styling on it everyday – my hair goes through a lot. It’s very important to eat well and drink a lot of water because all of that does play a factor more so than a lot of people realize. A quick tip that I use quite often is a conditioner mask! You can find so many different kinds of conditioner mask out there and you use it once a week for a couple of minutes and it helps to re-moisturize.”
CS4U: You’ve recently teamed with Girl Up so can you tell us a little bit about that and why you chose to work with that organization?
Katherine McNamara: “I adore Girl Up! I have so much respect for everything that they do and that they set goals that are attainable. They go to these countries and talk to these girls to find opportunities that are going to be the most beneficial right now to them and that are going to set the process! They give girls the opportunities to make a difference and being a girl I’ve always wanted to make a difference and change the world! Girl Up gives girls the how, the way, the voice to make that difference and start that trend. It only takes one voice to stand up and make a difference and that’s what Girl Up does.”
CS4U: With the holidays just passing, do you have any family traditions?
Katherine McNamara: Absolutely! My family always keeps the holidays simple. We’re all spread out so much that the holidays are a nice time to get together and reconnect with the family and catch up with each other. One way we do that is through cooking. My grandparents taught me how to cook and how to bake and that’s one of my favorite parts of the holidays, getting together in my grandparents kitchens and making the dishes that we’ve made ever since I can remember.”
CS4U: If you could give any advice to your fans, what would it be?
Katherine McNamara: “My advice is to stay true to who you are. There are so many elements in this world and so many influences out there and so many different “ideals” of what people are supposed to be and behave and how life is supposed to go but the world is so open now and there are so many opportunities to be and accomplish whatever you want! Follow your heart and let yourself be free and open to whatever comes to you.”
CS4U: Since we are CelebSecrets4U, could you tell us a behind-the-scenes secret from the set of Shadowhunters?
Katherine McNamara: “Something that does happen behind the scenes, it’s kind of cool and funny at the same time. Each character sort of has their own specific weapon but at the training we all want to experience all the weapons. I’ve taken a turn at Alec’s bow and Jace’s blade and with the throwing knives! We’ve all taken a turn with each of the weapons and it’s kind of been fun to have the opportunity to fight and teach each other how to use our weapons. I think the only one we haven’t taken a turn at is Isabelle’s whip *laughs* because we’re all very afraid it!”
Photos: John Medland/ABC Family