Leading Ladies: Katie McGrath

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Whether they’re stars on the rise, or everyday women worth emulating, these are ladies we admire and women to keep on your radar.

Next to Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence, Irish actress Katie McGrath is my ultimate girl crush. Not only do I think she’s stunningly gorgeous, but she’s a self-proclaimed “geek” and treats her fans extremely well. She’s more than willing to stop for photos and autographs when asked and will even mail you autographs if you write to her fan mail address (if you’re good to your fans, you’re a star in my book).

Known for her role as the villainous Morgana on BBC One’s “Merlin,” Katie McGrath began her acting career with no training. She got her start working as a wardrobe assistant on Showtime’s “The Tudors.” After being told she should act, she was offered a small part in the series and a few months later, landed the iconic role of the wicked enchantress. “Merlin” has since ended, completing its intended five season run, but during the show’s reign, she also starred in the romantic comedy “A Princess for Christmas.” It’s pretty much the life I dreamed up for myself—a girl from New York heads to a castle in England only to fall in love and marry a charming royal heir? Yes, please!

Click after the jump to find out why you should keep your eye on Katie!

Why we admire her: Katie isn’t afraid to be herself. Whether she’s excited to hop in the Batmobile at San Diego Comic-Con or expressing her love for “Firefly” actor Nathan Fillion, she’s just like us—geeking out over nerdy obsessions and crushing on attractive, talented actors. Hey Katie, looking for some new BFFs?

Why you should keep your eye on her: Katie starred in Madonna’s Oscar nominated “W.E.” and can most recently be seen on the TV show “Labrynth” with “Harry Potter” actor Tom Felton. Set to hit NBC this year, she will star alongside fellow “Tudors” alum and close friend Jonathan Rhys Meyers in “Dracula.” Katie will be playing the flirtatious Lucy Westenra. If you thought the vampire craze was over, you thought wrong. We have high hopes for this series!

Where we’d like to see her next: We’d love to see Katie take on a big franchise—perhaps a YA series adaptation? Maybe there’s room for her in the next “Hunger Games” movie? Or possibly a role in the upcoming “Mortal Instruments” franchise? Not only do we know Katie has the talent for a popular series, but she has the grace and personality to carry the fame with ease. We’re looking forward to seeing more of her in 2013!

Are you a fan of Katie? Tell us why on twitter!