Things Fans Might Not Know About Kathryn Hahn
Is Kathryn Hahn having a moment? It certainly feels like she’s dominated 2021. Beginning with her scene-stealing performance as nosy neighbor-turned-witchy-wonder Agatha Harkness in “WandaVision,” the Ohioan actress has seemingly stayed in the headlines all year long. With confirmed roles in major upcoming projects like Rian Johnson’s highly-anticipated “Knives Out 2” and MCU spinoff series “Agatha: House Of Harkness,” it doesn’t look as though her hot streak will be cooling off anytime soon.
While this year has definitely provided Hahn ample opportunities to flex her acting prowess, she’s actually been a top-tier performer for well over a decade. You’d be hard-pressed to find a funnier starlet, as evidenced by her hilarious portrayals of unapologetic political guru Jennifer Barkley in “Parks and Recreation” or ridiculously raunchy Carla in the “Bad Moms” franchise; however, gritty dramas like HBO’s “Mrs. Fletcher” prove that she’s far more than a one-trick pony.
With her most recent project, “The Shrink Next Door,” currently streaming on Apple TV+, there’s perhaps no better time to discuss a few things you might not know about everyone’s favorite funnywoman, Kathryn Hahn.
Hahn debuted on Hickory Hideout
Born in Westchester, Illinois in 1976, Kathryn Hahn knew she wanted to be an actress at a very young age. According to an in-depth interview with Vanity Fair, the future starlet-to-be, who grew up outside of Cleveland, got her first taste of an onstage performance during an acting workshop while she was just in kindergarten. This newfound love pushed her to take classes at the Cleveland Play House, and by the time she was just 11 years old, Hahn had already landed her first official on-screen acting credit on a local TV show called “Hickory Hideout.”
The children’s series, which starred two squirrel puppets named Nutso and Shirley Squirrely, aired on WKYC-TV from 1981 to 1991. In addition to giving Hahn her on-screen debut, the show apparently also introduced the world to Matthew James Murphy, who would eventually star in the musical “Rent” on Broadway. Not a bad lineup for a show with characters named Know-it-Owl and Smelly Bob!
Although today Hahn has racked up enough acting credits to fill up a short novel, she admitted that it took her a while to drop her work on “Hickory House” from her filmography: “That was on my résumé until, like, 2011.” Nutso and Shirley would be proud!
She's an Ivy Leaguer
Although she may have been bitten by the acting bug at a young age, it would be years before Hahn could make a serious go at becoming a professional actress. First, Hahn had to focus on school, which she did to great avail. She put herself through college at Northwestern University, where she met her husband, Ethan Sandler, in freshman year. However, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from NW was only the start of her collegiate accolades. Up next: achieving a Master of Fine Arts from Yale’s prestigious School of Drama.
When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the proud Yale product reminisced on her valuable, yet very expensive, college days. “I just accrued as much student debt as I could and put myself through Yale,” she recalled. “But it was the best…I just got to act for three years.” As everyone knows, college tuition is no joke, and that goes double for Ivy League institutions. Fortunately for Hahn, landing the role of grief counselor Lily Lebowski on “Crossing Jordan” helped her pay off her student loans pretty quickly.
Better add Kathryn Hahn to the list of brainy celebs who went to Ivy League schools!
She auditioned for Pam on The Office
If you asked 100 random people what their favorite sitcom is, there’s a good chance that one show in particular would become a recurring answer: “The Office.” In fact, we can prove it. In March of 2021, Looper asked fans what they thought the greatest sitcom of all time is, and a whopping 40% of the 223,000 people polled agreed that NBC’s iconic workplace mockumentary takes the crown.
Perhaps the fan-favorite show’s most notable asset was its perfectly-picked cast. If you close your eyes, it’s practically impossible to imagine anyone other than Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson or Jenna Fischer in the roles of their respective Dunder Mifflin characters. However, these stars weren’t always the immediate choices for their “Office” roles.
As it turns out, the five-time Emmy-winning show had some pretty huge celebrities audition during its casting phase in 2003. Earlier this year, Peacock released an “Office” bonus video that included clips of several big time Hollywood names auditioning for the series, including Seth Rogen as Dwight, Bob Odenkirk as Michael, Adam Scott as Jim, and Kathryn Hahn as Pam.
Speaking to Collider, Hahn expressed that while Fischer was ultimately the right person for the part, not getting to play Pam was a real heartbreaker. However, she felt honored to be included on the, as she puts it, “failed audition DVD compilation,” considering the high-quality actors that were also on it: “I’m so proud to be involved.”
She got her bartending license to play a bartender
As any actor in Hollywood could probably tell you, not all movies will be successes. Even someone as talented as Kathryn Hahn has a few less-than-commendable box office duds on her resume. One such film was her second major studio project, 2004’s “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!” The ill-fated romcom wasn’t hurting for acting talent, with a slew of solid names attached including Kate Bosworth, Topher Grace, Josh Duhamel, and even Octavia Spencer, but that didn’t save it from bombing at the box office. When the dust settled, “Tad Hamilton” had only brought home a little over $21 million worldwide on a reported budget of $24 million.
Despite its poor financial results, Hahn still apparently made the most of the experience. She played Angelica, a scene-stealing bartender who offers Topher Grace’s character some surprisingly poignant love advice in one of the film’s most pivotal scenes. In true Hahn fashion, the actress went all-in for her small, yet effective role. According to Vanity Fair, Hahn was so motivated to do the most with her limited screen time that she went out and got a bartending license to ensure that her drink-making skills were top-notch. Sadly, she “never had a chance to even make a cocktail” in the finished version of the movie, but it’s still a very cool skill to have in her arsenal.
She was pregnant while filming How Do You Know
Although it might be hard to believe, it’s actually not all that uncommon for actresses to continue shooting films while they are pregnant. Some starlets have even powered through pregnancy while shooting highly explosive action blockbusters, such as Scarlett Johansson in 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” Penélope Cruz in 2011’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” or even Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot, in that character’s 2017 origin movie.
Although she may not have been playing a superhuman goddess, Kathryn Hahn has also performed on camera with a bun in the oven. In 2010, the actress put her baby bump to good use in the Reese Witherspoon-led quirky romcom, “How Do You Know,” where she played a pregnant woman named Annie. Speaking to CinemaBlend, Hahn confirmed that she was indeed with child while filming. “You know I was pregnant at the time, really…there’s a scene where I reveal my belly,” she explained. “[Director James L. Brooks] kept saying, ‘Everyone’s going to think it’s a prosthetic!'” Those are the kind of things that even movie magic can’t recreate.
A monstrous box office hit
Although most of her more recent work has seemingly focused on streaming platforms like Disney+ and Apple TV+, Kathryn Hahn is no stranger to box office success. She landed her first major studio part in the 2003 romcom, “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days,” and has stayed relatively consistent with her silver screen appearances ever since. In fact, peruse her filmography and you will realize that Hahn has appeared in several of the most lucrative comedies to hit theaters over the past 20 years, including 2008’s “Step Brothers,” 2013’s “We’re the Millers,” and 2016’s “Bad Moms.”
Given her proclivity for popping up in hit comedies alongside some of the most well-known names in Hollywood, her highest grossing movie might surprise you.
According to The Numbers, Hahn’s two highest earners were actually animated films from 2018. Sony’s acclaimed “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” in which she voiced a gender-swapped version of Spidey’s longtime foe Doc Ock, made more domestically. But when you factor in the overseas take, Hahn’s most profitable film was actually “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.” In the third installment of Adam Sandler’s wildly popular cartoon franchise, Hahn voiced Ericka van Helsing, the main antagonist-turned-love-interest for Sandler’s Count Dracula. Despite a pretty tepid response from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes, the film brought in over $525 million worldwide. Now that’s scary good.
Hahn's a fan of Little House on the Prairie
There are probably more cinematic universes thriving in modern-day Hollywood than ever before. Massively successful franchises like Marvel, DC Comics, “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars,” just to name a few, make it all too easy for today’s young people to use their imaginations and explore these vast, mythology-rich canons. Prior generations didn’t have nearly as many comprehensive fictional realms to get lost in, but they made do with what they had.
For Kathryn Hahn, who was born in 1973, film franchises with multi-dimensional mediums like video games and theme parks weren’t around when she was a child. However, Hahn told the New Yorker that she did have one particular piece of pop culture that she was a big fan of in her early years: “‘Little House on the Prairie.’ I wanted to circle the wagons with Pa and a little dog, and I wanted to live on a prairie,” she revealed. “I would always pretend that I was drying laundry on a line.”
“Little House on the Prairie” was a TV show that aired for nine seasons from 1974 until 1983. Based on a book series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the show followed a family living on a farm in Minnesota during the late 1800s. It might not sound quite as titillating as a 26-film superhero franchise like the MCU, but “bonnetheads” like Hahn would probably beg to differ.
Hahn was nominated for a Grammy
“WandaVision” has been an all-around slam dunk for Kathryn Hahn, whose turn as the Scarlet Witch’s magical MCU foe, Agatha Harkness, has added more than a few awards to her trophy case. She took home the Best Villain award at the 2021 MTV Movie and TV Awards in May, she won an HCA award later in August, and she’s been nominated for a few more awards yet to be crowned. While her acting performance was obviously top-notch, it often seems as though it was overshadowed by one part in particular: singing the song “Agatha All Along.”
The undeniably catchy jingle, written by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, caught fire almost immediately, shocking Hahn with its rapid success. As she recalled to EW, “I remember somebody telling me that I was on the iTunes chart…I was ahead of Bieber for a second. I was like, ‘What is going on!'” Surprisingly, momentarily topping The Biebs might not even wind up being the most impressive notch on the earworm’s belt.
In late November, “Agatha All Along” scored a Grammy nomination for Best Song for Visual Media. MCU fans and Hahn stans will surely be crossing their fingers for the song’s name to be called when the show airs on January 31, 2022.
She's Rudd's bud
Kathryn Hahn’s most recent work, Apple TV+’s “The Shrink Next Door,” marked the fifth time that she has shared the screen with her longtime actor bud, Paul Rudd. Previously, the pair had worked together on 2004’s “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” 2010’s “How Do You Know,” 2011’s “Our Idiot Brother,” and 2012’s “Wanderlust.” Rudd and Hahn have an easy, undeniable chemistry that, based on comments she said about him in an interview with CinemaBlend, apparently transcends the silver screen: “I love him so badly, he’s a dear pal…he’s such a supportive and sweet, unbelievable guy.”
Thanks to “WandaVision,” the comedic dynamic duo now have something else in common: a continuing existence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, the two even share the same MCU personal trainer. Rudd will make his next appearance as bite-sized Avenger Scott Lang in the highly-anticipated “Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania,” whereas Hahn recently had “WandaVision” spinoff “Agatha: House of Harkness” green-lit for late 2022. Could this mean that somewhere down the line, we get a film in which Ant-Man crosses paths with Agatha Harkness? We asked Hahn if that’s something she’d like to see play out on-screen, and her answer probably echoed most fans’ sentiments: “Who wouldn’t?…We have much unfinished business to do, I feel like.” Scott Lang better watch his back.
She goes to Stretch Church every Sunday
The ongoing COVID pandemic has obviously affected everyone’s daily lives, including those of popular actors and actresses. Throughout 2020, some celebs found particularly bizarre ways to keep busy while in quarantine, ranging from creating strange new at-home workout routines to rekindling an old fondness for Legos. While it may not be as offbeat a hobby as some of her celebrity brethren’s, Kathryn Hahn found solace in a unique new type of yoga: Stretch Church. What exactly is Stretch Church? Says Hahn: “We stretch! On Zoom!”
Although it sounds pretty self-explanatory, the actress elaborated a bit more on the concept in an interview with Glamour, noting that it’s something she does with her friends every Sunday. “It’s just a Zoom with this awesome teacher, but we try to commit to it every week,” she explained. “And I look forward to it like a massage. We try to open up, stretch-wise, and it’s been really helpful.” Hey, there are certainly worse ways to kill time during quarantine.
She partnered with a personal care company
Let’s face it: keeping a clean house can be a very daunting task. Add the fact that last year, most people were cooped up in their households while the COVID pandemic swept the world, and it’s entirely plausible to conclude that keeping everything nice and shiny became even harder. Even for an Emmy-nominated actress like Kathryn Hahn, 2020 was a tough year for domestic tidiness. “I was just at the point, like all of us, where cleaning was — I mean, I hate it so much.”
That negative connotation all changed after she partnered with 9 Elements, a vinegar-based cleaning line from Procter and Gamble. Speaking to PureWow, Hahn explained why teaming up with the mostly plant-based product line, which was started by two women scientists, was a no-brainer: “I love this company so much…It cuts through all of the like hardest stuff to clean and smells absolutely delicious.” With 9 Elements, Hahn’s helping build a cleaner, better smelling world.