(CBS Local)– Season eight of “Arrow” is here on CW and Katherine McNamara has used this show to springboard into the next phase of her career.

McNamara, who plays Mia Smoak, does a lot of her scenes alongside series lead Stephen Amell and will also be featured on the new CBS All Access show based on a Stephen King novel called “The Stand.” McNamara is thoroughly enjoying this time in her life.

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“We have this whole universe of television series that all exist relatively within the same world,” said McNamara in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “It’s cool for fans, whether or not they know the comics, to come into this world and see these super heroes and these classic tropes that we know so well. It’s constantly something fresh, different, and exciting.”

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McNamara grew up in Missouri and never had the opportunity to watch characters like Smoak when she was a little girl. Playing empowering female characters is one of her favorite parts of this experience.

“I found myself in a unique position that I’ve been playing a lot of bad-ass females on TV,” said McNamara. “As a kid, I always looked for that. I always looked for these strong female figures. Now getting to understand what that means to a young girl and to be able to do that on screen has been a gift.”

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In addition to her role on “Arrow,” McNamara will play Julie Lawry as a series regular on “The Stand” alongside Whoopi Goldberg. The show is coming soon on CBS All Access.