The Shadowhunters star will make her anticipated debut in the first half of Arrow's seventh season as Maya, a street fighter and thief from Star City, and the 22-year-old actress opened up about her upcoming arc on The CW superhero drama. But the secrecy surrounding her character meant McNamara had to play coy about details on what fans can expect when she does make her way onscreen.
"It's really exciting! There's just about nothing that I can say yet because I'm sworn to so much spoiler secrecy, but Maya is kick-ass," McNamara told ET at the Girl Hero Awards luncheon in Beverly Hills, California, on Sunday. "She's a fighter. She's someone not to be messed with, I'll put it that way."
"But it's been a real joy," she said of going from the Shadowhunters family to the Arrow clan. "That's such a family and I was welcomed with open arms and it's such an exciting thing."
McNamara, who will be wrapping up her three-season run as Clary Fray on Freeform's sci-fi/fantasy drama, Shadowhunters, next year, also praised the show's passionate fans for landing her a write-in spot as a nominee for the Female TV Star category at the People's Choice Awards. Her co-star, Harry Shum Jr., is also nominated for Male TV Star, while Shadowhunters is a finalist for three categories.
"People's Choice is the biggest surprise for us but also the biggest honor, especially for Harry and I to both be write-ins," McNamara said. "It really just shows what an amazing fandom the Shadowhunter's kids are and in this world, where everyone is so divided, to have people come together for a story that's all about love and acceptance, it's such a beautiful thing."
McNamara also praised the women in her life for showing her that every woman's voice is strong and worth listening to, explaining that that outlook has helped shape her career. "There are so many projects now that have so many female-empowered characters that I've not only been able to play but also have been able to be opposite with on screen."
"I grew up with a family of women that were very strong, powerful, not only nurturing and devoted mothers and sisters and aunts, but also very driven career women who it was never a question of either or, it was always a question of and -- and what is it that you want to be and do in this world because anything is possible," she said. "It's always been such a huge influence on my life