Kiernan Shipka knows a thing or two about growing up onscreen: The actress was 6 when she first appeared on “Mad Men” as Sally Draper, the role that first brought her acclaim, and had turned 15 by the time the series ended in 2015.
Now 21, as of this month — her first legal drink stateside was a Campari spritz — Shipka has realized, even after seven seasons as Don Draper’s daughter, she still had a bit of onscreen growing left to go. Shipka has spent the past several years as the teenage witch at the heart of Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” which will wrap up with its fourth season, premiering Dec. 31.
“I’ve been playing that character since I was 18, and 18 to late 20, those are big years,” she said. “It’s super formative of your adulthood in a lot of ways. All my friends were going to college, and then I was going off to do this other thing. It was kind of emotional to feel like I was letting her go.”
Ahead of the final season, Shipka discussed 10 of her favorite things, cultural and otherwise, in a phone interview from her home in Los Angeles. (Coffee and cheese were both strong honorable mentions: “The backbone of my happiness,” Shipka said, “is probably dairy products.”) These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
One of my favorite artists — ugh, she’s so good — is Phoebe Bridgers. She just came out with a new album a little bit earlier in the year, and it is such a stunning piece of work. I grew up in the same circles as her; she went to school with a lot of my friends in L.A. And now the fact that everyone loves her and she’s this incredible, fully assumed artist, it makes me so happy to see. There’s a song on her latest album — it’s the last song, called “I Know The End” — and it’s truly such a work of art. Honestly, if you want to feel like your life is a TV show and this is the finale episode of season one, that’s the perfect song to listen to.
2. Scuba Diving
I have done maybe 10 dives now; I’m still pretty new. The first time you just want to make sure you’re not going to die or explode. But once I got the hang of it, it became my favorite thing ever. I’m really bad at meditating; I’ve tried and tried and tried and I just can’t do it — I have the app on my phone staring at me at all times. But when you’re diving, you have to focus on your breath very closely, because that’s pretty much informing your buoyancy, so it becomes this super meditative experience. You have this very calm, meticulous cadence to your breath, and you’re in a beautiful place.
I think that she’s probably my favorite author of the moment. I read “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” for a book club, and it’s just so brilliantly worded and funny and heartbreaking. It’s wonderful. And then the book she wrote before that, “Eileen,” really keeps you on your toes. It’s a little bit more of a thriller, and my goodness, it’s so fabulous.
I’ve been playing this card game called Euchre, which is like a modified, low-key version of bridge. I truly wish it was more of a mainstream thing — it is just a really nice way to connect with people. If you’re lucky enough to bond with three other people in your life right now, playing Euchre is the way to go.
5. Mini Trampolines
When I was filming “Sabrina” in Vancouver, I found that the only way I would get any sort of movement was if I brought this mini trampoline to set. Me and my family have accumulated a couple mini trampolines around the house, and it’s become really normalized in our world. But every time a new person sees the trampoline, they’re like, “Why is there a trampoline in your kitchen?” I love jumping on them when I’m watching TV, if I’m just hanging, when I’m bored, if I need to get a little boost going — I find that a little midday bounce really does the trick.
6. ‘The Sopranos’
I feel like this is a lot of people during quarantine, but I watched the series for the first time. I have now become fully obsessed. I follow every “Sopranos”-related Instagram account that there is, every “Sopranos” meme account — these “Sopranos” Reddit conversations just bring me so much joy. I’ve seen every analysis of the finale on YouTube. I was locked down with my family and my best friend, and my best friend watched it with us — he got me this pair of Tony Soprano sweatpants and Tony Soprano slides. They’ve got Tony’s face on it, a little Prozac pill, the Bada Bing sign. By the end, I just felt like I wanted to make ziti.
7. My White Supergas
I think I’ve worn the same shoes all year — these are my every day, every night shoes. I’m 5-foot-3, so I like the platform without having to actually wear a heel. I wear with dresses, jeans, sweats — I think it goes with just about everything.
I know I’ve been 21 for like three days. However, I was legal in Vancouver starting at 19 years old, and I spent two years up there, so I have had plenty of margaritas in my short time as a legal drinker. It’s a drink I always go back to. I think there’s a nice novelty in other drinks, but there’s something about the tequila, salt, citrus, light sweetness. Rain or shine, that’s my favorite drink.
9. New York
The first time I went to New York to promote “Mad Men,” when I was 10, I could not contain my excitement. Honestly, I don’t think there’s a better experience than looking out that plane window and seeing Manhattan. There’s just so many layers of life and memories in that city for me; I really miss it. I really enjoy the Lower East Side, and I know New Yorkers aren’t very excited by Times Square, but I think that there’s a novelty to it — there’s such a cinematic element to that portion of New York. Also, Russ & Daughters for bagels has my heart and soul.
My mom got me these mannequin heads that I could do makeup on when I was a kid, just for fun. And for some reason, this one stuck around in the basement for years. When I was maybe 14 or 15, my friends dug it up — they were like, “What is this? It’s haunted for sure.” We’ve given it a life of its own: His name is Tino, and he’s a fixture, I would say, in my friend group. And it does give off really weird cursed vibes.