Kiernan Shipka hadn’t even turned 8 by the time she started playing Sally Draper on AMC’s hit period drama Mad Men, and now she realizes how intense of an experience it was to star on such a big show at such a young age.
“I’m surprised because I wasn’t really thinking it was heavy duty at the time,” she tells Page Six. “I didn’t know anything else. That’s what I did. But looking back, I go, ‘Yeah, well, that was really intense.”
Shipka only had a few credits on her filmography by the time she landed the part of Sally on Mad Men. (In an earlier episode of Monk, for instance, she played a character identified only as “Girl Customer.”)
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“I got really lucky as a kid, just to be trusted with the performance and not really doubted,” she says. “And I think in turn, I just didn’t really doubt myself, and I found my abilities in ways that I might not have if they were stifled or people tried to shape or shift them in some kind of way. They let me be on that set, and I’m so thankful for that.”
Since Mad Men’s 2015 finale, Shipka has continued working, notably starring in the title role in the Netflix series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. And in the upcoming HBO series White House Plumbers, she’ll play Kevan Hunt, daughter of Woody Harrelson’s E. Howard Hunt, a real-life conspirator from the Watergate scandal.
All these years later, though, the 23-year-old would be down to reprise her role as Don Draper’s daughter.
“I’m not done with Sally,” she told Entertainment Tonight in April 2022. “I don’t think she’d be in New York. I think she’d do L.A. … But I’m not done with her at all.”