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All The Reasons Why We Love Hollywood’s Kiernan Shipka

Kiernan Shipka took Hollywood by storm at a young age and she hasn’t yet let up. Since first gaining fame at age 6 as Sally Draper on AMC’s Mad Men, Kiernan has wowed fellow actors, filmmakers, critics, and audiences alike.

Her young age (she only turned 21 in November 2020) makes her one of Gen Z’s finest stars, and we’re so excited to watch that star continue to soar in the future.

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Not sure you’re familiar with Kiernan? Let’s take a look at her life and work thus far. Maybe by the end, you’ll be a Kiernan Shipka stan yourself.

First of all, who is Kiernan Shipka?

Kiernan Shipka was born on November 10, 1999 to parents John Young Shipka and Erin Ann Brennan in Chicago, Illinois. Even though her breakthrough roles came at a young age, she actually started acting at just 5 months old when she appeared in an episode of ER. Kiernan worked sporadically in television for the first six years of her life before her family moved to Los Angeles once she successfully auditioned for a recurring role in Mad Men.

She Tweets infrequently yet when she does her posts are bizarrely funny!

Does Kiernan Shipka have a boyfriend? 

It’s the only thing anyone ever wants to know, isn’t it?

Kiernan Shipka has never officially confirmed this, but all Instagram signs point to her dating young director Christian Coppola since 2019. Coppola (who is reportedly a distant relative of Francis Ford Coppola) and Kiernan were first spotted out and about together in November 2019 in Italy, and they’ve been going strong ever since.


 
 
 
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A post shared by Kiernan Shipka (@kiernanshipka)

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In the past, Kiernan was rumored to have dated Gary Oldman’s son Charlie. When she spoke with Refinery 29, Kiernan declined to clarify either man’s role in her life. “It’s more fun for the people [that way],” she said.

Kiernan did confirm in an interview with W Magazine that her first kiss was on-screen.

“Everything happened for me on-screen before it happened for me in real life, to be quite honest,” she said. “I was prepared for everything on Mad Men, because Sally was a little ahead of me. She taught me the way.”

Kiernan Shipka television shows: ‘Mad Men’

At just 6 years old, Kiernan successfully auditioned for the role of Sally Draper in the AMC period drama Mad Men with only a few TV appearances to her name. Her family relocated from Chicago to Los Angeles after she landed the part, and it seems she was a natural talent from day one.

A 2012 Chicago Sun-Times piece says that Kiernan hadn’t received any formal acting lessons or training before Mad Men, and notes that series creator Matthew Weiner asked her parents not to get her a coach the day of the show’s first table read. The Mad Men creator spoke to Vanity Fair about how Kiernan stood out from most child actors ahead of the show’s final season in 2014:

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“It’s really tricky casting kids. You really don’t have a lot of expectations. You want someone who can memorize some lines, deliver some kind of real person, and not look at the camera, not be too self-conscious. . . . [Kiernan] was so precocious. I really didn’t limit the length of her scenes at all, and by the second season I was writing whatever I wanted for her, whatever we thought was appropriate for the story. I never say, ‘She can’t do that many lines; she can’t be that intimate; she can’t convey that with a look.’ You don’t think when you pick someone when they’re six years old that they’re going to do that seven years later.”

Sally Draper’s Mad Men arc reflects that of a young girl growing up in 1960s America. She argues with her mother Betty (portrayed by January Jones), experiences grief for the first time when her grandfather dies, and (to her parents’ frustration) becomes an increasingly independent young woman as she grows up. Kiernan appeared as a recurring guest star for the series’ first 3 seasons and joined the show’s main cast for seasons 4-7.

Here’s a fun fact: her presence as a key cast member in a drama series intended for adult audiences meant she wasn’t actually allowed to watch Mad Men until she was 14, near the end of the show’s run.

Occasionally, Kiernan posts stills from her time on Mad Men to her Instagram page — and she seems to keep up with her old co-stars, too!


 
 
 
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A post shared by Kiernan Shipka (@kiernanshipka)

Kiernan and Jon Hamm will forever be the best daughter-father TV combo.


 
 
 
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A post shared by Kiernan Shipka (@kiernanshipka)

Let’s not forget her adorable friendship with January Jones, too.

Kiernan Shipka television shows: ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’

As a young adult, Kiernan has made a name for herself as the titular Sabrina Spellman in Netflix’s dark, moody adaptation of the Archie Comics series, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The series premiered on October 26, 2018, and ran for four seasons before its cancellation in 2020.

According to EW, Kiernan was reportedly series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s first choice for the role. Some may be familiar with the premise of this show from the ‘90s ABC sitcom Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but make no mistake: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a darker (read; more Satanic) take on the concept, and it gets spooky.

Kiernan has continued to earn praise from critics and co-stars alike for her role as Sabrina.

“Not only is [Shipka] masterful at everything she takes on, she also really knows how to drive a scene, which is something not all people know how to do,” Miranda Otto, who plays Kiernan’s Aunt Zelda in the show, told Refinery 29. “She keeps the energy of everything going. She really is a powerhouse.”

Kiernan Shipka movies: ‘One & Two’

Kiernan starred in Andrew Droz Palermo’s 2015 film One & Two alongside Timothée Chalamet, Elizabeth Reaser, and Grant Bowler. The film follows a Christian family of four whose children (Kiernan and Timothée) can teleport short distances and the troubles that arise when their strict father decides their abilities are unnatural.

Kiernan and Timothée grew close on the set of One & Two and the young actress told Refinery 29 in February 2020 that she considers the critically-acclaimed actor “like family.”

“It’s like watching your brother do amazing things,” she said about Timothée’s success. “My mom drove him to his final audition for Beautiful Boy. He’s such a part of the Shipka clan. He should hyphenate his last name, actually.”

Kiernan Shipka used to bring Timothée Chalamet on dates

So you know now that Kiernan and Timothée are friends… but did you know that she used to bring him along on first dates?

Kiernan mentioned during an interview on the Ladies First With Laura Brown podcast in April 2021 that Timothée lived with her family in Los Angeles at one point, and she would have him join in on would-be first dates — an awkward situation many have experienced, but likely not with a big-time movie star along for the ride!


 
 
 
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A post shared by Kiernan Shipka (@kiernanshipka)

“If they want to get dinner or something, I’m like, ‘Sure, yeah, sounds great,'” Kiernan said. “And then I text them like an hour before and say, ‘Hey, my friend’s with me, I think they’re gonna join.'”

We can’t imagine those dates went all too well for the third party involved.

Kiernan Shipka’s Hollywood look-alikes

Oddly enough, Kiernan does seem to have a Hollywood doppelganger working in town, too — 14-year-old actress Mckenna Grace. A quick Twitter search for either actress’s name reveals that quite a few people think the two look eerily similar.

Vox writer Emily VanDerWerff noted the resemblance after watching Mckenna in Annabelle Comes Home and asked the question that’s now on our minds: why haven’t the pair teamed up yet?

One Twitter user suggested that both Mckenna and Kiernan look like the first two forms of Emma Watson, another Hollywood actress who knows a thing or two about being a child star.