Date of Birth: 24 October 1983, Ashford, County Wicklow, Ireland
Birth Name: Katherine Elizabeth McGrath
Height: 5' 5½" (1.66 m)
Irish actress Katie McGrath did not intend to make a career for herself in the acting profession, studying History at Trinity College, Dublin. Upon graduating, she became interested in fashion journalism and worked for lifestyle and fashion magazine, Image. After this, her mother's best friend, an assistant director, helped get her a job as a wardrobe assistant on the series The Tudors (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.
Success followed with McGrath made her debut in the TV film Damage (2007). She also won a small role in the aforementioned The Tudors (2007). Her big break came, however, when she was cast as the evil Morgana in the hit BBC series The Adventures of Merlin (2008). Further roles followed, including a part in Madonna's directorial debut W.E. (2011).
Has a tattoo on her back that says 'purity'.
Worked under costume designer Joan Bergin on the set of The Tudors (2007).
Became disinterested with her fashion job at Image magazine after eight months. Her mother's best friend, one of the top first-assistant directors in Ireland, had been working on The Tudors (2007) and gave Katie a job in the show's costume department because of her prior experience working in fashion; however, Katie didn't know how to sew and had no knowledge or experience in costume design.
Revealed she never aspired to becoming an actress. She had no formal acting training outside of performing in school plays and did not attend drama school. She had been working as a wardrobe assistant on The Tudors (2007) when a couple of the show's producers and directors suggest she try acting. She wasn't interested, until she saw how more relaxed the actresses' jobs were on the set compared to her job working hard, long hours on costumes as a wardrobe assistant. This prompted her to take up acting and she made her on-screen debut in Damage (2007). She later convinced the director of The Tudors (2007) to give her a part in the series.
Worked several jobs prior to becoming an actress: at a piercing studio, in a cocktail bar, as a make-up artist for MAC cosmetics, worked for Image magazine, and as a wardrobe assistant on The Tudors (2007).
Compared to most aspiring actors, getting a job as an actress happened quickly for her. She made her on-screen debut in Damage (2007). Later that year, she was able to get an agent by October 2007 when one of the The Tudors (2007) crew drivers gave her a confidential cast list with all the actors' agents' details on it; a few months later, in January 2008, she read for The Adventures of Merlin (2008) and became a series regular.
The only leading cast mate in The Adventures of Merlin (2008) who is not a formally trained actor.
She uses her natural Irish accent in the series The Adventures of 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.
She played the younger sister of Emilia Fox in both The Adventures of Merlin (2008) and The Queen (2009).
Friends with Colin Morgan and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Her last name is pronounced "Mc-Grah".
McGrath studied the International Baccalaureate at St. Andrews College before graduating from Trinity College, Dublin with a degree in History.
[on her quick success as an actress]: 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 The Adventures of 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 The Adventures of Merlin (2008) did four years at drama school, but I just lucked out.