Who Is Grace Van Patten, the Breakout Star of 'Nine Perfect Strangers'?

"It felt like summer camp," the 24-year-old said of the new Hulu series.

Grace Van Patten
(Image credit: Desiree Navarro/Getty Images)

If you're like us, you've finished the first three episodes of Hulu series Nine Perfect Strangershave ordered the book it's based on, and need to know more about the mysterious characters and their backgrounds. It seems like everyone on the David E. Kelley show, from the wellness retreat's nine guests to its attendants—and especially Nicole Kidman's unorthodox wellness guru Masha—has a secret. Though we can't get answers on the goings on at Tranquillum House until the next episodes are released, we can get to know the newer faces in the cast.

Among a dozen great performances, Grace Van Patten stands out as Zoe, a 20-year-old who attends the retreat alongside her parents to heal from grief. Patten's grounded performance in her first non-indie role gives new depths to Zoe's healing journey as she deals with a family tragedy while also seeing new sides of her parents. In light of the buzz around Patten's performance, here's everything we know about the young star.

She grew up in New York City, and her father is a veteran TV director.

Van Patten, 24, was born in New York City to a star-studded family. Her father is actor and director Timothy Van Patten, who has directed episodes for most of HBO's marquee television shows, including Sex and the CityThe WireBoardwalk Empire, and Game of Thrones. Also, her uncle was the late actor Dick Van Patten, star of the ABC show Eight is Enough.

Her first acting gig was an episode of The Sopranos.

Van Patten's first role was on one of the most acclaimed television shows ever. When she was eight, her father got her an audition for The Sopranos, and she was cast as one of the gangsters' daughter. In an interview with Vanity FairVan Patten said that she was inspired to pursue acting by Tony Soprano himself, James Gandolfini. "I remember watching Jimmy Gandolfini transform from a gentle giant into a beast—he made me interested in acting,” she said.

She attended the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts in Manhattan.

Van Patten graduated from the famed performing arts school Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. She had plans to study theater at the University of Southern California, but instead she took a gap year and started auditioning without an agent. Everything changed for her halfway through that gap year, when she met her manager through another LaGuardia alum, Ansel Elgort. "She saw something in me and I’m so thankful for that. Once I signed with her everything started coming together," Van Patten told Interview Magazine.

She's been romantically linked to actor Nat Wolff.

Van Patten started dating the former Naked Brothers Band member some time in 2017, with the actor first appearing on her Instagram feed at the end of that year. Besides several cute couple posts and red carpet appearances, the couple hasn't spoken publicly about their relationship.

She was "mesmerized" by Nicole Kidman while filming Nine Perfect Strangers.

Van Patten told Australian site Nine that her first meeting with Kidman was in character, when they filmed the scene where Kidman meets the retreat guests for the first time. "I remember feeling the same reaction, as we were meant to feel in the show. I was mesmerised, she was hypnotic and this force of nature. I was ready to do whatever she said."

She also said that she learned a lot from the rest of the Nine Perfect Strangers cast. "It was a masterclass. Above their talent and professionalism, they were all such amazing people. So funny, and fun to be around. I had the best time. Especially those group scenes, it felt like summer camp!"

She's set to play the lead in another Hulu drama, Tell Me Lies.

Van Patten acted in mostly indie films and off-Broadway shows before landing the highly anticipated Hulu series. After her breakout supporting role in Nine Perfect Strangers, she's set to play the lead in another Hulu series, called Tell Me Lies. Based off the novel by Carola Lovering and executive-produced by Emma Roberts, the show will depict a tumultuous 8-year-long relationship, with Patten playing the female lead, per Deadline.

Contributing Culture Editor

Quinci is a Contributing Culture Editor who writes pieces and helps to strategize editorial content across TV, movies, music, theater, and pop culture. She contributes interviews with talent, as well as SEO content, features, and trend stories. She fell in love with storytelling at a young age, and eventually discovered her love for cultural criticism and amplifying awareness for underrepresented storytellers across the arts. She previously served as a weekend editor for Harper’s Bazaar, where she covered breaking news and live events for the brand’s website, and helped run the brand’s social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Her freelance writing has also appeared in outlets including HuffPost, The A.V. Club, Elle, Vulture, Salon, Teen Vogue, and others. Quinci earned her degree in English and Psychology from The University of New Mexico. She was a 2021 Eugene O’Neill Critics Institute fellow, and she is a member of the Television Critics Association. She is currently based in her hometown of Los Angeles. When she isn't writing or checking Twitter way too often, you can find her studying Korean while watching the latest K-drama, recommending her favorite shows and films to family and friends, or giving a concert performance while sitting in L.A. traffic.