‘Walker: Independence’ star Katherine McNamara: ‘I spoke to Jared Padalecki extensively’


TV veteran Katherine McNamara pivots to a Western in the period drama “Walker: Independence.”

The series, which premiered Oct. 6 (9 p.m.) on The CW, it’s set in the late 1800s and follows Abby Walker (McNamara) an affluent woman from Boston who travels out West, only to lose everything on the journey when her husband in murdered in front of her. 

The series is a prequel spun off from the Jared Padalecki series “Walker,” (currently in its third season), which is itself a modern reboot of the classic show “Walker, Texas Ranger.” 

“It’s so refreshing to dive into something that takes place in reality, where you don’t just have superpowers or magic. You have to rely on humanity [and] it’s an exciting difference,” McNamara, 26, told The Post. 

McNamara previously starred in the supernatural drama “Shadowhunters,” as well as the superhero series “Arrow” and “The Flash” (and she also appeared in “Batwoman” and “Supergirl”). 

 Katherine McNamara as Abby Walker in "Walker: Independence" laying on a couch.
Katherine McNamara as Abby Walker in “Walker: Independence.”
Anna Kooris/THE CW
Justin Johnson Cortez as Calian and Katherine McNamara as Abby Walker in "Walker: Independence" outside in dry landscape looking serious.
Justin Johnson Cortez as Calian and Katherine McNamara as Abby Walker in “Walker: Independence.”
THE CW

“I’m a Midwestern girl myself, and there’s a certain nostalgia that comes with a Western,” she said. “It’s a world within our own that has a fantasy that somehow exists within reality. That’s part of what we’re bringing to ‘Walker: Independence.’ But what really attracted me was the opportunity to take a genre that has so many tropes and aspects that people expect, and [to] see how we can do the unexpected.” 

After Abby’s husband dies, she travels to the town of Independence, Texas, where she meets an eclectic mix of residents, including con artist Hoyt Rawlins (Matt Barr) and seeks justice for her husband’s death. 

“Something that was in the forefront of my mind is just the tenacity that it takes to survive in this world,” she said. “Especially for a woman like Abby, who comes from Boston society and a world with as much comfort as you could get in 1870, suddenly in the first 15 minutes of our show, her entire life goes up in flames and she has to start over.

Katie Findlay as Kate Carver and Katherine McNamara as Abby Walker in "Walker: Independence."
Katie Findlay as Kate Carver and Katherine McNamara as Abby Walker in “Walker: Independence.”
Richard Foreman, Jr. /THE CW
Katherine McNamara as Abby Walker in "Walker: Independence."
Katherine McNamara as Abby Walker in “Walker: Independence.”
Richard Foreman, Jr./THE CW

“I come from a family of women where it was never a question of ‘family or career.’ It was ‘choose the life you want to have, and work hard for it.’ And that’s exactly what Abby does. Her entire life blows up and she has a choice: she can become a victim of her circumstance, or use it as an opportunity to create a new life for herself. She’s in a town surrounded by people trying to do the same.” 

McNamara said she was in touch with Padalecki while shooting the series.

“I spoke to Jared extensively during the pilot to be like, ‘Give me the “Walker 101,” give me your Ted talk on what it means to be a Walker,’” she said. “The more we talked about it, the more we decided to build it to leave opportunities open.

Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker (Abby's descendent) in "Walker."
Jared Padalecki as Cordell Walker (Abby’s descendent) in “Walker.”
Rebecca Brenneman/THE CW

“There’s quite a stark difference between the Walkers of 2022 and the Walkers of the 1870s. The shows are very linked by genetic lineage, but they each have their own tone. But the core of what it means to be a Walker is trying to find justice however you can, and find a way to create the community in the world that will leave opportunities for everyone. 

“I had met Jared a few times before, and I knew he was a wonderful human and collaborative creative. He obviously has such lengthy experience leading TV shows, I have somewhat of a similar experience but not to his extent. It was nice to speak to everyone who had so much faith in all of us to pass the torch, like ‘We build the groundwork, now take it and run with it and build your own world.’”