The Stand: Katherine McNamara Talks Julie Lawry's Evolution

This week's episode of The Stand, "The House of the Dead" saw the introduction of Julie Lawry. Played by Katherine McNamara, Julie is a far different character than fans have seen from the actress, best known for her more heroic roles as Clary Fray on Freeform's Shadowhunters and as Mia Smoak on The CW's Arrow. As fans of the Stephen King novel know, not all of those left after the Captain Trips flu wipes out most human life are good people -- including Julie. The CBS All Access nine-episode series even takes the character a bit further than she's presented in the book and for McNamara, the evolution of Julie is what she loved most about the role.

Speaking with, McNamara described seeing the character grow script by script, especially in terms of the various relationships between characters.

"My favorite thing about Julie is sort of how she evolved and developed," McNamara said. "You know, when I first came onto the project I'd only seen the first episode that you see her in, in the warehouse. And as I got more scripts, and as the scripts change, she sort of developed and that's what was so great about this process, it was so fluid. And as we discovered things on set, they would add them into the script and expand on these relationships that we've been discovering as we were shooting."

She continued, "And it made it really exciting to sort of see the results as we were working and seeing things grow and evolve. And I think, you know, the fact that Julie's the loose cannon, and she kind of has all of the realm of possibilities in front of her, but also has this very human side and this very basic need to just be loved and to have a place and to be able to live. And that's what I think is the allure and seduction of Randall Flagg's Vegas for her."

McNamara also said that playing Julie was creative soul food for her, letting her play a character who is "the grossest, worst possible human being," a stark contrast to her heroic roles.


"As an actor it was creative soul food," McNamara said. "I mean, I've loved playing Clary, loved playing Mia, but as an actor we crave this diversity, you know, and I've been dying to play with a different set of brushes and that's what I got to do on this. And especially, it was oddly unsettling being on set and having been making a heroic choice for so many years now going 'what character choice makes me feel like the grossest, worst possible human being' and have that be right for Julie. But it's, you know, especially when I'm surrounded by so many other brilliant actors who are just fully committing to this absurd world of Stephen King, it was an absolute ball. I mean I had just the best time."

The first four episodes of The Stand are now streaming on CBS All Access. New episodes arrive every Thursday.