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Kathryn Hahn is either your favorite actress or the villain in WandaVision. Whether or not you realize it yet though, both of those statements are true. In the shadow of Step Brothers, We're The Millers, Parks and Recreation, Kroll Show, and others, Kathryn has often been confined to the “comedy queen” box, and for good reason—she's damn funny.
But don't think she's just A Very Funny Lady™️. Emotional complexity is Kathryn's party trick and range is her charm. She's played every type of role in her more than two decades in the industry. And don’t just take it from us—her receipts speak for themselves. In recent years, Kathryn has gained some well-deserved recognition for her dramatic talents on top of her improv skills. She's lent her likeness to dramas like Revolutionary Road and Private Life, proving that she can bounce from hilarity to heartbreak and back without busting a sweat.
And her star only continues to rise. She's wrapping up a few major upcoming projects, like her own Marvel moment, Agatha: House of Harkness, and the highly anticipated Knives Out sequel, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. So, if your knowledge of Kathryn Hahn begins and ends with Step Brothers, accept that in this instance you might be considered uncultured, bb. But we got you! Continue reading for a comprehensive watchlist of your new favorite actor’s best work. Respect is due.
Kathryn's latest hit role was an entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as WandaVision’s Agatha Harkness, the series' antagonist. Even if Marvel is not your bag, WandaVision is Pure! Gold! and Kathryn’s performance is top-tier.
This 2019 HBO miniseries had Kathryn at the helm as the eponymous Mrs. Fletcher, a woman in the throes of a mid-life crisis following a divorce and the send-off of her only son to college. The series follows her sexual reawakening as an empty-nested, middle-aged woman. No spoilers here, but the ending of this show takes “I’m not a regular mom, I’m a cool mom” to a whole new level.
The 2018 dramedy Private Life features Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti as Richard and Rachel, a pair of New York forty-somethings struggling to get pregnant. After many obstetrical failures, they approach their *not biologically related* 22-year-old step-niece and ask her to donate an egg. This movie, much like life, is funny in all the ways it shouldn't be and heartbreaking in a way that feels all too familiar.
Ah, who can forget Step Brothers. Kathryn's role as Alice Huff is comedy canon, and as the story goes, much of it was improv.
I Know This Much Is True
Derek Cianfrance's 2020 HBO miniseries I Know This Much Is True follows the story of identical twin brothers (both played by Mark Ruffalo), one of whom suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. In the series, Kathryn plays Dessa, the ex-wife of Dominick, who carries the weight of his brother’s illness on his shoulders. There’s some pretty heavy stuff in this series, and Hahn brings her mastery of complex emotions to the table.
We’re The Millers
As Edie Fitzgerald in We’re The Millers, Kathryn puts on her best Midwestern mom to steal the screen and does j-u-s-t that. Her blooper reel from the movie is just as memorable as her written lines. Like, who can compare a tampon inserted into her shallow vagina to a roman candle or a "stormtrooper dick" while holding a perfect Midwestern accent? Kathryn Hahn, that's who.
Bad Moms shouldn't be good, but alas, it's great. Starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn, the movie follows a trio of moms doing their best "feral girl summer." Proving that Kathryn can play any kind of woman, her character Carla is the polar opposite of We're The Millers's Edie—sexually liberated, laid back, and often drunk. If you've checked this one off your watchlist already, try the sequel, A Bad Moms Christmas. So it's only July, who cares?
The Shrink Next Door
In Apple TV's The Shrink Next Door, Kathryn stars alongside fellow comedy legends Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd. She plays the sister of Will's character, pushing him to start seeing a therapist (who later goes on to ruin his entire life). It's pure black comedy based on a true story. Oh, and it's very 1980s, so just prepare yourself for that.
Kathryn scored an Emmy nomination for her role as Rabbi Raquel Fein in Amazon's Transparent. The series follows a Los Angeles family adjusting to a new normal. The family is led by their ever-evolving matriarch, Maura, a trans woman (played by Jeffrey Tambor). Transparent debuted in 2014, and Maura's role should most definitely have been played by a trans actor. The show is still pretty great considering this (kinda major) shortcoming, and Kathryn Hahn is, as per usual, a knockout.
Parks and Recreation
Kathryn's Jennifer Barkley is another example of comedy canon, despite only appearing on 11 episodes of Parks and Recreation. She plays a political savant from Washington who is flown into Pawnee, Indiana to help rich man-child Bobby Newport win a seat on city council—all for the low, low price of $250,000.
While minor, Kathryn plays a pretty pivotal role in season 1 of Lena Dunham’s HBO hit Girls. Her character hires Jessa to nanny her young daughters, delivering one of the season's best monologues and basically setting into motion the season finale's surprise wedding.
How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
Kathryn’s first real film role also happens to be one of her most iconic, depending on who you ask. As Michelle Reuben, Kathryn steals the screen in How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days. She kicks off the movie in the aftershocks of a breakup, lamenting another love lost and self-pitying her way around her job at Composure magazine. After rebuffing her editor’s suggestion to use her personal turmoil for a story, her bestie Andie Anderson jumps to her rescue, saving her from writing the story and pitching her own version: A “how to” guide on getting dumped in less than two weeks.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
An early project for the actress, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy shows Kathryn as Helen, the best friend of Christina Applegate’s Veronica Corningstone. Small but mighty, her role in this film marks the inception of Kathryn's reputation as a comedy queen.
Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse
This Oscar-winning animated Spiderman flick voices Kathryn Hahn as the first ever female Doc Ock. Kathryn's Doc Ock predecessors include Alfred Molina and Tom Kenny, and her performance and the gender-swapping of the famous villain was not only met with critical acclaim, but it also sparked conversations about a potential live-action portrayal with a lady Doc Ock.
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