From Normal People to The Sex Lives of College Girls, we love coming-of-age series about angsty coeds and Tell Me Lies, Hulu's new adaptation of the best-selling Carola Lovering novel is scratching that itch.
And at the center of it all is actress Grace Van Patten, who plays Lucy Albright, a reserved college freshman who embarks on a lengthy and turbulent relationship with upperclassman Stephen DeMarco (played by Jackson James White). Their romance starts out passionate and steamy but quickly takes a toxic turn. Over the course of their eight-year relationship, the couple will "quickly fall into an addictive entanglement that will permanently alter not only their lives, but the lives of everyone around them," per Hulu.
But who is Grace Van Patten and where have you seen her before? Here's what to know about the rising actress.
Who is Grace Van Patten? Meet the lead of 'Tell Me Lies'
Grace Van Patten is an American actress hailing from New York City who has worked in film, television and theater since she was a child. She attended Manhattan's LaGuardia High School—yes, the Fame school—a public high school specializing in the performing and visual arts.
Her family is in the entertainment business: She is the daughter of director-producer Timothy Van Patten (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire) and model Wendy Rossmeyer Van Patten, and the niece of actors Joyce Van Patten (The Bad News Bears, Saint Elmo's Fire) and Dick Van Patten (Eight is Enough). Actress Talia Balsam is her cousin.
Grace Van Patten age: how old is she?
Born on November 21, 1996, the actress is currently 25 years old. She is a Sagittarius.
Grace Van Patten 'Sopranos' and other roles
The actress got her first role at age 8 in the hit HBO series The Sopranos playing Ally, the daughter of gangster Eugene Pontecorvo, in the first two episodes of the show's sixth season, which her father directed.
She picked up acting professional in the 2010s, appearing in films like Noah Baumbach's The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) and David Robert Mitchell's Under the Silver Lake, TV series including Nine Perfect Strangers and Maniac, and in theater productions including The Public Theater's Mother of the Maid in which she portrayed Joan of Arc opposite Glenn Close.
Is Grace Van Patten dating Nat Wolff?
Though she has recently been quiet on the relationship front, Van Patten has been romantically linked to Nat Wolff, a 27-year-old actor you know from movies like Paper Towns and The Fault in Our Stars and miniseries like The Stand.
The pair made it Instagram official in 2017, sharing some sweet birthday and anniversary commemorations. However, their last public appearance together was at a special screening of Amazon Studios' Panic in May 2021 in Malibu, California, and their last social-media mention was on Wolff's Instagram page in April 2020, with a post celebrating their anniversary, so it's hard to say if the celebrity couple is currently together.
Are Grace Van Patten and Shailene Woodley related?
Despite a striking resemblance shared between the brunette beauties, actresses Grace Van Patten and Shailene Woodley are not related. Of the comparison fans have made between Van Patten and the Divergent star, Grace told Insider (opens in new tab): "I've gotten it a bunch, and I love that. She's an amazing actress and beautiful, so I will take it."
Grace Van Patten on 'Tell Me Lies'
For her roles in Tell Me Lies, Van Patten was drawn to the chance to explore the complexities of a destructive relationship, telling W Magazine (opens in new tab): “It reminded me of all my favorite movies, like Blue Valentine and Urban Cowboy, where it’s this character study of people who fall into toxic relationships...it’s always fascinated me, for some reason.”
She continued: “I think it shows that you don’t necessarily see the red flags when you’re in it. Especially at that age, when you’re so enamored with someone, and it’s easy to mistake desire, passion, and newness as love...I think every age is guilty of it, but it’s easy to mistake new feelings for something really deep. Then it all becomes clear once you’re out and you get to look [back] on it."
Van Patten says playing Lucy "held up a mirror to my younger self, especially my high school self. I related to the emotional wall that Lucy has built and [her] being afraid to be vulnerable. Looking back, I see the journey I’ve taken to discover that vulnerability is the most powerful and beautiful thing.”
Christina Izzo is the Deputy Editor of My Imperfect Life.
More generally, she is a writer-editor covering food and drink, travel, lifestyle and culture in New York City. She was previously the Features Editor at Rachael Ray In Season and Reveal, as well as the Food & Drink Editor and chief restaurant critic at Time Out New York.
When she’s not doing all that, she can probably be found eating cheese somewhere.
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