Best McKenna Grace Movies and TV Shows, Ranked
Screenshot via Neon
McKenna Grace may only be 16, but the young star has starred in several high-profile movies and TV shows for more than a decade since starting his professional career at the age of six. Whether you know her name or not, her face is unmistakable and she’s appeared in a wide variety of projects and genres, from kids’ shows to dramas and even horror. Grace is one of the most recognizable young actresses right now, and with her whole life ahead of her, there’s no telling how huge she’ll be in the years to come.
While she started out in lighter projects, the young starlet more than experienced impressive versatility. She took simple recurring and guest roles and elevated them with her brilliant emotional prowess. With dramas like Giftedwhere she stood up to juggernauts Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer, Grace is often praised for showing no fear on camera.
Here is a ranking of the best projects she has starred in since her debut on Disney XD Crash and Bernsteinsupernatural comedy Ghostbusters: the afterlife, and an Emmy-nominated role on Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale.
ten. Crash and Bernstein
In her professional debut, Grace starred recurring on the Disney XD sitcom Crash and Bernstein as Jasmine Bernstein, Wyatt’s six-year-old sister. Jasmine is both adorable and terrifying, and always wears her signature color, pink. When she doesn’t get what she wants, she is known to let out a very loud cry that is heard in every corner of the house, coupled with tantrums. However, Jasmine is a fairly bright young girl and gifted with electronics, proving to be more intellectually capable than her peers.
9. The young and the restless
For three years from 2013, Grace starred as Faith Newman in the long-running soap opera The young and the restless. She replaced original actress Alyvia Alyn Lind, and although her acting has been praised, her role is generally obscured by Lind’s, who took over the role, playing Faith until 2021.
8. Young Sheldon
Grace’s versatility as an actress is expertly illustrated in Young Sheldon. In the coming-of-age sitcom, she plays young genius Paige Swanson, Sheldon Cooper’s rival. Introduced in the second season, Paige also attends college at a very young age due to her incredible brilliance, but shows her rebellious side through all the ways she tries to cope with her parents’ divorce. Much like Sheldon, she is misunderstood by many adults and children her age, but the fact that she is smarter than him often brings out her jealous side.
seven. Once upon a time
Ahead of Disney’s deep dive into live-action remakes, many fans turned to Once upon a time to catch all their favorite fairy tale characters come to life. For seven seasons, unique takes on classic stories were treated to greater depth, and one character proved to be the center of it all – Emma Swan, played by Jennifer Morrison. Grace may have played the role of a younger Emma in just four episodes, but her acting was moving.
6. Captain Marvel
Grace stars as the younger version of Carol Danvers, played by Brie Larson in Captain Marvel. There’s not much to see when it comes to screen time for young actresses, but she’s proving she can pull off a tough girl, a role she’s never really played before this- this.
5. Designated Survivor
In Designated Survivor, Grace stars as the president’s youngest daughter, and despite being just 10 years old, she delivered one of her most moving performances. The actress brought so much depth to an otherwise forgettable character, proving she could keep her head above water next to a huge star like Kiefer Sutherland.
4. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
After numerous guest and recurring roles in film and television, Grace’s most recent starring role is featured in the 2021 sequel to ghost huntersentitled Life after death. She plays the role of young Phoebe Spengler. The film was a huge commercial success, receiving favorable reviews from fans and critics. While this isn’t Grace’s most definitive role, and her darker hair is unfamiliar to many fans, she gets a lot more screen time here than in many of her other projects.
3. Me Tonya
After the Oscar winner Me Tonya, Grace was five years into her acting career and delivered one of her best performances yet. While the actress appeared in flashbacks for only about 5 minutes onscreen, Grace brought a certain maturity to a biographical role that stood out instantly. What elevates her performance is that she successfully learned ice skating to properly embody Tonya Harding, played in Margot Robbie’s film. Speaking to the Boston Herald in 2017, she called the role “the toughest role” she has taken on.
“Physically, it was the hardest role I’ve ever played before because I had to learn how to ice skate, and I had never done ice skating before. I was falling and getting beaten , but I had to get up and keep trying.
2. The Handmaid’s Tale
For her role as newlywed Esther Keyes on Hulu’s fourth season The Handmaid’s Tale, Grace earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. In her most mature and complex role to date, Grace played the highly intelligent young girl who gradually poisons her brutal and vicious older husband to senility.
Grace’s most notable starring role is still in 2017 Gifted, where she played the role of the highly intelligent Mary Adler alongside Chris Evans. His performance in the emotional drama was met with rave reviews, solidifying the young star as one of the strongest acting talents of his generation. The film was a box office success, earning more than six times its seven million dollar budget, and Grace received several awards and nominations, including Best Young Actress at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.