Who is Katie McGrath?
Irish actress, Katie McGrath did not intend to make a career for herself in the acting profession, so she was studying History at Trinity College, Dublin. Upon graduating, she was always interested in fashion journalism and worked for lifestyle and fashion magazine, Image. After that, her mother’s best friend, an assistant director in acting industry, helped to get her a job as a wardrobe assistant on the series The Tudors, which was A dramatic series about the reign and marriages of King Henry VIII(2007). Whilst working on the production some of the staff suggested she tried acting. A cast driver on the series passed her a list with the actors’ agents on it, so she wrote and sent photos to them to get a job this industry.
After few days, the call came in, In television, she is best known for portraying Morgana on the BBC One series Merlin (2008–2012), Lucy Westenra on the British-American series Dracula (2013–2014), Sarah Bennett in the first season of the Canadian horror anthology series Slasher (2016) and for her role as Lena Luthor on the American superhero series Supergirl (2016–present), which is an American superhero action–adventure television series developed by Ali Adler, Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg that originally aired on CBS and premiered on October 26, 2015. It is based on the DC Comics character Supergirl, created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, and stars Melissa Benoist in the title role. Her film roles include Lady Thelma Furness in the drama film W.E. (2011), Zara Young in the science fiction adventure film Jurassic World (2015) and Elsa in the epic fantasy film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017).
McGrath was raised in Ashford, County Wicklow, Ireland, by Paul, who works with computers, and Mary, who works for an Irish designer. She has two older brothers, Sean, an online media manager, and Rory, who is a post-production producer which means that almost the entire family is surrounded by this industry. She studied the International Baccalaureate at St. Andrew’s College before graduating from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in history with a focus in Russian history, but never looked for a career in acting.
“Being an actress was kind of like when you’re a kid, and you want to run away and join the circus, it’s something you really want to do, but then you grew up and got a proper job. It was a dream, but I didn’t think it would ever be reality, and yet here I am!”
She uses her natural Irish accent in the series Merlin (2008), while her co-star, Irish actor Colin Morgan fakes an English accent. Katie almost didn’t get her role because “Merlin” producers didn’t want two actors speaking with an Irish accent in the series, and they were ready to reject her for a role if she couldn’t sound English, that is if Colin couldn’t nail the English accent first. But for that little extra hard work she got the chance to go with Merlin series.
In a snapshot:
- 1983 -Born in Ashford, County Wicklow, Ireland
- 2007- The Tudors series gave her a job in the in the show’s costume department
- 2007- Her on screen debut with series The Damage
- 2007- Her first short movie released “Pebble”
- 2015- She acted in the blockbuster movie “Jurassic World”
- 2017- Another hit movie released acted by her “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”
McGrath was cast in Damage, an Irish TV-movie in 2007. She also starred in the play La Marea at the Dublin Theatre Festival in the same year for her amazing hard work. She appeared in the feature films Eden and Freakdog in 2008, before being cast as Morgana Pendragon in Merlin (IT is a British fantasy–adventure drama television programme created by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy, and Johnny Capps, starring Colin Morgan in the title role. It was broadcast on BBC One from 20 September 2008 to 24 December 2012 for a total of 65 episodes). In 2009, McGrath starred in a five-part docudrama for Channel 4 exploring the life of Queen Elizabeth II, The Queen, in which she played a young Princess Margaret(was the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth and the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II). Emilia Fox portrayed Elizabeth II in the same episode in which McGrath appeared; the two had previously worked together as sisters Morgause and Morgana in Merlin. In 2010, McGrath was cast in Madonna‘s directorial debut W.E., an Edward VIII biopic. McGrath played Lady Furness, the king’s former mistress who introduces him to Wallis Simpson
In September 2011, McGrath voice-acted the characters in the Irish animated short film Tríd an Stoirm (Through the Storm). Later that month, McGrath was cast as Oriane Congost in Labyrinth.
McGrath was reunited with her The Tudors co-star and close friend Jonathan Rhys Meyers in NBC and Sky Living‘s horror drama TV series Dracula; she portrayed Lucy Westenra.
Her Film appearances:
- 2007- Pebble as Tara
- 2011- W.E. as Lady Thelma Furness
- 2012- Trid an Stoirm as Alice
- 2014- Leading Lady as Jodi Rutherford
- 2015- Jurassic Park as Zara Young
- 2015- The Throwaways as Gloria Miller
- 2017- King Arthur: Legend of the sword as Elsa
Her Television roles:
- 2007- Damage as Rachel
- 2008- Eden as Trisha
- 2008- The Tudors as Bess
- 2008- Freakdog as Harriet Chambers
- 2008- The Roaring Twenties as Vixen
- 2008-12- Merlin as Morgana Pendragon
- 2009- The Queen as Princess Margaret
- 2011- A Princess for Christmas as Jules
- 2012- Labyrinth as Oriane
- 2013- Dates as Kate Foster
- 2013- Dracula as Lucy Westenra
- 2016- Slasher as Sarah Bennett
- 2016-Present- Supergirl as Lena Luthor
- 2016-17- Frontier as Elizabeth
Awards & Nominations of all time
- Nominated for the Virgin Media TV Award in the category of Best Actress, and Hottest Female for her role of Morgana in Merlin, December 2011.
- Won the Virgin Media TV Award in the category of Best Baddy for her role of Morgana in Merlin, December 2011.
- Nominated for the National TV Awards 2012, in the category of Best Drama Performance for her role of Morgana in Merlin.
- Nominated for the 51st Monte Carlo Television Festival in the category of Outstanding Actress/Drama for her role of Morgana in Merlin, Monaco June 2011.
- Nominated for the 49th Monte Carlo Television Festival in the category of Best Actress for her role of Morgana in Merlin, Monaco June 2009.
- Won the 2012 Anglo Fan Favourites in the Women’s category against Helena Bonham-Carter and many other favorable women.
Trivia about Katie
- Favorite jewelry item is her great-grandmother’s gold watch chain which any one can see on her wrist always.
- She is a big fan of Harrison Ford and Nathan Fillion.
- She loves comic books.
- Her natural hair color is blonde and she had to dye it every 3 weeks for her role as Morgana in Merlin.
- Katie’s past jobs include working in a piercing studio and in a cocktail bar as part timer.
- Katie has a tongue piercing and several on her ears which is very visible.
- She has worked for a fashion magazine, Image and in the costume department of The Tudors while she got a chance of trying to act also.
- She never aspired to become an actress before she came into it.
- Katie McGrath is the only leading cast mate in Merlin who is not a formally trained actor as her all education and experiences were in fashion industry.
- She played the younger half-sister of Emilia Fox in both Merlin and The Queen.
- Graduated in history from Trinity College in Dublin, and she is the only actress acting in Merlin from the Merlin cast not to graduate in acting.
- Morgana in Merlin has always been her favorite character in the Arthurian legend.
- Katie was in the debating society in school and over there she was the president.
- She has two older brothers, Sean and Rory.
- She got a very good friend who is her co-star, Colin Morgan.
- She is a fan of the Firefly TV series
- She is a big fan of the Transformers franchise and its movies.
Some of her Personal Quotes
- “I won the lottery because I didn’t know I would love this so much and I’m so lucky to have gotten the chance”. – on unexpectedly having become as a successful actress
- “My favourite scenes are always the scenes I do with Colin”. – on her favourite scenes in Merlin, who os a very good friend of her
- “I hadn’t acted much. I’d been in school plays, but I wasn’t a drama-school kid and my family aren’t performers”. – on her acting experience while she was acting for Merlin.
- “I just want to do good work. If it’s shot in Hungary, if it’s shot in Russia, if it’s shot in America, if it’s shot in England, you just want to do something you can stand up and say I’m proud of it”. – on her successful career and professional ambitions.
- “The first thing I ever wanted to be was a backup singer for Guns ‘n’Roses”. She told about her wish once.
- “If I leave my hair, I look like Pocahontas, so I’ve been known to use eight different products at once just to make it do anything”. – on her beautiful hair.
Lessons from her life
“It was a bit cheeky, granted. What happened was that I obviously knew all the [The Tudors (2007)] crew well, and one of the drivers gave me a confidential cast list with all the actors’ agents’ details on it, and I wrote to them. I got picked up from that, and Merlin (2008) came along just a few months later. So I won the lottery! I do feel quite bad when everyone talks about how difficult it is to get a foothold in this [acting] business. Most actors slog for years. For instance, everyone on Merlin (2008) did four years at drama school, but I just lucked out.” -That’s what she thinks of her acting career and successful story.
But we do believe as her glamour, hard work and luck all worked together to achieve her goals to get the best out of it while she got no experience. So, we should not talk and relax but it’s better be do something and wait for the juice…
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