Of all the young actors poised to be stars of tomorrow, Mckenna Grace is a standout. And as it turns out, she's just as interesting and compelling off-screen as she is on. Since making her television debut on the Disney XD series Crash & Bernstein in 2012, Mckenna has been tackling bigger and more challenging parts.
Mckenna was born in Grapevine, TX, on June 25, 2006. By the time she was 12, she had a recurring role on Crash & Bernstein, as well as a featured role on The Young and the Restless. Her first feature film performance was in Goodbye World, a post-apocalyptic thriller in which she co-stars alongside Adrian Grenier and Gaby Hoffmann.
The roles have grown in complexity as Mckenna herself as grown. In 2017, she was nominated for best young performer by the Critics' Choice Awards for her performance in Gifted. In addition to her big-screen work, Mckenna continues to work in television and has had recurring parts in a number of series, including the sitcom Young Sheldon and the Netflix thriller The Haunting of Hill House.
Mckenna appears to have a promising acting career ahead of her; here are some surprising facts about the young actress.
- Photo: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
Shirley Temple Inspired Her To Start Acting
Mckenna's great-grandparents gave the actress a DVD collection of Shirley Temple movies for her fifth birthday. The gift turned out to be a life-changer for Mckenna. After weeks of watching, studying, and absorbing the Temple films, Mckenna announced she wanted to perform, too. "I wanted to be like Shirley Temple," she said in 2018. "I’d seen all of the Shirley Temple movies."
Another inspiration? Pee-wee Herman. "I wanted to be one of those kids on The Pee-wee Herman Show because I love Pee-wee Herman," she told Collider. "He’s amazing!"
She Often Plays The Younger Versions Of Characters
Mckenna has made a name for herself playing the younger versions of the central characters in several different movies and TV shows. In I, Tonya, she played young Tonya Harding. In an episode of CSI, she played young Abby Fisher. In The Vampire Diaries, she played young Caroline Forbes. In Once Upon a Time, she played young Emma Swan.
In 2018 the actress took on two "younger" roles: In The Haunting of Hill House, she was young Theodora Crain, and in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, she was young Sabrina Spellman. In 2019, she was young Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel.
She Is An Animal Rights ActivistVideo: YouTube
Mckenna is a vegetarian and an animal rights activist. She made a video for PETA Kids in which she discusses the dangers of leaving dogs in cars on hot days. She's also worked with Farm Sanctuary, filming a video about the smart, sociable, and affectionate nature of turkeys.
"Turkeys make awesome friends," she says in the video. "They are so sweet, and they all have different personalities. That’s why I would rather love them than eat them."
She Brings Her Stuffed Animals Everywhere
Despite the precociousness of her performances, Mckenna is still a kid. For example, she loves stuffed animals and totes them with her wherever she goes. "I love bringing my stuffed animals everywhere!" she told Suburban Parent.
Those stuffed animals are a valued audience, too. During the filming of Gifted, she set her stuffed animals up just off to the side of the camera. "No one saw them except for the two of us and she performed for her stuffed animals," recalled co-star Octavia Spencer. "It was pretty great."