Katie McGrath, J.J. Abrams’ wife, has been married to the director since 1996. McGrath has spent much of her career in public relations and also worked as an aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy. She is a co-chair with Abrams in the Children’s Defense Fund.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Is From Maine
McGrath grew up in Brewer, Maine. She graduated from Brewer High School in 1986.
According to Bangor Daily News, Abrams and McGrath were introduced by a mutual friend in New York City, Abram’s hometown, in 1996. The couple were married two years later.
Speaking to Variety, Abrams discussed their difference in height (which is obvious in the picture above):
His wife, Katie McGrath, is merely half an inch taller than he is, Abrams insists. However, he appears much shorter than she is in red-carpet photographs, which he attributes to her wearing what he calls her “mean shoes.”
2. She Is a PR Executive and Worked for Ted Kennedy in Washington
While her husband is busy making movie magic, McGrath busies herself as a PR executive at an undisclosed firm. She previously worked as an aide for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in Washington.
According to Financial Times, McGrath is responsible for honing Abrams interest in politics, which have influenced many of his projects, especially Star Trek Into Darkness, whose plot involved a political conspiracy. The couple were supporters of Barack Obama’s campaign for President in 2008. They hosted events for the campaign in their home.
Abrams and McGrath also share an interest in foreign policy, hosting a salon in 2008 to discuss China. The salon was attended by foreign policy specialists as well as those in show business.
3. She Convinced Abrams to Direct Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Abrams told Playboy in 2013 that it was McGrath who ultimately convinced him to direct the new Star Wars film:
It was a wild time. I was near the light at the end of the tunnel with my work on Star Trek. I felt I needed a bit of a breather, actually. But then Kathleen Kennedy [the new Lucasfilm head who oversees Star Wars] called again. I’ve known her for years. We had a great conversation, and the idea of working with her on this suddenly went from being theoretical and easy to deny to being a real, tangible, thrilling possibility. In the end it was my wife, Katie, who said if it was something that really interested me, I had to consider it.
Of course, the idea of working on a project for the Star Wars project had never been too far-fetched for Abrams. He talked to Financial Times about his love of Star Wars over Star Trek:
Mr Abrams says he never sets out to make a film or television programme with an audience in mind. With Star Trek, he risked the ire of hard-core Trekkies by replacing the elderly cast of previous films with hip, younger actors. And he freely admits that the Star Wars films had a bigger influence on him than the Star Trek television series or earlier films featuring Spock et al.
Variety also revealed that he wasn’t a big Star Trek fan until he worked on the reboot:
He was a latecomer to Star Trek fandom, never really appreciating the Gene Roddenberry–created universe until he was recruited to direct Paramount’s 2009 reboot of the movie franchise, to which Star Trek into Darkness is the sequel. He was a Star Wars devotee, however, from the moment he saw the first film (now known as Episode IV: A New Hope) at age 11, in 1977.
4. She Lives in a Mansion in Los Angeles
The couple live in a $14.5 million mansion in Los Angeles in 2014. It’s a 8,030-square-foot Connecticut Traditional estate in the posh Pacific Palisades area.
The Daily Mail described the lavish home:
JJ, whose initials stand for Jeffrey Jacob, will never have to fear being caught short, as there are seven full and two half bathrooms.
And just to make things better, there is also a gourmet kitchen, an office and a wine cellar, while the has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a fireplace.
He will be able to work on his hustling skills in comfort, as the sun room lined with windows and furnished with a pool table, and the master suite features a sitting space with French doors that open to a private deck.
The estate also features large swimming pool, landscaped gardens and rolling lawns from where one can view the ocean.
The rear portion of the property has a porte cochere that leads to a small motor court and adjacent three-car garage. The backyard also includes a loggia with a fireplace.
5. She Has Three Children With Abrams
McGrath has three children with Abrams. The oldest is Henry, 17, followed by Gracie, 16, and August, who is 9.