Kaitlyn Dever has had such an interesting career with a major sitcom and movies, but she's also becoming an Instagram star
For years, Kaitlyn Dever was best known to all as Eve Baxter, the youngest daughter to Tim Allen’s Mike Baxter in the hit TV series, Last Man Standing. While the series was a hit, all good things eventually do come to an end. When Last Man Standing was unceremoniously canceled by ABC, Dever did what most actors would have done – she moved on. Then, unexpectedly, Last Man Standing got a reprieve. So, where was Kaitlyn Dever standing? Did she come back? Did she move on? Let’s look at her career and what she is doing now.
LIFE BEFORE LAST MAN
Kaitlyn Dever was only five years old when she began to develop her interest in performing arts. Her parents sent her to acting school but on top of that, Dever was involved with gymnastics, ballet, and skating. At this time in her life, Dever was living in Arizona with her parents and her two younger sisters, Mady and Jane. The family eventually pulled up stakes for Dallas, Texas when Kaitlyn’s father was given the role of voicing Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Once in Dallas, Kaitlyn was enrolled at the Dallas Young Actors Studio where she worked on her craft. From that, she was able to grab a number of commercials before eventually moving with her family to Los Angeles and beginning her acting career.
Kaitlyn Dever’s first role came in the HBO video An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong. Dever’s talent immediately was apparent and from there she went on to TV series such as Modern Family, Private Practice, Party Down, and The Mentalist. She also got her first TV movie role in Cinema Verite before she found herself in her first feature film, the 2011 raunchy comedy Bad Teacher starring Cameron Diaz in the title role. With Dever’s young career on a major upswing, her next project would be the one to put her on the map for good.
LAST MAN STANDING
Kaitlyn Dever got the series regular role of Eve Baxter in 2011. She joined Tim Allen, Nancy Travis, and Hector Elizondo in what would be a consistently funny TV sitcom. The sitcom premiered on the Fox network and followed the Baxter Family, led by Mike Baxter, who ran the Outdoor Man sporting goods store. Baxter’s family included his wife Vanessa (Travis) and his three daughters, Kristin, Mandy, and Eve. Mike worked in tandem with Outdoor Man’s owner and business partner Ed Alzate (Elizondo) and a young employee Kyle.
The series’ first season had actress Alexandra Krosney play Mike’s eldest daughter Kristin. Krosney would not return for season 2 and was replaced by Amanda Fuller. The first season also saw Jonas Brothers Nick Jonas appear as Kristin’s baby daddy, Ryan, but he too didn’t return in season two and was replaced by Jordan Masterson for the remainder of the series.
Kaitlyn Dever cut her teeth as Eve Baxter. But it wasn’t only Last Man Standing where Dever was gaining her acting experience. She also joined the cast of Justified, a recurring role she held onto for four seasons. During her time on Last Man Standing, Kaitlyn Dever also started testing out feature film territory. She was seen in The Spectacular Now, Short Term 12, Laggies, and Men, Women & Children.
LAST MAN NO LONGER STANDING
After six seasons, and despite being the second most-watched sitcom on ABC, the network decided it was time for the Last Man Standing to call it a day. The cast was shocked and disheartened and fans were livid. A petition was started to save the show and soon it was gaining momentum.
ABC never gave a true reason why the series was canceled but many point back to an appearance Tim Allen had on Jimmy Kimmel Live! A number of months before ABC announced the cancellation. On Kimmel, Allen made a comment that didn’t go over with many in Tinsel Town. A very outspoken Republican, Allen told Kimmel, via The Wrap, that Hollywood is “like 1930s Germany. You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You’ll get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes.” Ouch.
Fans, though, weren’t having any of the cancellation. ABC finally made a comment on the show when ABC President Channing Dungey told The Hollywood Reporter, “A large part of these jobs are managing failure, and we have made the tough calls and canceled shows that we would otherwise love to stay on the air. That’s the job. I canceled Last Man Standing for the same business and scheduling reasons that I canceled Dr. Ken, The Real O’Neals, The Catch and American Crime.”
Not that Dungey explained just what those business and scheduling reasons equated to, but she did offer, “Last Man Standing was a challenging one for me because it was a steady performer. Once we made the decision not to continue with comedy on Friday, it was just kind of that’s where we landed.”
BACK AGAIN, BUT WITH A DIFFERENT LOOK
The power of the people would not be denied. Over one year after ABC canceled the hit series, Fox announced that they would be picking up Last Man Standing. Season 7 premiered on the network but it came back looking a little different. Molly Ephraim, who played Mandy and believed that Last Man Standing was done for good, was unable to return to the series based on projects she was already involved in. Molly McCook took over the role of Mandy. Another big change came from the camp of Kaitlyn Dever. She continued to push her career and had just signed to be in the Netflix miniseries Unbelievable, so she was only able to return in a recurring role.
Over the series’ final three seasons on Fox, Kaitlyn Dever was more miss than hit. Season 7 saw Dever return for seven episodes. In Season 8, that dropped down to two episodes and in the final season of the series, Dever was able to contribute to only three episodes. Thankfully, she was on hand (virtually) for the series-ending episode.
LIFE AFTER LAST MAN
Unbelievable was just one of the big projects Kaitlyn Dever was part of during her time on Last Man Standing. She had a string of feature films that included We Don’t Belong Here, Detroit, Outside In, The Front Runner, Them That Follow, and the film that truly brought her a lot of attention, Booksmart.
Kaitlyn Dever didn’t stop there. She was seen in Dear Evan Hansen and right after that, she joined another series that solidified her rise as one of the best young actors in Hollywood. This one was called Dopesick that saw her star opposite Michael Keaton, Peter Sarsgaard, Will Poulter, and Rosario Dawson. You can see just how far Kaitlyn Dever has come in a short time with her next film. The movie is called Ticket to Paradise and in it, she plays the daughter of George Clooney and Julia Roberts.
If you think acting is all Kaitlyn Dever is about, you would be wrong. She is also one-half of the singing group, Beulahbelle. The other half is her sister, Mady. They recently released their first single, Raleigh, and have designs on creating more. The Dever Sisters are very active on social media as they are out and about promoting their music.
Kaitlyn Dever is also not shy about taking to social media. Her Instagram account has over 650K followers and growing. She likes to promote her work as evidenced by Dever posting the trailer for her upcoming movie with Clooney and Roberts. Check it out: