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CBS’s sophomore political drama, Madam Secretary, lives in the space between Scandal and the West Wing. Its star, Téa Leoni, continually draws Hilary Clinton comparisons for her portrayal of Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord. Madam Secretary gives the audience equal parts personal and professional drama, with 18-year-old Kathrine Herzer holding her own as Alison McCord, the teenage daughter of the Secretary of State.

Though she may be young, Kathrine’s acting career has been a long time coming. Imagista recently spoke with Kathrine about how she fell in love with acting as a child and how that love has grown in the years since.

Imagista: How did you first decide to become an actress?

Kathrine Herzer: Being an actress is really the only thing I have ever wanted to be! I started working professionally when I was 10, but school was always my priority. When I started high school, though, I decided I wanted to pursue acting as more of a career than a hobby.

Imagista: What is your favorite thing about acting?

KH: This is such a difficult question! It’s the feeling of really connecting to a character that I love most about acting, which is so hard to describe! I also love that acting allows me to explore so many different things, because I have so many different interests.

Imagista: Lately you have become most known for your role as Alison McCord on Madam Secretary; what is your favorite part of working on the show?

KH: I love this show so much!! Alison is just starting to figure out who she is, and she brings such exuberance to everything she does. She’s a lot of fun to play.

Imagista: Who in your life has been most influential and encouraging in your career?

KH: My mom is absolutely the most influential and encouraging person in regards to my career. She has always been fully supportive of my dreams, and me. Without her help I would not have had the courage to pursue them.

Imagista: Is there any particular person you don’t necessarily know personally who you really look up to in your career?

KH: My two career idols are Julianne Moore and Robert De Niro. They are both so talented and intelligent; they have done such amazing things with their careers and lives! They inspire me so much.

Imagista: If you weren’t an actor ,what do you think you would want to be doing?

KH: If I wasn’t an actress, I have no idea what I would want to be doing… Like most 18 year olds! But, I’m working on the show and going to school at NYU now, so probably a pretty similar situation just without the work! I do know that I would definitely be in school.

Imagista: What’s next for you? Is there anything coming up that you are particularly excited about?

KH: I’m so excited for the show’s premiere and for everyone to see it! Season two has really stepped it up, and I can’t wait to see where it goes! Every time I see a new episode I’m blown away. It’s going to be an amazing season!


Photographer/Makeup: Tina Turnbow

Hair: Laura Polko

Actress: Kathrine Herzer

Stylist: Farah Alimi