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

The Transformation Of Krysten Ritter From Childhood To Nightbooks

Marvel alum Krysten Ritter has reunited with Netflix, starring in the new film "Nightbooks." The movie follows a young boy named Alex Mosher (Winslow Fegley) as he struggles to escape his confinement in a witch's apartment. He relies on the assortment of scary stories he penned for his enjoyment to maintain his survival. The witch, Natacha (Ritter), exhibits a fascination with his writing and demands that he regales her with dark and twisted stories every night. During this time, Mosher befriends another child named Yazmin (Lidya Jewett), a young girl who has been trapped in the apartment with Natacha for years.

The Netflix film has mainly received positive reviews, earning an 80% on Rotten Tomatoes for its light-hearted and entertaining narrative. During an interview with Collider, Ritter shared her reasons for joining the film, explaining, "I love anytime a character is unpredictable and has a lot of colors and a rich backstory, which this has in spades." In "Nightbooks," Ritter embraces the eccentric and sinister role of Natacha, leaning into the campy neuroses of the witch with tongue-in-cheek abandon. Of course, this is far from the first time that the star has stolen the spotlight.

Over the years, Ritter has made a name for herself as a quick-witted and talented performer. In both film and television, she has proven herself to be an entertainer with an eye for edge and humor. Here's a look at her journey from a Pennsylvania farm to the limelight of Hollywood.

Krysten Ritter was discovered by a modeling scout

Originally hailing from Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, Krysten Ritter grew up on a large farm and spent most mornings feeding the cows and chickens on her family's acreage (via Marie Claire). While visiting the local shopping mall as a teenager, she was approached by a modeling agent. On "The Late Late Show with James Corden," Ritter described the moment the scout discovered her. Sharing her surprise at being "discovered," she laughingly noted that she was wearing "dude's jeans, clogs, and a Chapstick necklace."

When she was 15-years-old, Ritter signed with Elite Model Management before later switching to Wilhelmina Models (per Philadelphia Style Magazine). Upon arriving in New York City, she excitedly welcomed the incredible opportunities in front of her. As she told Elle, "A whole world opened up to me." During this time, she maintained a successful career as a model, attending go-sees, posing for magazines, and meeting with talented photographers.

However, Ritter realized that her passions had evolved when she auditioned for a Dr. Pepper commercial in 1999. After that, she found herself enticed by the allure of entertaining and pursued a new career in acting. Over the next few years, Ritter starred in several recurring roles in film and television, nabbing parts in "Veronica Mars," "27 Dresses," and "Confessions of a Shopaholic."

She got her big break on Breaking Bad

In 2009, Krysten Ritter landed a role in the critically-acclaimed AMC series "Breaking Bad." Playing Jane Margolis, a free-spirited artist who lives next door to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), Ritter's character impacted the lauded show. Despite her relatively short stint on the beloved drama, the tragedy of Jane's fate left an imprint on the narrative that haunted both of the leads.

During Season 2, Jane and Jesse enter into a relationship and fall in love. However, Jane struggles to uphold her sobriety, eventually relapsing and taking heroin. After receiving a large cut of Walt's drug-dealing profits, Jane and Jesse decide to celebrate, ultimately taking too much heroin and passing out. Although Walt arrives a few hours later, he fails to help Jane when she chokes in her sleep. As a result, she dies from drug-induced asphyxiation, devastating Jesse and negatively affecting his mental health for the majority of the series.

While on "Tribeca Talks" in 2018, Cranston praised Ritter for her heartbreaking portrayal of Jane's untimely demise (via IndieWire). He said, "Krysten Ritter [was] doing a lovely job acting her heart out off-screen ... in a split second, her face lost all characteristics, and out of that came the face of my real daughter choking to death." He added that he found himself weeping once the scene had finished. With this character, Ritter illustrated the extent of her abilities as an actress.

Krysten Ritter takes the reins as a leading lady

After working steadily in the entertainment industry for years, Krysten Ritter nabbed a leading role in the ABC sitcom "Don't Trust the B—- in Apartment 23." From 2012 to 2013, she played Chloe, a wild and audacious young woman who shares an apartment with June Colburn (Dreama Walker), a timid Indiana native. As the mismatched duo explore New York City, they form an unlikely friendship. During its two-season run, critics and viewers singled out Ritter for her spirited portrayal of a woman who was not afraid to be unlikeable (via The Hollywood Reporter).

A few years later, Ritter stepped into another starring role as the titular protagonist of "Marvel's Jessica Jones" on Netflix. For three seasons, she deftly portrayed a heroine grappling with PTSD after experiencing sustained abuse at the hands of a villain called Kilgrave (David Tennant). Although harboring powers of super-strength and agility, Jones initially hides away in her apartment, self-medicating with alcohol to cope with her grief. Ritter imbued her character with grit and complexity throughout the series, demonstrating how trauma often leaves hidden scars.

Although "Jessica Jones" ended in 2019, Ritter revealed that she would love to reprise her Marvel role. Speaking to Screen Rant, she said, "I would absolutely just die to play Jessica again. I had the best time doing it, and I just love her so much." Considering how the Marvel universe has expanded over the years, the introduction of Jessica Jones into the MCU is entirely possible.

She continues to explore many different creative opportunities

Along with acting, Ritter has demonstrated an interest in other facets of storytelling, including writing and directing. In 2017, she published a psychological thriller titled "Bonfire." The novel centers on Abby, an environmental lawyer striving to uncover corporate corruption in her hometown. During an interview with Elle, Ritter shared that she wanted to explore the different ways in which women seek to maintain control, particularly when they feel powerless.

At the same time, Ritter continues to search for opportunities within the entertainment industry. In addition to her recent work on "Nightbooks," Ritter joined the cast of the upcoming HBO Max series "Love and Death," and according to Variety, she has also signed on to direct four episodes of Peacock's "Girl in the Woods." When explaining her evolving pursuits, Ritter said, "Directing is an extension of what I already love about the industry and love about storytelling" (via Collider).

Ritter has transformed into a chameleon of sorts throughout the years, juggling various stories with wit and ease. Considering her industry experience, it will be exciting to see what she chooses to do next.