Katherine "Katie" McGrath (born January 1983 in Ashford, Ireland) is an Irish actress best known for playing Morgana in the BBC series Merlin (2008) and Princess Margaret in the 2009 TV docu-drama series The Queen. She has also appeared in The Tudors and the horror film Red Mist (or Freakdog as it was titled in the US) and played one of the main characters in the 2013 NBC adaptation of Dracula. Most recently, she portrayed Lena Luthor, Lex's well-meaning but ethically challenged half-sister on The CW's Supergirl.
Originally she worked behind-the-scenes as a wardrobe assistant on The Tudors. She was then tapped to be an extra in one scene, and... The rest may well be history, depending on how her career goes.
Named one of the 50 Hottest Irish Women by Complex Magazine in March, 2011.
And she really likes Nathan Fillion, really.
Her film roles include:
- Red Mist (2008) — Harriet
- W.E. (2011) — Lady Thelma Furnes
- A Princess for Christmas (2011) — Jules Daly
- Leading Lady (2014) — Jodi Rutherford
- The Throwaways (2014) — Gloria Miller
- Jurassic World (2015) — Zara Young
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) — Elsa
- Buttons (2018)
Her television roles include:
- Damage — Rachel
- The Tudors — Bess
- The Roaring 20's — Vixen.
- The Queen - Princess Margaret
- Merlin (2008) — Morgana
- Labyrinth — Oriane
- Dates — Kate
- Dracula — Lucy Westenra
- Slasher — Sarah Bennett
- Supergirl — Lena Luthor
- Secret Bridesmaids Business 2019
- The Continental — The Adjudicator
Tropes associated with this actress's work include:
- Action Girl: She plays a swordswoman sorceress in Merlin, a sultry, ass-kicking spy in Crackle's The Throwaways, and did her own stunts for her memorable scene in Jurassic World.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Ms. McGrath has made a career playing the "regally beautiful but withdrawn chick".
- Blue Blood: Not in real life, but her aristocratically pale good looks seem to make her a natural choice for such roles, to the extent that she has already played two British princesses (The Queen, Merlin) and a Viscountess (W.E.). Her Lena Luthor character on Supergirl is a modern businesswoman version.
- …But I Play One on TV:
- Despite only playing two lesbians (one of which was a one-episode guest appearance) and one bisexual character, she has developed a reputation for playing characters who, if not outright stated to be attracted to other women, it is implied.
- She even stated that her role on Supergirl was the first role she had in awhile that didn't have gay overtones. Fans and critics think otherwise.
- Chronically Killed Actor: Since making her acting debut in 2007, she has seen three of her characters stabbed to death (Merlin, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, and Labyrinth), one eaten by dinosaurs (Jurassic World), one bludgeoned to death (Frontier), and one drained of blood (Freakdog). Her character in Dracula became a vampire and was also doomed by canon.
- Goth: In her earlier roles, most notably Harriet in Red Mist and Vixen in The Roaring 20's. Her character Kate in Dates also has elements of this.
- LGBT Fanbase: She has a very large lesbian fanbase from her LGBT roles in both Dates and Dracula. This only grew due to the amount of Les Yay between Lena Luthor and Kara on Supergirl and her support of the SuperCorp ship.
- Mistaken Nationality: She's Irish, but because she works on British TV she nearly always plays British characters and her accent (noted as "Dublin Posh") isn't familiar outside Ireland, so a lot of people think she's British.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Her earlier roles, and especially Merlin. However, she seems to have transitioned out of this and most of her subsequent roles have her using a fake accent. A Princess for Christmas sees her using an American accent, as does The Throwaways...to an extent. In Dates and (especially) Dracula she does adopt a full-blown Brit accent.
- Psychotic Smirk: Her defining facial expression as Morgana, at least in later episodes of Merlin.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: In her dark-haired roles.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Katie speaks with a 'Dublin posh' accent that is rarely heard in TV or film, and misleadingly sounds 'British' to unfamiliar ears. In fact it is a homegrown Irish accent (compare her performance in Merlin - where she uses her real accent - with her performance in Dracula where she adopts a British accent). Her American accent in Slasher and Supergirl is well known for frequently slipping into her natural Irish voice, while her normally flawless English accent slipped into Irish and bad American in Secret Bridesmaids Business.