'Shadowhunters' star Katherine McNamara: From high school prodigy to star of one of the world's most-followed shows
Katherine has been so much more than just her brains or beauty and that is only further emphasized by the fact that her stage debut was with Catherine Zeta-Jones herself.
From being born to parents who were in the military, to completing high school at 14, and then graduating at just 17 - there are a not of unknown facts about everybody's favorite redhead from Freeform's fantasy show, 'Shadowhunters.' Fans will already know who we are talking about, but strangers to the show need to know of a certain Katherine McNamara, who has been wowing and wooing fans, viewers, and critics alike from her very initiation into the industry. A classically trained ballerina with a passion for baking is all you need to label someone the quintessential prom queen excelling at every aspect of life. But right from the start, Katherine has been so much more than just her brains or beauty - and that is only further emphasized by the fact that her debut on the stage was with Catherine Zeta-Jones herself.
When we said Katherine graduated college at 17, we weren't trying to exaggerate or pad her remarkably good looks with sufficient proof of intelligence. Right when she was growing up, she showed such potency in academics that it resulted in her being part-home schooled. After receiving her high school diploma barely into her teens, Katherine went on to graduate summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Drexel University. Granted, she did complete her course online, what's to be noted that it wasn't the end of her academic excellence. Back in November 2015, she revealed that she was studying for a Master of Science degree in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University - kind of along the lines of the character of Clary Fray that she is known for, but we'll get to that later.
“It’s love that makes you fight harder for what you want.”— jono 🌻 (@aneeladelle) November 24, 2018
[clary fray / shadowhunters] pic.twitter.com/HnlA0OIoqd
Turns out, academics wasn't Katherine's only forte, as Broadway worked really well in her favor. The secret? Her firm grip over the vocals. Her talent didn't go unnoticed and soon after her big Broadway debut, she began working with some pretty big names in the industry, like Angela Lansbury, Elaine Stritch, Bernadette Peters, and several others. But what really came out of these performances was a strikingly clear view of her passion for the art of acting. Probably why she didn't find it hard to bag roles in some of the biggest shows at the time, like 'Drop Dead Diva' and '30 Rock.'
Along with such brilliant shows, Katherine had also appeared in theatrical movies like 'New Year’s Eve' (2011) and Disney Channel's original 'Girl vs. Monster' (2012). Yet what really changed her whole grounding in the industry was her big lead in MTV's 'Happy Land.' She played the role of Harper Munroe and it didn't take long for viewers to fall in love with what the young actress had to bring to the screen. It expanded her fanbase tremendously - something that was only further accentuated by her joining the fantasy show 'Shadowhunters' in 2016. Katherine portrayed the role of Clary on the show ever since its debut season, and surprisingly enough, the character - much like her, and with all due respect - is quite the overachiever.
Clary happens to be one of the titular Shadowhunters on the show - aka a human blessed with angel blood, fighting demons and other evil supernatural forces since time immemorial. And as kick-ass, as the character seems, Katherine's rendition of the role on screen is exponentially better. Her Clary used to be a regular teen in love with the glam life and partying, but over the years she has evolved into much more than the one-dimensional millennial princess she might have come off as initially. And granted a lot of that is on the writers, but Katherine's contribution to the character's development is evident as well. Clary Fairchild - much like Katherine herself - is smart, intelligent, and all that jazz. But what she also is, is forgiving, loving, and most importantly, absolutely unafraid to play it hardcore and dirty. And needless to say, somehow Katherine excels at portraying all of that packaged into one brilliant outcome.
At the same time, much like the role that gave her fame in the pop-culture world, Katherine - if not anything - is exceptionally discreet. Despite being such a sensation, she has managed to stay away from any scandalous gossip, quite unlike what we have in seen other teen stars before her. As frustratingly hard to believe as it is, the world still doesn't know who Katherine's boyfriend is. The closest her fans have come to busting that secret is when Katherine's 'Shadowhunters' co-star Dove Cameron had tweeted a photo of the two of them kissing back in March 2017.
Katherine seemed to play along and substantiate speculations of the two of them dating, but soon she put a stop to all that buzz by sharing that she was, in fact, dating her costar from the same show, Thomas Doherty. Sadly, that 'romance' didn't make rounds for much longer after that as the two stars failed to provide any public updates on their claimed relationship. Following that, Katherine was also linked with her 'Shadowhunters' co-star Will Tudor but even that didn't amount to anything substantial.
And as cliched as it might sound, maybe Katherine's one true boyfriend is her work. Because alongside landing a big break in what has evolved to be one of the pioneering fantasy shows in today's time, Katherine even eased in her big musical debut into the show. For the season finale of the show's first season itself, an original track by Katherine, titled 'Ember', was used in the soundtrack of the episode, and that just goes on to prove that there's pretty much nothing that Katherine McNamara - all of 23 - cannot do.
She might be just your favorite redheaded shadowhunter but if there's one thing for sure, it's that Katherine McNamara can take just about anything and turn in into a success. Which is only proven by her three Teen Choice Awards nominations, two TV Scoop Awards nominations, and the big People's Choice Awards win she scored this year in the category of female TV star for 'Shadowhunters.'