‘Sabrina’ Creator Says Kiernan Shipka Handpicked Mckenna Grace as Holiday Episode’s Little Sabrina

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa also tells TheWrap Season 2 storylines for Dorian Gray and Miss Wardwell’s boyfriend

Last Updated: November 29, 2018 @ 1:32 PM

(Warning: This post contains spoilers through the Season 1 finale of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”)

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” will serve fans a blast from the past on the Netflix series’ upcoming holiday episode, which will feature a flashback to Sabrina Spellman’s childhood. And “Haunting of Hill House” star Mckenna Grace — the actress cast as the younger version of the teen half witch, half mortal — was selected by Kiernan Shipka, the titular character, herself.

“When Kiernan heard we were doing Li’l Sabrina, she texted me a picture of her with McKenna and said, ‘You have to get Mckenna. She’s like me as a little girl and we’re dead ringers,'” series creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told TheWrap in an interview Wednesday, after the casting news broke. “And then we reached out [to Mckenna] and said, ‘Do you want to be Li’l Sabrina for the Christmas special?’ And she said yeah. And it was as easy as that! It came from Kiernan though.”

(See photos of Grace above and Shipka below for confirmation of that whole “dead ringer” bit.)

Chilling Adventures Sabrina

Grace will guest star as “precocious tot” Li’l Sabrina on the show’s upcoming holiday episode, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale.” Per Netflix, “While The Church of Night celebrates the Solstice, that doesn’t stop Li’l Sabrina from asking Santa for something special.”

Here’s the official description for the holiday installment: The Church of Night, like all covens, celebrates the Winter Solstice – the longest night of the year – when families gather around the Yule Fire to sing pagan carols and tell ghost stories. But the holidays are also a time for guests and visitors – both welcome and unwelcome – so you never know what might come down the chimney.

alexis denisof JEDIDIAH GOODACRE

In other “Sabrina” casting news, it was also revealed this morning that “Buffy” and “Angel” alum Alexis Denisof (above left) and “The Originals” star Jedidiah Goodacre (above right) have both signed on for recurring guest roles on Season 2.

Denisof plays Mary Wardwell’s (Michelle Gomez) boyfriend, Adam Masters. Handsome and charming, Adam returns to Greendale after a stint overseas working with Physicians Without Frontiers — unaware that his fiancé has been taken over by the demoness Madam Satan.

“You know very early on we knew we knew we were going to tell a story after Madam Satan takes over Mary Wardwell — we thought there would be a really great story where Mary’s boyfriend, or someone from Mary’s life, would come and not know that Mary has been taken over by Madam Satan,” Aguirre-Sacasa told TheWrap. “And we thought that could be a very interesting story to have Madam Satan meet someone who didn’t know her as Madam Satan, and only knows her as Mary Wardwell. And we thought it would be interesting to see how he treated her, and if that affected how she thought of herself and how she thought of her relationship with the Dark Lord. So that was something that we have talked about since the start of Season 1.”

Goodacre will portray the Netflix series’ spin on iconic literary character Dorian Gray, who on “Sabrina” is a warlock. The owner of Dorian’s Gray Room, an exclusive nightclub, this enigmatic gentleman of an indeterminate age is very good at keeping secrets, especially his own — a cursed portrait he hides from prying eyes.

Aguirre-Sacasa told TheWrap, “Dorian Gray is one of my favorite characters from Gothic literature. And you know, his is one of the most famous deals with the Devil. And we thought, ‘What if Dorian Gray is a warlock?’ and then it kind of happened from there.”

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: A Midwinter’s Tale” will launch Dec. 14 on Netflix.