Kiernan Shipka has literally grown up before our eyes. Last season, the world watched her take her first drag of a cigarette as Sally Draper on Mad Men.
It’s no surprise she’s growing up so fast on screen, being that she’s the daughter of dysfunctional parents, Don and Betty.
Vulture put it best when they said that Sally “has remained a firecracker, unafraid to sneak out of her house, roll her eyes at damn near anybody, and call out her friends when they’re putting on airs.”
As the premiere of Season 7 is upon us, let’s learn more about the girl who won one of the most coveted child roles in Hollywood.
1. She Moved to L.A. at 6 Years Old
The Chicago native started her career as a child model.
At 6, she traveled far from home to start off her career on television.
She said, “I was 6 years old when I came out here (to L.A.) for pilot season originally, and that’s around the time that we mostly made the move.”
Her real-life parents realized the mature nature of Mad Men and put a limit on her watching her own show.
I definitely wasn’t allowed to watch it at the beginning, because I was only 6, and I feel you have to kind of start the show from the beginning. So, when the show ends, I’m planning on kind of having my own Mad Men marathon.
With this season being the last, Shipka, who is now 14, knows she will feel the void of playing Sally.
It definitely feels like it’s ending. I think it’ll feel that way more once we get back, because it’ll truly be the last of everything, and it’s sad!
If will be difficult for her to say goodbye to a role she grew up playing. She told Vulture:
I feel like it will really sink in the last time I ever play Sally, and they say “cut,” and then it will be like, Oh my God, that is the last time I’ll ever speak through Sally Draper. I haven’t really been thinking about it that much, but I assume I’ll shed some tears.
2. She Smoked & Drank On Screen
Last season, the high schooler was sent off to boarding school in Connecticut, where she made friends quickly by getting alcohol, pot and cigarettes for her classmates.
She talked about her character taking her first drink:
I’ve grown up with Sally, viewers have watched her grow, so seeing her take her first drink is really shocking. It’s like a milestone for her. It’s crazy.
In the car coming home, her mother, Betty, played by January Jones, offers her a cigarette, saying, “I’d rather have you do it in front of me than behind my back.”
She also weighed in on the infamous smoking scene:
I had fun filming that scene, too…I was pretty nervous to smoke. I’ve obviously never smoked before in my entire life, so it was sort of a thing that I had no clue how to do. But I caught on.
3. She Has Her Own ‘Funny or Die’ Series
She plays a child psychologist who gets visits from child stars like Nolan Gould from Modern Family and Danielle Fishel from Boy Meets World.
On the series, she starts with, “I’m not just an actor on Men Men, I’m also the only therapist focusing exclusively on child actors.”
It’s based on the notion that she’s qualified to be a therapist through her work on the drama.
4. She’s a High School Senior Even Though She’s Only 14
The actress never took a summer break, and is enrolled in Laurel Springs, an independent study program that’s entirely online.
She said, “It’s just a different work schedule, so I can get done with it faster.”
As far as college plans go, she plans to start off online, and then maybe enroll in college.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be the Doogie Howser! Just going in there super young and people looking at me weird? I feel like that would be kind of strange.
5. She’s a Foodie Who Dines Out With Lorde
Her Instagram page is filled with photos of her at restaurants with friends, like Lorde, above. There are also tons of shots of every kind of food, from sushi to French toast.
An interviewer asked her about her fascination, and she said, “But yeah, my Instagram is basically food. In the comments, people are like, “You just eat? Is that your only thing?”
It comes as no surprise that she also spends her free time watching food on TV. She dished to Dose, “And then I’m also kind of addicted to the Food Network channel. I can watch that show for hours. It’s really addictive.”