From her introduction on Arrow last season as the mysterious street fighter Blackstar, Katherine McNamara has had to use her fighting skills. From the early scenes with Blackstar boxing in an underground fight club and handily taking down people well larger than her size through to the revelation that Blackstar is really Mia Smoak who is now fighting the Deathstrokes, the fight scenes for the actress have been plentiful and don't appear to be letting up any time soon. Teasers for the upcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" show Mia alongside her father in the fight for the fate of the Multiverse and it sounds like that's perfectly fine for McNamara, who credits her previous role on Shadowhunters for preparing her for Arrow.
In a recent interview with TV Line, McNamara explains that in the upcoming episode of Arrow, Tuesday's "Prochnost," she does most of her own fighting and says that the training she received while playing Clary Fray in the beloved Freeform series.
"Well, I think in this episode I do the majority of my own fighting," McNamara said. "There was one piece which had a couple of aerial tricks where I, you know, don't have that skill set, but the rest of the actual fighting I was able to do in this episode, and I absolutely love that. I take every opportunity to do that when I can. That all comes from Shadowhunters -- I had incredible stunt coordinators on that who trained me extensively and took advantage of my long legs and made sure I was a kicker and made sure I could use these skills not only for that job but for future jobs as well. That has served me very well here, and I'm so thankful for that Arrow stunt team, as well, because they've given me the opportunity to use my skill set. It's been a great partnership throughout."
The fighting aspect of her Arrow character is something that McNamara spoke of last year when teasing her introduction on Arrow -- back when the character was not yet revealed to be Mia Smoak. At the time, she noted that while there were elements between Maya and Clary that were the same, her Arrow character was "certainly kickass".
"She's a street fighter, so she's a boxer in an underground fight club," McNamara said at the time. "She grew up in a very rough environment and is very much a product of that environment. So whereas Clary was very much the hopeful optimist, Maya is very much the realist and one to punch first and ask questions later. She's not one to be underestimated or messed with. Maya's certainly kickass, I'll tell you that much."
Now that her character is more established, McNamara says we're getting a better look at why Mia is who she is: having grown up without her father, something fans saw in Mia's resentment of Oliver last week.
"Well, it's true, and that speaks to the internal dichotomy of Oliver/Mia because for her entire life, the one thing she's been lacking and been desiring is those connections with her father," McNamara said. "She is missing a piece of who she is. And his choices, to be a hero and save the city as opposed to being there for his family, are the reason that she has to be difficult."
Arrow airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.