Ghostbusters’ Mckenna Grace Explains How She Accomplished So Much at 15

Mckenna Grace is 15-years-old and already has dozens of credits and an Emmy nomination to her name. She broke out big starring opposite Chris Evans in Gifted, joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe playing a young Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel, is featured in the downright stellar Haunting of Hill House on Netflix, delivers a truly jaw-dropping performance in The Handmaid’s Tale and now she’s a key part of the future of the Ghostbusters franchise.

Grace plays Phoebe in Ghostbusters: Afterlife. When her family is forced to move to Summerville, Oklahoma and into a creepy old farmhouse her grandfather left them, Phoebe comes to learn that he has quite the legacy. Her grandfather was a Ghostbuster. When Phoebe and her brother Trevor (Finn Wolfhard) come to learn what he was busy doing out there in Summerville, it becomes their responsibility to use the tools he left behind to help save the world.

Having someone like Grace on Collider Ladies Night is a blessing and a curse. As you’ll hear in the video at the top of this article, I’m a big believer she’s one of the most talented actors in the business. Having the opportunity to discuss how she first discovered her passion for acting, how she scored her first Hollywood gigs, what it was like collaborating with other next-level creators like Octavia Spencer, Mike Flanagan, James Wan and more was the ultimate treat. The curse? Even with an extended interview slot, there isn’t nearly enough time to highlight all of Grace’s accomplishments.

Grace has been dishing out one stellar credit after the next for years now, leaving many to wonder, can all this work truly make a teenager happy? Is it too much? Here’s Grace’s response to anyone with such a concern:

“I’ve been acting for 10 years professionally and I’m only 15, so that’s a weird thing to say. But I’ve been acting since I was five and a lot of people are like, ‘Oh, that poor girl. All she does is work. She needs to go outside, ride a bike.’ Those to me are the stupidest comments and stuff because I have so much fun. It’s like, ‘Oh, she needs to be outside. Ah!’ I’m literally outside skating, doing all sorts of stuff. [It’s] just, a lot of parts of my life I don’t share on social media, so it’s hard to see behind the curtain. But honestly, this is what I love doing. This is my passion. I would not rather be doing anything else besides this, anything creative.”

RELATED: ‘Ghostbusters: Afterlife’ Director Jason Reitman on How the Marketing Hasn’t Given Away All the Surprises

I truly believe I can see that passion for her craft radiating off the screen in all of her work — Malignant, Annabelle Comes Home, I, Tonya, and now in Ghostbusters: Afterlife as well. Grace is the beating heart of the new film shouldering an especially challenging responsibility — channeling Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) while also making Phoebe her own person and a character who’s uniquely Grace’s. How did Grace go about finding that ideal balance? Here’s how she broke it down:

“The thing is, Phoebe’s not an imitation of Egon. As much as she’s a Spengler — and by looking at her you can tell, she’s very reminiscent of the old Ghostbusters. She has the Egon feel down to the way that she talks and the way that her hair looks, her glasses. She seems like him, but at the same time, she’s still her own character. It was a little bit scary to try and live up to Egon Spengler, but then I realized I don’t have to because we’re creating a different character. She might be related in looks and blood, but we wanted to be able to create something that’s newer but it still has that authentic old Ghostbusters feel that gives you that kind of nostalgia.”

Eager to hear more from Grace on Ghostbusters: Afterlife, working with Elisabeth Moss as a co-star and director on Handmaid’s Tale, collaborating with Kate Siegel on Hill House’s Theo, how she brought Gabriel to life in Malignant and so much more? We’ve got her full Collider Ladies Night interview for you in podcast form below:

Mckenna Grace Details the Movie Magic That Brought 'Malignant's Gabriel to Life

It's time to learn the "Gabriel shoulder move dancy dance!"

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About The Author
Perri Nemiroff (2766 Articles Published)

Perri Nemiroff has been part of the Collider team since 2012. She co-hosts Collider FYC, The Witching Hour and hosts the interview series, Collider Ladies Night. Perri's a proud graduate of Columbia University's Film MFA program and member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Perri splits her time between Los Angeles and New York, but devotes every waking hour to her cat, Deputy Dewey.

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