Katy O'Brian

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Katy O'Brian
Born (1989-02-12) February 12, 1989 (age 35)
EducationIndiana University Bloomington (BA)
  • Actress
  • writer
  • martial artist
  • police officer (formerly)
Years active2010–present
Kylie Chi
(m. 2020)
Websitekatyobrian.com Edit this at Wikidata

Katy M. O'Brian[1] (born February 12, 1989) is an American actress, writer and martial artist. She is best known for her roles as bodybuilder Jackie in Love Lies Bleeding, Imperial communications officer Elia Kane in the second and the third season of The Mandalorian, George in Syfy's zombie show Z Nation,[2] Major Sara Grey in The CW's superhero series Black Lightning, Kimball in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Jentorra in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.

Early life[edit]

O'Brian was born on February 12, 1989, in Indianapolis, Indiana, and has three older brothers. She is of mixed race, African-American, and white ancestry.[3] O'Brian began studying martial arts at five years old, and at age nine earned her brown belt in Shorei Goju Ryu Karate.[4] Throughout her youth, she participated in numerous sports programs and also in music programs as a percussionist.[5]

She attended Indiana University Bloomington, majoring in psychology and Germanic studies.[6] She was one of the first members of the university's short-form improv troupe Hoosonfirst. She received law enforcement certification through the university's Cadet Officer Program. At university, she received her black belt in hapkido through the US Hapkido Federation.[7]

After graduation, she was a police officer for seven years at the Carmel Police Department in Carmel, Indiana, including the department's Crisis Intervention Team, which specialized in helping individuals with various conditions such as psychosis, depression, Alzheimer's, autism, etc.[8] She obtained her personal trainer certification and began competing in bodybuilding figure competitions,[9] and began training at the Indy Actors Academy.[10] She competed twice in figure, in September 2014 and May 2015, but stopped because of the expense and because she did not want to take steroids like some other competitors.[11]

In 2016, O'Brian moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in film and television. While waiting to land a role, she worked with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Martial Arts Program, helping with self-defense classes and instructing the Hapkido program. Through the same program she also studied Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.[8]


O'Brian's first television role was as a Savior named Katy on AMC's The Walking Dead,[12] quickly followed by co-star roles on Halt and Catch Fire, Tosh.0 and How to Get Away with Murder.[episode needed]

In 2018, O'Brian booked her first regular role on the comedy action series Z Nation where she played George, a budding leader of the apocalypse. In 2019, she appeared in the CW series Black Lightning as an ASA antagonist, Major Sara Grey. She appeared in season 3 of HBO's Westworld.

In 2020, O'Brian was cast as Elia Kane, a key recurring character in Seasons 2 and 3 of the Star Wars series The Mandalorian.[13]

She had been featured in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: in 2020 as Kimball in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; and in 2023, in a leading role as Jentorra, leader of the Freedom Fighters in the Quantum Realm in Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.[13] She is one of the few actors who has appeared in both the Star Wars and Marvel franchises.[14]

In 2022, it was announced that O'Brian would star opposite Kristen Stewart in Love Lies Bleeding, her first major film role.[15] The film was released theatrically by A24 on March 8, 2024.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles in 2016, O'Brian met her partner, Kylie Chi, on a student film project set. The couple live together in Los Angeles and married in July 2020.[17]

She lives with Crohn's disease and underwent bowel surgery after shooting Love Lies Bleeding.[18]



Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2012 Student Seven SIG Raider
2015 Submerge: Ni're Reborn E'lan Short film
Finders Keepers Girl Short film
Remedy of a Killer Nancy Short film
2016 Richard Watson Files Emma Simms Short film
2019 Rain TV News Reporter Short film
Power Rangers: Zenith Aisha
Gnawbone Lisa
Fantasy Kelly
The Divisible Kira Short film
2020 Sidewinder Deputy Harris Short film
2021 Sweet Girl TV Host
2023 Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania Jentorra
2024 Love Lies Bleeding Jackie
Twisters TBA Post-production
2025 Untitled eighth Mission: Impossible film Filming


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2017 Tosh.0 Softball Player Episode: "UCF Baseball Player"
Halt and Catch Fire Bartender Episode: "Search"
2017–2018 The Walking Dead Katy 2 episodes
2018 How to Get Away with Murder Cashier Girl Episode: "Ask Him About Stella"
Z Nation Georgia "George" St. Clair Main cast (season 5)
2019–2020 Black Lightning Major Sara Grey Recurring role (season 3)
2020 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Kimball 3 episodes (season 7)
Westworld EMT Episode: "The Absence of Field"
2020–present The Mandalorian Elia Kane Recurring role (seasons 2–3) [1]
2021 Magnum P.I. Kai Durrell Episode: "First the Beatdown, Then the Blowback"
The Rookie Katie Barnes Episode: "New Blood"


Year Title Role Notes
2020 The Talking Zed Show Self TV series
2021 24 Hours of Nothing But Net with Debbie Antonelli Self TV special


  1. ^ a b Romano, Evan (March 15, 2023). "This New 'Mandalorian' Villain Will Make You Question Who to Trust". Men's Health. Archived from the original on March 18, 2023. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  2. ^ Petski, Denise (August 20, 2018). "'Z Nation': 'Walking Dead' Alum Katy O'BRIAN Joins Season 5 as Series Regular". Deadline. Archived from the original on April 10, 2023. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  3. ^ "That's very kind of you". X. March 29, 2023. Retrieved January 6, 2024.
  4. ^ "Katy O'Brian: 'GEORGE' from z Nation Discusses ACTING, Success, and Greek Mythology". Your Money Geek. January 23, 2020. Archived from the original on October 30, 2021. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  5. ^ O'Brian, Katy (October 18, 2018). "Sometimes Coco Chanel Makes Sense". KATY O'BRIAN. Retrieved May 6, 2023.
  6. ^ "Meet Katy O'brian of Sag-Aftra". VoyageLA. January 29, 2019. Archived from the original on February 20, 2023. Retrieved October 30, 2021.
  7. ^ Burlingame, Russ (December 2, 2019). "Katy O'Brian Talks Her Black Lightning Character, Transitioning from Real Fighting to Stage Fighting, and LGBTQ Representation at DC and Marvel". ComicBook.com. Archived from the original on February 19, 2023. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Katy O'Brian". MARTIAL ARTS IN EDUCATION. Retrieved April 29, 2023.
  9. ^ Frost, Zenobia (August 20, 2020). "Archer asks: Katy O'Brian, actor and martial artist". Archer. Archived from the original on April 10, 2023. Retrieved April 10, 2023.
  10. ^ "IAA Student and current LA Resident Katy O'Brian". Indy Actors Academy. Archived from the original on February 19, 2023. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  11. ^ Merritt, Greg. "Bodybuilder Katy O'Brian Stars in "Love Lies Bleeding"". The Barbell. Retrieved March 15, 2024.
  12. ^ Saavedra, John (August 17, 2021). "The Walking Dead Season 11 Could Introduce Rick Grimes' Killer". Den of Geek. Archived from the original on February 19, 2023. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  13. ^ a b "Who is Elia Kane in The Mandalorian and actress Katy M O'Brian?". Radio Times. Retrieved April 29, 2023.
  14. ^ April 07, Devan Coggan; EDT, 2023 at 07:26 PM. "Katy O'Brian thought her 'Mandalorian' character was dead before her season 3 return". EW.com. Retrieved April 29, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  15. ^ Kroll, Justin. "Dave Franco, Katy O'Brian, Ed Harris And Jena Malone Join Kristen Stewart In 'Love Lies Bleeding' For A24". Deadline. Retrieved March 21, 2024.
  16. ^ Goldsmith, Jill (March 8, 2024). "Thriller Love Lives Bleeding With Kristen Stewart, Glitter & Doom Romance With Indigo Girls Soundtrack, Open In Limited Release – Specialty Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  17. ^ "Katy O'Brian: Cop, Actor, Bodybuilder". Martial Arts in Education. Archived from the original on February 19, 2023. Retrieved February 19, 2023.
  18. ^ "How Katy O'Brian Got Ripped for 'Love Lies Bleeding'—While Dealing With a Major Health Scare". SELF. March 13, 2024. Retrieved March 15, 2024.

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