Are Mckenna Grace And Kiernan Shipka Related?

When some celebrities get famous, their younger siblings soon follow their lead. Examples include Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning, Miley Cyrus and Noah Cyrus, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Elizabeth Olsen. In these instances, the family resemblance is easy to see.

When entertainers look alike and share the same last name, it's not difficult to deduce that they are relatives. But then there are the stars who are siblings but have different surnames, like Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez, Jonah Hill and Beanie Feldstein, and Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty. Because nepotism isn't exactly a rarity in Hollywood, some fans can't help but wonder if two stars with strikingly similar appearances might be related — even if their names don't suggest a familial link. A prime example is "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" star Kiernan Shipka and younger actor Mckenna Grace, who actually played a younger version of Shipka's character, Sabrina Spellman, in the series.

"Are McKenna Grace and Kiernan Shipka sisters?! Because DAMN they look alike!" read one tweet about their uncanny resemblance. "Are we ABSOLUTELY SURE Mckenna Grace is not Kiernan Shipka's little sister. like have we done DNA testing," another person wrote. But we don't need Maury Povich to come out of retirement to help us determine whether the two actors are blood relatives.

How Kiernan Shipka helped Mckenna Grace score a role

Mckenna Grace was 7 years old when she appeared alongside "Captain America" star Chris Evans in the movie "Gifted." Speaking about her role as his daughter, she told The Washington Post, "I play an only child, and I am an only child." So her striking resemblance to Shipka — who doesn't have any siblings, either — is purely coincidental. It did, however, help Grace get cast as the same character as Shipka in a flashback sequence. "When Kiernan heard we were doing 'Li'l Sabrina,' she texted me a picture of her with McKenna and said, 'You have to get Mckenna. She's like me as a little girl and we're dead ringers,'" recalled "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa in a 2018 interview with TheWrap. But while Grace undoubtedly appreciated her older doppelganger's help getting her a gig, she wasn't exactly wanting for roles. By then, she'd been acting since 2013, appearing in everything from soap operas and sitcoms to biopics and action films. Like Shipka, she'd also appeared in a Netflix series with a spooky vibe, "The Haunting of Hill House," so she was just trading ghosts for witchcraft, NBD.

By the time she got cast in "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," Grace was a pro at filming flashbacks. Per Teen Vogue, she's portrayed characters' younger selves many times before, sharing roles with Jennifer Morrison in "Once Upon a Time," Margot Robbie in "I, Tonya," and Kate Siegel in "The Haunting of Hill House."

Mckenna Grace and Kiernan Shipka have a lot in common

Mckenna Grace and Kiernan Shipka share the same enthusiasm for acting. When she was just 4 years old, Grace begged her mom to let her pursue a career as an actor. "This is my preferred career path, my preferred childhood. I love what I do," Grace told Teen Vogue in 2021. Shipka also discovered her passion for performing early on. "I don't know how to explain that at the age of 6 I was just hell bent on doing this for the rest of my life, but I was," she said in an interview with ES Magazine.

By age 8, Shipka was getting her acting education by working alongside a majority-adult cast in the series "Mad Men." Grace similarly raised her profile significantly with her own prestige TV role, earning an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of a vengeful child bride in "The Handmaid's Tale." But she and Shipka haven't been content to rest on their laurels as successful actors; they've both set their sights on having more creative input in their projects. In 2021, Shipka signed on to star in and produce a creepy podcast movie titled "Treat," while Grace tried her hand at co-writing, producing, and starring in a horror flick of her own, "The Bad Seed Returns." Said the ambitious entertainer, "I plan on doing this until the day I die, and if I cannot continue in acting, then I would love to continue somewhere else in the creative industry."