Kat McNamara Brings the Green Arrow (and Family Drama) to ‘The Flash’

The Flash - Kat McNamara
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Colin Bentley/The CW

“Armageddon” may have been prevented, but future shocks are still causing chaos for The Flash, which wraps up the five-part crossover event Tuesday with Barry (Grant Gustin), Iris (Candice Patton) and the team facing an unexpected visit from Arrow‘s Mia Smoak (Kat McNamara).

So what brings the current Green Arrow to town? Yeah, that’s not for us to spill, but we can say that Mia’s presence is tied directly to a certain Speedster who needs his clock cleaned and that McNamara’s return has us thinking the existing Arrowverse shows need to Smoak up more often.

Below, the actress tells us more.

It’s so nice to talk to you again. I spoke to The Flash showrunner Eric Wallace months ago, and he was hinting at some of the people coming back—I was so proud you were on the wish list!

I was truly honored. I mean, honestly, when I spoke to Eric for the first time as well, it immediately just inspired me again. And you know me—I love the Arrowverse. I love Mia Smoak so much. And the fact that they asked me back, I was really honored. It’s such a great group. And to be one of the ones brought back for “Armageddon”? It’s an honor to be brought back for the apocalypse. [Laughs]

The Flash - Kat McNamara

Colin Bentley/The CW

Yes, welcome to the end of the world! And you make quite the entrance, opposite Tom Cavanagh no less.

I know. Oh, my gosh. That was the first scene I shot, and I have to say, I’m a huge fan of Tom and was a little bit starstruck. He’s been such a pivotal person from the beginning of the Arrowverse.

It was very cool to see that they didn’t just bring back Mia, they brought back Mia as the Green Arrow. And they honored where the character was headed the last time we saw her and what she’s doing now.

Absolutely. And that’s the biggest thing Eric said to me: “Look, they set up so much for Mia’s story. It can’t all go by the wayside.” So he picked up right where we left off and as you know, Mia’s whole essence is quite the specific blend of broodiness and sarcasm [from Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen] and Felicity’s little glimmer in her eye and her sense of humor [via Emily Bett Rickards]…and they hit the nail on the head exactly.

I was so thrilled and really impressed by The Flash writers’ room. Not that I wouldn’t have been, but they were incredible at picking it right back up and bringing in all of Mia’s struggles that we left off with. They knew everything she was battling, between trying to join the superhero world in a real way while taking on this mantle she was not prepared for and really truly did not feel worthy of. And the fact that we get to see the darker side of the Green Arrow in this next piece is great. You see her on the verge and struggling with her family issues as well.

There’s no way you can’t not have family issues with the Queens and the Smoaks.

I was just going to say, that’s part of the family lineage! She has to carry on with the Queen family drama. [Laughs]

The Flash - Candice Patton - Danielle Nicolet - Kat McNamara

Colin Bentley/The CW

So without spoiling anything, it’s interesting why Mia comes to Central City. They’ve armed her with her own story—she’s not just there to help Barry. She has something to get done too.

Yes. In true Green Arrow fashion, Mia Smoak doesn’t love to follow other people’s orders, and that’s very much what’s going on here. She’s gone rogue and become obsessed with a singular mission, and that happens to bring her to Central City. As you know, Barry Allen knows her family quite well and knows how to handle both sides of Mia in a way that’s really helpful to her. It’s not necessarily what she wants to hear, but I think it’s what she needs to hear.

There’s also a scene near the end with you and Candice Patton that was really lovely. It touches on Mia’s history, Iris’s history with Barry and Oliver, and all they’ve gone through over the years. I just thought that was a really cool way to have these two characters work together.

Yeah. Eric was so lovely in connecting those dots. They thought a lot about the fact that, really, Barry and Iris are kind of Mia’s surrogate godparents in a way. They’re Uncle Barry and Aunt Iris, and it’s those two who are trying to steer this fledgling superhero in a world where she doesn’t have her parents to do so. And they know she’s not ready. Barry was there when all of it went down. It’s a really nice way to connect those dots. And we tried to seed in little Easter eggs, both spoken and unspoken, throughout, that I hope people catch.

Oh, yeah, you mention someone that will make folks smile. How was it getting back into actual costume? And more so, the harness?

I love wire work, I love stunts, I love all of that. And anytime you let me play and be a superhero in that suit, I am there 100 percent. It was actually really interesting, because besides going off and doing The Stand with Paramount+, Green Arrow was one of the last things I did before the pandemic. And suddenly I was back in Vancouver and putting on the supersuit again. It’s been so bookmarked by the pandemic that we’ve all been through.

And even just being back on a set, there was a pace I was so used to, but you don’t know how that’s going to be when you’re going back. Then, after a day or two on set, when I put on the suit for the first time, I felt home again. I looked in the mirror and I went, “This is what I’ve been missing for the last two years.” It was so wonderful. And obviously, the crews on all those Arrowverse shows are incredible and The Flash cast is so lovely, I just felt so welcomed, like I belonged. That’s largely due to all of the wonderful people there.

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It's the Flash vs. the Reverse Flash — but not as you're used to.

So…while you were back up there, did you happen to run into anybody at Legends of Tomorrow who might want to have a Green Arrow play with them?

Look, if any show needs someone to come run around in a supersuit with a bow and arrow, you know the girl to call. I will be there. Just cast a green arrow into the sky, I’ll come running.

This would be a perfect time for you to make the rounds. Mia meets Batwoman? We’re going to put that out there in the world. We’re going to manifest this.

One of my dear, dear friends is a writer on Batwoman as well, and of course Camrus Johnson [who plays Batwing] has been a great friend of mine for years. I’m a huge fan of that show, so I think it would be so fun to go over there. And I think Mia would really suit that world, too. Mia Smoak’s Green Arrow and Batwoman would have a lot of fun fighting crime together!

The Flash, Tuesday, December 14, 8/7c, The CW