If it feels like Kiernan Shipka is everywhere, you’re right.
The 23-year-old who rose to fame on the hit series, “Mad Men,” is at the helm of an indie flick that’s getting quite a bit of buzz called, “Wildflower.”
Shipka plays Bea Johnson a high school senior who is at a crossroads in life, go off to college or stay home to take care of her disabled parents. The film from Morning Moon Productions also stars Jean Smart, Jacki Weaver, Alexandra Daddario, Chloe Rose Robertson, Dash Mihok and Samantha Hyde.
CNN caught up with Shipka about the film, fashion and growing up in the spotlight.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Did you meet the real life family the film is based on in order to create your character, Bea?
“I never got a chance to meet Christina. Matt Smukler, the director didn’t want me to, he wanted the role to kind of be very fictionalized and different and just sort go in its own direction and have the characters sort of be stand-alone in that kind of way. So when it came to creating this world, that was work I did on my own.”
This film is being compared to the acclaimed Academy Award-winning film CODA. Thoughts?
“CODA’s a beautiful movie. I think, you know, those performances were absolutely incredible and it certainly was, was brought up multiple times when we talked about tonally what this movie was going for.”
Tell us about what it was like on set and working with your fellow co-stars.
“It’s amazing. I mean, everyone is just like the most pro of pros on this. To get to see everyone go to work and bring such a level of fun and play to all the scenes and make them truly come to life, was amazing. I mean the cast is absolutely unbelievable but then to actually see those scenes that were already fantastic on the page, just like jump and fly and just absolutely sizzle … it was because of those amazing actors.”
Take us inside your world a bit, how has it been growing up in Hollywood and how do you deal with that?
“I don’t really know much else because I started so young, so most of this I think I feel kind of lucky in that way that my career, this industry exposure, kind of felt like it was sort of a slow build. I never felt like this wild sort of explosion or anything like that. It’s sort of what I’ve always known and I’ve always really loved the work part of it. I’ve always really been just so excited to do the job and that’s what makes me feel really amazing and excited. And the older I get, the more excited I get about what I do. Like, is this the thing that I am gonna do for the rest of my life? And I definitely asked myself that a few times and every time the answer is yes, but it’s getting to be like a bigger, more emboldened yes.”
You seem to really love fashion, did your time on ‘Mad Men’ inspire that?
“I mean I think it definitely started there. I was going into these fittings and seeing not only these gorgeous clothing items, but I really felt like from a young age, I was taught that style could tell a story and that it could be way more than just pretty clothes. As I’ve gotten older now, I feel like I’ve kind of found my personal style, or at least this current version of it. And that feels really good and nice. And now I love putting things together, because I feel like I know what I like and it’s always more fun when you know what you like.”
How would you describe your personal style?
“Oh man. I mean, I don’t even know what kind of the key words are, but I do like things that are quite simple these days. I wear a lot of blazers and pants and, and really sort of streamlined stuff. I love jewelry. I wear a lot of basics, but then I sort of like to jazz it up a little bit, like put a little something fun in there. So I’d say my style is kind of like simple streamlined right now.”
Why should people see “Wildflower”?
“I really think this is just a gem of a movie. It’s chock-full of beautiful performances and at large I think it’s a story that’s really heartfelt and really sweet. I think you’re gonna watch the movie and walk away and feel good, inspired and touched and moved. I hope people watch it and like it because it’s a really important, beautiful story and I’m really excited that it’s being told and that it’s out there. It’s really exciting.”