Kiernan Shipka Empathizes as Sally Draper

Celebrity Q&A, Featured Article
on March 11, 2013
Mad Men (Season 5)

What can you tell me about the young actress who plays Don Draper’s daughter on “Mad Men”?
—Goldie Light, Shaker Heights, Ohio

Kiernan Shipka, 13, who plays the rebellious Sally Draper, wants to make it clear that she is yards away from the character she portrays on “Mad Men.”

“I’m definitely not super similar to Sally just because of the way she’s parented and the time she grew up in,” the Chicago native says. “Sometimes I think of Sally as not really rebelling, but more so just coping. She’s in an incredibly tough situation, and I can only imagine how I would react.”

Shipka began her career in advertising, with more than 200 print jobs and two dozen commercials to her credit. Her TV debut was on an episode of “ER” when she was only 5 months old.

After numerous guest stints on series including “Heroes,” “Monk” and “MADtv” and a role in the independent feature film “Dimension,” she and her family moved to Los Angeles, where the then 6½-year-old quickly landed the role of Sally on “Mad Men,” becoming a series regular in season four.

“I definitely wasn’t allowed to watch [‘Mad Men’] when I was 6, 7, 8 or 9 even,” she says. “But now I go to the table reads and I’m not in the dark about the show. I’m planning, when all the seasons are over, to have a ’Mad Men’ viewing marathon.”

Shipka’s other credits include “Land of the Lost,” “Lower Learning,” “House Broken” and the Hallmark Channel original movie “Smooch.” In addition, she can be heard as Jinora on the animated series “The Legend of Korra.”

The teen currently lives in Los Angeles with her parents and two German shepherds. When not acting, she plays the piano and guitar and writes music, studies ballet and indulges her passion for fashion.