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Katherine McNamara Cast as Clary Fray in ‘Shadowhunters’

Katherine McNamara

Our leading heroine has finally joined the Fray (wink) of the cast of Shadowhunters.

Katherine McNamara has been cast as Clary Fray in ABC Family’s adaptation of Shadowhunters, the network announced on Wednesday.

Clary is described as “beautiful, creative, and intelligent” and “a promising art student whose bright future is derailed when her mother is kidnapped and she learns her life has been a lie. Clary discovers a hidden Shadow World full of Vampires, Werewolves, and other unthinkable danger that she quickly learns to navigate.  As she is forced into action, she embraces her newfound powers and realizes that she will play the central role in this new world.”

UPDATE: The Shadowhunters Twitter released this photo of Kat and Alberto Rosende (Simon)’s screen test! How cute are they!

UPDATE 2: Here’s a special video message from Kat!

Shadowhunters is set to begin production later this month in Toronto and will premiere in early 2016 on ABC Family.

Here’s the press release that went out from the network:



McNamara Joins Previously Announced Dominic Sherwood as ‘Jace Wayland’,

Alberto Rosende as ‘Simon’ and Emeraude Toubia as ‘Isabelle Lightwood’

Burbank, CA (May 6, 2015) – ABC Family has found their ‘Clary’ in Katherine McNamara, it was announced today by the network. McNamara was recently seen starring in the feature film “New Year’s Eve” and will be seen next in the feature film “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” and this summer on ABC Family’s hit series “The Fosters.”

Based on the bestselling young adult fantasy book series The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, “Shadowhunters” follows 18 year-old 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 demons. When her mother Jocelyn is kidnapped, Clary is thrown into the world of demon hunting with mysterious Shadowhunter Jace and her best friend Simon. Now living among faeries, warlocks, vampires and werewolves, Clary begins a journey of self-discovery as she learns more about her past and what her future may hold.

Beautiful, creative, and intelligent, Clary Fray is a promising art student whose bright future is derailed when her mother is kidnapped and she learns her life has been a lie. Clary discovers a hidden Shadow World full of Vampires, Werewolves, and other unthinkable danger that she quickly learns to navigate.  As she is forced into action, she embraces her newfound powers and realizes that she will play the central role in this new world.

“Shadowhunters” is produced by Constantin Film and executive produced by Ed Decter and McG. McG will also direct the first episode. The network has previously announced Dominic Sherwood (“Vampire Academy”) for the role of ‘Jace,’ Alberto Rosende as ‘Simon’ and Emeraude Toubia as ‘Isabelle Lightwood.’

What do you think of the casting? Please keep comments respectful. All hateful comments will be deleted.

About Alyssa Barbieri (2800 Articles)
Alyssa is the Managing Editor for Bears Wire. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @AlyssaBarbieri

46 Comments on Katherine McNamara Cast as Clary Fray in ‘Shadowhunters’

  1. me-sjoukje // May 6, 2015 at 5:01 PM // Reply

    super happy! I was rooting for her since monday! She’s perfect.

  2. I am very happy! 😀

  3. I don’t know her but she looks exactly as I had pictured Clary in my head before the movie. Very happy 😉

  4. VERY HAPPY!!! She is absolutely Clary

  5. Casshern // May 6, 2015 at 5:08 PM // Reply

    Omg yes. I cant believe it really is Kat! Excited to see her as Clary !!

  6. Not trying to be offensive but I don’t really see her as Clary. Hopefully her acting will change my mind and I love the maze runner soooo

    • Honestly, me too. Either its because I have lily collins stuck in my mind as the perfect clary and I just can’t picture anyone else or she’s not what I always pictured. Never-the-less, I hope she ends up proving me wrong because my only wish, as any other fan’s would be, is that the show becomes succesful and continues to run for years to come!

      • I agree too she didn’t really look like my imagination of Clary but her acting matters the most and hopefully she would prove me wrong.:)

      • I also think she looked a little bit old but as I said acting matters :l

  7. fandoms4life123 // May 6, 2015 at 5:18 PM // Reply

    Everybody here is going nuts over clary and the other casting announcements but I’m sitting here like where’s my freewheeling bisexual and shadowhunter with the blue eyes? 🌈🌈👨‍❤️‍👨👀👬

  8. Never seen her anything, but she looks like she just walked straight out of the books. Dang, does she look like Clary!

    Also… our cast is getting to be pretty attractive, if I do say so myself. Shadowhunters might even end up giving Gossip Girl and Smallville a run for their money in that department. LOL.

    Anyway, interested to see how she’ll–and the others–will do in their roles, and just what more we might find out soon:D

  9. She is almost the same as I imagined Clary. Hope her acting holds up.

  10. At first I was a little put out at her being Clary because I’ve only ever seen her in those Disney TV shows my brother watches then I saw all her other movie roles and was on board after that. Bravo ABC family

  11. She’s just so adorable!!! Like Clary is supposed to be!! I hope her acting turns out a great contrast to her looks, cause Clary in first book at least is a great stubborn.

  12. She is the perfect Clary!!! I cannot wait until we see the full cast.

  13. cacaseqpereira // May 6, 2015 at 6:18 PM // Reply

    so happy about this. very good choice.

  14. teamedwardjace // May 6, 2015 at 6:43 PM // Reply

    She could be really good

  15. She is my perfect Clary 🙂

  16. I feel like abc family and MCG are doing a great job with the casting, like they really pay attention to the Physical Appearance of the book characters and match them to the actors/actresses, like they got some that was 5’11 to play Jace, they got a natural red head to play Clary and even though Simon and Izzy are race bend, they still fit the book description very well. I honestly can’t wait to see who is playing Alec, because he was another character I felt was badly casted In the movie, but seeing how well they casted Jace and Izzy this time around, there’s hope for Alec.

  17. I am excited to see Alec and Magnus’s cast members!

  18. Omg I found out just then in class and I died I started screaming and jumping up and down, I wanted Kat to be clary since I I read the books I’m soo happy can’t wait for shadowhunter!!!

  19. Shadowhunterlover // May 6, 2015 at 11:49 PM // Reply

    I am glad that ABC family makes this show, it is obvious that they spend a lot of time for casting. Dominic Sheerwood was in my dream cast for Jace!! Him being Jace is a dream come true. Also, eventough I don’t know the acting skills of Katherine Mcnamara, she looks like she just popped out of the books! She looks exactly like how I imagined Clary to be. I like the casting of Simon as well, because Simon is a geeky character and I think in the movies, Rob was too fab to be Simon :D. The only one that I didn’t like in the casting is Isabelle. In the movie adaptation, I LOVED how Jemima West played Isabelle, she was the perfect badass character and she portrayed Isabelle really well so I am not sure if Emeraude will be as perfect as her. I hope she will prove me wrong because Isabelle is one of favorite characters.

  20. Danissa The Reader // May 7, 2015 at 1:22 AM // Reply
  21. She Looks pretty much like I pictured Clary in my head. It would be nice if they made her hair a bit more red. And I hope she doesn’t act and talk so sweet in the Show as she did in the short message. Clary is supposed to be tough. Please be a tough Clary! Be the Clary who slaps Jace without regrets!!

  22. Excited for the show! I LOVE what they’re doing with the cast. WHY is Clary 18 in the show? Is everyone older? Won’t that make Alec 20? (Why is this important to me?) At least the characters will be closer to my age.

  23. Is it just me or is she blonde in the message video? Cause if she is I hope she dies her hair back to red. I would hate it if Clary was blonde. I have nothing against blondes but it would be a detail that would just like crazy. Hate to sound like I’m nip picking. Power to the Gingers!

  24. Im super happy she look justo how i imagined Clary!!

  25. Kristina // May 7, 2015 at 5:26 AM // Reply

    Perfect! She looks really close to Clary on book covers and I hope her portrayal will be just as good as the looks

  26. Alexandra // May 7, 2015 at 8:18 AM // Reply

    It’s perfect! She looks really really close to Clary on books! She is beautiful!

  27. I’m super excited about this. McG and crew have done a phenomenal job casting so far. I applaud them. For those asking about the blonde hair in the video, McG also posted a picture of Katherine coloring her hair back to it’s natural red. 🙂

    I do however have to admit that I’m most nervous about Magnus. I feel like he is a difficult character to cast. The person who plays him has to nail the appearance, because unlike the other characters, Magnus’ appearance actually really is an important characteristic. Even harder still, that person has to convey the complexity of hundreds of years. I don’t envy them having to get Magnus right.

  28. When I went to the Twitter feed on Monday, someone had posted Kat’s name and Ellie Gall’s as prospective Clarys. I looked them up on IMBD. Kat seemed like the perfect choice to me then, and she still does. Way to go, McG. The acid test will be who is chosen to portray Valentine. They have a chance to reverse the disastrous choice made for the film.

    • I don’t actually think Jonathon Rhys Meyers was the wrong casting choice, I think they character was designed and written terribly for the film. JRM could have made an excellent Valentine as he was meant to be.

      Still, I agree that Valentine is going to be a big casting decision. For the beginning of our story he is the main antagonist, and in that right he will need to carry a large portion of the burden of whether or not the show is successful.

      • Hannah // May 7, 2015 at 4:28 PM //

        I agree, I don’t think much of the films faults can be placed on the actors. I think they did the best they could with what they were given. Movie Valentine was not designed or written like book Valentine at all, but if he had been I think JRM could have pulled it off.

  29. Absolutely happy with Kat ❤ she looks like I imagine Clary and her hair is naturally red, which is an extra plus (though dying hair would of course have been no problem too^^)
    Now I´m excited who´ll be cast as Alec 🙂

  30. Great choice. The only concern I have is that I’m worried some of us Clace shippers might start shipping Kat/Dominic irl. Normally, I wouldn’t care about that, except Dominic is dating Sarah Hyland, and we should respect that.
    PS, I kinda feel like an idiot for even thinking this?

  31. Bob Barker // March 9, 2016 at 3:18 PM // Reply

    This is probably the worst series i have ever seen, Katherine McNamara is the worst actress i have ever seen. This is so bad it makes me feel like puking. Not a single part brings me in to make me believe it.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Watch: Katherine McNamara is Excited to Work with McG on #Shadowhunters – TMI Source
  2. ‘Shadowhunters’ to start filming on May 25! – TMI Source

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