Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why The Little Girl From Annabelle Comes Home Looks So Familiar

At age 12, Mckenna Grace has already accomplished more in her acting career than some adults could ever dream of doing. The up-and-coming star, who started acting in 2013, has appeared in a wide variety of projects, ranging from children's TV shows to blockbuster movies. She's also stranger to the horror genre: the newest addition to Grace's resume is the role of Judy Warren in Annabelle Comes Home.

In the film, Judy — the daughter of the Conjuring universe's Ed and Lorraine Warren (played by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) — unknowingly unleashes evil spirits from the Warrens' famous haunted trophy room. The early reactions for the sequel have been relatively positive, and it seems as though Grace's first adventure into the world of Annabelle is on track for a respectable opening at the box office.

Although Grace is still very young, scary movies have never deterred her, and she was understandably excited about getting this role. "My dad and I like to watch horror movies together on weekends," she enthused. "I just think that they're really good and [producer] James Wan is a genius." Before you watch her become a scream queen in Annabelle Comes Home, here are some of the other films and television series where you might have seen Mckenna Grace.

The Young and the Restless (2013-2015)

The Young and the Restless, which has now been on air for over 45 years, has been crowned the top daytime drama every year since 1988. Given that the series has been running for so long, it is somewhat unsurprising to learn that several modern-day stars got their starts on Y&R, including Adam Brody, Vivica A. Fox, Eva Longoria, and even the late Paul Walker. Perhaps ten years from now, Mckenna Grace's name will be added to that list.

Grace joined the soap opera's cast in 2013, replacing Aly Lind in the role of Faith Newman, the daughter of Sharon Case's Sharon and Joshua Morrow's Nick. Prior to this gig, Grace was best recognized as Jasmine Bernstein in Disney XD's Crash & Bernstein. You have to assume that getting cast on a show as popular as Y&R greatly helped catapult her fame to new heights.

Once Upon a Time (2015-2017)

ABC's Once Upon a Time incorporated a dramatic hodgepodge of fantasy elements, ranging from classic Disney characters to those of western folklore. The series, which debuted in October of 2011, went through seven seasons; during its run, one of the main characters was Emma Swan, the daughter of Ginnifer Goodwin's Snow White and Josh Dallas' Prince Charming. Although Emma was mostly played by Jennifer Morrison, Mckenna Grace portrayed a younger version of the character.

In fact, Grace has built quite a reputation for portraying younger versions of main characters. In Once Upon a Time, she played the younger version of Morrison's Emma Swan in flashback sequences. Although she only appeared in four episodes, the part was one of her first opportunities to work with a big network during primetime. On Grace's official Twitter page, her mother posted a picture of Grace with Morrison declaring her excitement. "It was a dream come true for Mckenna to get to play young Emma!"

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Mckenna Grace's first appearance in a major blockbuster came in 2016's Independence Day: Resurgence as Daisy, one of the children trying to survive Earth's second alien invasion. Although the sequel to 1996's explosive disaster flick wound up flopping at the box office, the experience of working alongside stars like Joey King, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and Liam Hemsworth must've made it all worth it for young Grace.

When speaking to Fab TV on the red carpet at the film's premiere, Grace dished about the best part of playing Daisy. "I got to spend a lot of time with my idol, Joey King, and I got to spend a lot of time with these amazing actors and actresses and learn from them...[King] is just so nice and such an amazing actress." When asked if she was excited to become an amazing actress herself, she responded humbly. "I don't know if I can become an amazing actress. That'd be awesome!" It's safe to say that she's off to a pretty strong start.

Fuller House (2016-2018)

In late 2015, fan anticipation for Netflix's new series, Fuller House, was at an all-time high. The show, a sequel to the long-running sitcom Full House, focuses on the life of D.J. Tanner as she struggles to raise three children with the help of her sister Stephanie and her childhood best friend, Kimmy. The show reunites Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, and Andrea Barber from the original series, and also includes appearances and cameos from various Full House vets.

In the show's second season, Mckenna Grace joined the Fuller crew as Rose Harbenberger, the girlfriend of DJ's precocious son Max, played by Elias Harger. As it turns out, the two young performers appear to be as close offscreen as they are in front of the camera, as evidenced by this video of them dancing and lip-syncing to the Pokémon theme song.

Gifted (2017)

What was your greatest accomplishment when you were ten years old? Regardless of how proud you may be of that feat, it's unlikely that it measures up to that of Mckenna Grace, who starred alongside Chris Evans in the touching drama Gifted. Grace plays Mary, a childhood prodigy of sorts and a truly gifted mathematician with great potential. Evans plays the girl's uncle and primary caregiver, doing everything he can to keep her from being sent to live with his strict mother.

When speaking with the Washington Post, Grace noted how wonderfully she and Evans connected on set. "We had an immediate connection. On the shoot and off the shoot, we were always singing... We were just always hanging out together, singing a few songs from a band called the Presidents of the United States of America: 'Back Porch' and 'Peaches.'" In the same piece, Grace was asked who her favorite superhero was, and her answer was somewhat unsurprising. "I loved Captain America even before I worked with him. He's been my favorite superhero forever." It must be nice to meet your superhero at age ten.

Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

Annabelle Come Home isn't Mckenna Grace's first horror film — she made her genre debut in 2017, when she played Juliet in Amityville: The Awakening. Starring alongside the likes of Bella Thorne, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Cameron Monaghan, and even her old Once Upon a Time co-star Jennifer Morrison, Grace got her first real experience with things that go bump in the big-screen night.

Unfortunately, the film absolutely tanked. It received extremely negative reviews from both audiences and critics alike, and only brought in $7,701,908 worldwide. It even, somewhat amazingly, grossed an incredibly low total of $742 at the box office on a Saturday a couple of weeks after its streaming release. Still, at least Grace can say she made a new friend out of the ordeal. She and Bella Thorne, who played her older sister in the movie, grew close while filming. Grace even visited Thorne on the set of her music video. Perhaps the two will remain sisterly in real life, too.

I, Tonya (2017)

2017's I, Tonya, the biopic starring Margot Robbie as real-life Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, was an award-winning hit, fully equipped with enough intense drama, dark humor, and poignant heart to bring in both rock-solid reviews and acceptable box office numbers. In the film, Mckenna Grace played the childhood version of Harding in flashbacks.

When speaking to the Boston Globe, Grace admitted that playing Harding wasn't a walk in the park. "Physically, it was the most challenging role I've ever done before because I had to learn to ice skate, and I've never done ice skating before," she recalled. "I'd fall and I was all beaten up but I had to get up and keep trying."

In an interview with Red Carpet News TV, Grace dished about what a treat it was to work with Margot Robbie. "I have been such a big fan of hers even before I got to work on this movie. She's awesome. I dressed up as Harley Quinn for Halloween, actually." They say you're bound to be disappointed if you meet your idols, but Mckenna Grace might beg to differ.

The Haunting of Hill House (2018)

Netflix's The Haunting of Hill House was a surprise hit in 2018, becoming one of the streaming platform's best-reviewed shows to date. The creepy horror series centers around a broken family that has to face the terrifyingly traumatic memories of their childhood home. Mckenna Grace plays the childhood version of Kate Siegel's Theo Crain, joining a prestigious cast rounded out by Carla Gugino and Michiel Huisman.

The show was created by Mike Flanagan, the talented visionary behind horror works such as Hush and Oculus. In a phone interview with Collider, Grace expressed her excitement to be working with her director. "Mike Flanagan is like the Wes Craven of his generation. He is amazing! Beforehand, I watched his horror films because I love horror movies, and I was like, 'Oh, my god, I get to work with him!'... It was so much fun to get to work with him. He's so nice."

Young Sheldon (2018)

As it turns out, young Sheldon Cooper isn't the only genius in town. In the second season of CBS's Big Bang Theory prequel, Young Sheldon, Mckenna Grace played Paige, a "rival prodigy" and potential will-they-or-won't-they love interest to Iain Armitage's Sheldon. One of the aspects that makes Paige and Sheldon's friendship work is the great chemistry that Grace and Armitage have in real life. 

That being said, it appears as though they don't know all that much about each other's careers. On Entertainment Tonight, the two up-and-comers took turns interviewing each other. In the clip, Grace gives her opinion on which actress she would pick to play an adult version of Paige in the grown-up Big Bang universe. "I think Reese Witherspoon because she's a lot like Paige in Legally Blonde." When Armitage notes that she's nice, Grace asks if he had worked with her before. As it turns out, Armitage worked with Witherspoon in HBO's Big Little Lies. Oops!

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018)

In Netflix's darker rendition of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, aptly titled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka plays a teenage Sabrina Spellman. However, in flashback sequences, that honor is bestowed upon Mckenna Grace, who plays a childhood version of Sabrina. The series was well-received by critics, and was actually nominated for a Kids' Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama.

When speaking with The Wrap, show creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa spoke about the particularly interesting way in which Grace was cast. "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'... We reached out [to Mckenna] and said, 'Do you want to be Li'l Sabrina for the Christmas special?' And she said yeah. And it was as easy as that! It came from Kiernan, though." That's some serious love from one teenage witch to another.

Captain Marvel (2019)

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past two years, you've seen (or at the very least heard of) Captain Marvel, the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster starring Brie Larson in the titular role of Carol Danvers. A blockbuster mega-hit, the movie racked up over a billion (that's BILLION, with a "B") dollars at the worldwide box office. 

In the movie, Mckenna Grace got to do what she does best: play a younger version of the movie's protagonist in flashback scenes. Grace reportedly was so excited when she learned she would be in a Marvel movie that she screamed out loud on the set of The Haunting of Hill House, and on the red carpet at Captain Marvel's world premiere, Grace touched upon what makes Carol Danvers such a great character. "I think that she's just always had this strength inside of her," the young star enthused. "It just bursts out and she's just this super awesome powerful female superhero." Girl power to the max!