Kiernan Shipka is young, talented, beautiful, and now without a permanent series to call home. Even though there may possibly be one in the wings, she could be called a “free agent.”
Here’s everything we know about where Kiernan Shipka came from and where she’s going next.
A YOUNG START
While the actress has yet to see her 21st birthday, she has been doing the acting thing for quite some time now. It started for Kiernan Shipka as a young child and by young child, we mean a baby – a five-month-old baby. Yes, Shipka made her screen debut as a bundle of joy in the TV series ER.
Her next true acting gig came as a precocious seven-year old on the TV series Monk and from there she had minor appearances in series such as Cory in the House, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and Heroes. She got a couple bit parts in features like Dimension and Lower Learning, which brought her to her first big show.
KIERNAN SHIPKA ON MAD MEN
Kiernan Shipka’s first big break was as the daughter of Don Draper. As Sally Draper in Mad Men, Shipka appeared in just about each and every episode produced from the hit AMC series. Fans practically watched the young actress grow from child to teenager on the show.
Her first two and a half season on the show Kiernan Shipka was a minor character but as season three moved along, more and more of her was seen. By season four, Shipka was promoted to a starring role.
Kiernan Shipka’s time on Mad Men didn’t stop her from branching out to other roles and there was plenty for her to find. With Mad Men taking eight years of her early life, Shipka was seen (and heard) on various projects. These included Smooch, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, Very Good Girls, Flowers in the Attic, One and Two, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. She was heard in the features When Marnie Was There, Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, Sofia the First, and The Legend of Korra.
Given her age, portraying the daughter of Don Draper in Mad Men was a given. It was also a given that Kiernan Shipka would play the role of another daughter, B.D. Hyman, this one to a famous and trouble acting icon, Bette Davis. Davis, whose lengthy career covered some 60 plus years and 100 screen credits, not to mention ten Academy Award nominations for Best Actress and winning twice, had what one could call a tumultuous relationship with Barbara Davis Hyman.
The mini-series, Feud: Bette and Joan, was created by none other than Ryan Murphy and told the story about the famous Hollywood feud that went on between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Initially the mini-series was intended to be an anthology series but was then shortened to a mini-series consisting of eight episodes, with Shipka appearing in five of them.
KIERNAN SHIPKA AS SABRINA
Up next for Kiernan Shipka was Sabrina. Not a daughter in this one. Shipka got the role as Sabrina Spellman, a character that was once made popular by Melissa Joan Hart in the 1996 series Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The original was played more for laughs than its new counterpart, which most definitely leaned toward the realm of horror and supernatural.
In Murphy’s version of Sabrina, which was titled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the premise remains. Teenage witch Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka) is approaching her 16th birthday and must choose between her witch family or her human family.
Murphy’s choice of Shipka was a great one and the tone of the show, which resembled The Exorcist and even Rosemary’s Baby, struck a good note for fans of horror, the occult, and the supernatural. The series, which was a Netflix original, stood for four seasons, just recently having been cancelled, leaving Kiernan Shipka in the lurch.
During her time on Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Shipka was able to find a couple of roles that were polar opposites. She was seen in the Netflix horror film The Silence, playing a deaf teenager alongside Stanley Tucci and she was also seen in the romantic comedy feature Let It Snow. Those too are now done.
KIERNAN SHIPKA NOW
So, where will she go now that her series was cancelled? If fans have their way, right back to that series. There’s a petition going to try and convince Netflix to un-cancel Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. It’s closing in on 200,000 signatures. So far Netflix hasn’t responded, but as the outpouring of love from fans continues, they might be forced to.
In the meantime 20-year-old Kiernan Shipka has but one new acting gig in her future. This would be the Quibi series Swimming with Sharks. The show is based on the 1994 movie of the same name and it starred Frank Whaley who decides to turn the tables on his supremely abusive boss, played by Kevin Spacey.
This new series follows the same pattern as Shipka’s Lou goes to work for Joyce, a studio head played by Diane Kruger. Swimming with Sharks is being written by actress and screenwriter Kathleen Robertson (Beverly Hills, 90210) and also boasts a cast consisting of Thomas Dekker, Finn Jones, and Donald Sutherland.
Even though this is all Kiernan Shipka has on the books at the moment, look for her to find more juicy roles as her star continues to rise.