Kat McNamara talks being an official Shadowhunter, new weapons and Clace training stunts

Photo credit: Freeform / John Medland, acquired from Freeform Press Site
Photo credit: Freeform / John Medland, acquired from Freeform Press Site /

With less than a week until Shadowhunters Season 3, Kat McNamara gives us the inside scoop on Clary’s new weapons, the status of #Clace, and what she’s most excited to see on screen during the premiere.

After making her own wish for Jace’s resurrection in the Shadowhunters Season 2 finale, Clary Fray finds herself carrying the burden of her secrets in the Season 3 premiere. As a newly “official” Shadowhunter who’s been honored and celebrated for ridding the Shadow World of Valentine, it’s safe to say that Clary’s own world is about to get a bit more hellish.

We recently spoke with Kat McNamara to learn more about what makes Shadowhunters Season 3 unique for Clary, what we can expect from the Clace relationship, and which new weapons Clary will choose as her own in the premiere, “On Infernal Ground.” We even learned a few exciting teasers about which scenes she’s most looking forward to seeing on screen. Check out what McNamara had to say about the dynamic new season!

Hidden Remote: We got a small clip last week of Clary’s rune ceremony, and so I wanted to ask you, how does it feel to be an official Shadowhunter?!

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Kat: I have to say, it’s really — not only for Clary as a character, but also for me — it really shows how far we’ve come in this show. You know, we’ve gone from Clary being this girl who sort of falls backward into this world like Alice Through the Looking Glass down the rabbit hole and all of that. It’s gone from [that] to a woman who’s seen this world for what it is, which is a cold-cutting, unforgiving, harsh place.

But also, everything that Clary’s wanted from the beginning is to be accepted by the Shadowhunters and feel like she’s one of them, to feel like she has a place and she has a purpose in their world, and she finally does. She’s been through the ceremony; she’s gotten her angelic rune. Later in the episode, we see that she chooses her own weapon for the first time, which is a set of daggers that have greater significance from her past than she ever realized. So it’s all kind of coming full circle and the characters are all growing with the show, and that is so exciting.

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Hidden Remote: And we know she’s also keeping this huge secret about her wish with the Angel, and so did becoming an official Shadowhunter add to that guilt or the burden of keeping that secret?

Kat: Absolutely because now she has an official obligation and responsibility to further the cause of what they’re trying to fight for here and ultimately she knows it’s all her fault that this happened. She was trying to save Jace’s life, but in doing so, she caused this after effect that she had no idea would happen, nor does she fully understand what it is at this point. And the last thing she’d ever want to do is hurt Jace, which is why she brought him back to life, but in doing so she’s sort of broken this perfect, amazing, powerful warrior — or at least in her mind she has.

It causes this wonderful spur of initiative in Clary because she really can’t turn to anyone. Anyone she turns to, whether it’s Alec or Isabelle or anyone in the Institute would also then be considered to be culpable, and she refuses to bring anyone else into this problem and hurt anyone else through this. So she only can trust her own instincts, try to solve the problem herself, and try to help Jace as best she can. Hopefully, she doesn’t get in over her head.

Hidden Remote: Clary did heroically kill Valentine though, and her brother was also “killed”. But are there ways we’ll still see Clary be connected to her parents and her family in Season 3?

Kat: Yeah, actually. The thing is, Clary’s family was so connected in the Shadow World in so many ways — the Morgensterns and the Fairchilds — Jocelyn and Valentine did so much in the Shadow World and they knew so many people. They were so prolific, but that will always follow [Clary]. Oh, and her brother too. Her brother is a legend in his own right if you think about it, as dark of a legend as he is. And that’s why Lilith has so much rage toward Jace and Clary. They were responsible for hurting the closest thing that she had to a child. A mother’s wrath is one of the most fearsome thing in any realm, let alone the demonic realm. So we’re going to see a lot of intensity and a lot of consequence coming Clary’s way.

Shadowhunters season 3 kat mcnamara
Photo credit: Freeform / John Medland, acquired from Freeform Press Site /

Hidden Remote: So I’m honestly feeling nervous about Clace this season, and I think some of the fans are too. Is Clace going to have a chance at a normal relationship in 3A?

Kat: Well this is the difficult thing. This is the first time they’ve ever had a chance to explore this relationship and to let it grow and to really see each other the way they’ve always wanted to, but there’s the obstacle of the after-effects that Jace is experiencing. Whatever it is that’s going on inside his head that we keep seeing throughout the first episode, it will continue on into the season.

“They know they have to stick together, because otherwise they’re completely alone.”

But on top of that, they are bound by this secret because they are mutually culpable if you will, and they’re mutually responsible for not only it happening, but also for keeping it secret. They know nothing stays a secret in the Shadow World for long, so eventually someone’s going to find out, and the Clave is going to come down on them. It just depends on what they decide to do. They know they have to stick together, because otherwise they’re completely alone.

Hidden Remote: Something I love about the series is the badass female characters, but we don’t always get to see them working together. Are we going to see Clary alongside Isabelle and Maia more this season? 

Kat: You do see her working together with Isabelle a bit. She and Maia are sort of on separate tracks right now unfortunately, although I would love to see the two of them together. But again, there’s the obstacle [with Isabelle]. It’s the same thing with Clary and Alec’s relationship. They were just now starting to be on the same page. Alec had finally accepted her as part of the team, starting to give her responsibilities and starting to kind of bring her into their world, and yet, this secret is going to put a block on that because Alec can tell that something’s going on. Clary can’t open up to Isabelle either because [Clary] will not make anyone else culpable. It becomes really difficult for a good while.

Hidden Remote: So I know that you’re active on social media, especially while the episodes are airing live. Is there a certain scene in the premiere that you’re excited for the fans to react to?

Kat: Oh goodness, there are so many. One scene I’m really excited for — Jace and Clary have a training scene where we kind of get back to who they really are and see the fire between them once again. It’s the first time I get to fight with my new weapons, and it’s the first time you really see a dual wire stunt where Dom and I are on wires and are doing things in the air. That’s really fun for us.

There are a lot of things revealed in the first episode though. You get to really see Lilith for the first time, and there’s a really lovely scene between Clary and Luke where you learn a lot about both of their pasts and how that connection will still continue moving forward.

Oh, there so many… there’s one scene in particular actually that may or may not have a warped sense of reality to it, so it’s quite shocking, and I’m curious to see what people think of it.

(Check out a behind-the-scenes look at that wire stunt below:)

Hidden Remote: I think that’s going to be really fun to see online too. So overall, what do you think makes Season 3 unique for Clary? 

Kat: Well, this is the deal. It’s been maybe a couple of months that Clary’s been part of the Shadow World, and she’s come through a lot. She’s been responsible for her best friend becoming a vampire, she lost her mother, the love of her life died and came back, she killed her own father, she found out she has a brother… there are so many things that really affect a person and weigh heavily upon Clary.

She’s no longer this little girl. She no longer looks at the world with a sense of wonderment and whimsy. She knows that this world is deadly, and she knows that it’s bloody, and she knows there are consequences. So she has a maturity to her that we haven’t seen before, and there’s a responsibility that she feels. Whereas before, she might have been a little bit selfish and made choices that affected other people. She realizes that is a possibility now and does everything she can to prevent that and fight against that, to take responsibility for her actions and to atone for everything that she’s done up until this point.

Next: Everything we learned from the new Rune Ceremony clip

Shadowhunters Season 3 premieres Tuesday, March 20 on Freeform and on the Freeform App.