Kat Dennings has been in some pretty memorable films and television shows since first rising to prominence in the mid-2000s.
It might not seem like it but Kat Dennings has been a notable actor for nearly two decades at this point. She’s still young but her career is a storied one, having appeared in a handful of well-received movies and television shows. For the most part, her strong suit is the comedy genre.
As time has gone on, Dennings has only added to her resume, landing the lead role on a long-running sitcom and appearing as a fan favorite in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With some recent MCU hits involving her, now is as good a time as any to look at her career.
10/10 2 Broke Girls
There’s a good chance that the most recognizable role ever for Kat Dennings came as one of the two lead actors on CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, which ran from 2011 until 2017. The show centered on two young women who work together at a diner while they try to start a business.
Dennings played Max Black, the member of the duo who grew up in poverty and was used to it. She played well off of Beth Behrs, who was the partner that found herself on hard times after growing up with money. Lasting six seasons, the show was a commercial hit and racked up a dozen Emmy nominations.
09/10 Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
One of the first chances that Kat Dennings got to be a star was in 2008 when she nabbed one of the titular parts in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. The romantic comedy saw her portray Norah alongside Michael Cera’s Nick as the two embarked on an unexpected and fun evening on the streets of New York.
Although not considered a classic of the genre, it was praised for several things as audiences adored the chemistry between Dennings and Cera, while also appreciating the music. For her performance, Dennings was nominated for a Satellite Award for Best Actress.
Sometimes, one of an actor’s best efforts will come from an independent film that not all that many people have seen. For Kat Dennings, one of those roles was in 2009’s Defendor, which only has about 38,000 ratings on IMDb but the majority of them were positive.
The movie centers on an ordinary man who attempts to become a vigilante superhero to help fight crime in his city. Dennings plays Angel, a sex worker who bonds with Arthur, the aspiring hero. The little-seen flick boasts a strong cast also including Woody Harrelson and Sandra Oh.
07/10 Thor: The Dark World
In the eyes of many fans, 2013’s Thor: The Dark World is the low point when it comes to movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That being said, the reviews were still mostly solid and the score on IMDb is pretty strong. Here, Dennings reprised her role as Darcy Lewis.
This time around, Darcy had more to do than simply be an intern. She added more comedic relief to things, got a love interest, and was a bit better at science. Before the days of Thor: Ragnarok, she was able to bring the laughs to the franchise focused on the God of Thunder.
06/10 Charlie Bartlett
Most audience members know that Robert Downey Jr. had his career resurgence when he landed the role of a lifetime in 2008 as Iron Man. However, some of his most impressive movies came in the year prior, including 2007’s Charlie Bartlett, where Downey Jr. played Nathan Gardner.
The film saw the titular character, played by the late Anton Yelchin, begin to work as a therapist of sorts for the students at his new public school, where Nathan Gardner was principal. Dennings had a key role as Susan Gardner, Nathan’s daughter who has a relationship with Charlie.
In 2011, the MCU really started to take off. After some standalone films for Iron Man and Hulk, Thor and Captain America joined in with their own efforts. Thor was led by Chris Hemsworth as the titular hero and Natalie Portman as his genius love interest Jane Foster.
As she was in the sequel, Dennings played Darcy Lewis, who was there to make the viewers laugh. Here, she was truly just starting out as an intern, doing the job for the few college credits rather than because she had any real interest in the subject. Over the course of the film, she forms a stronger bond with Jane and even Thor.
04/10 The 40-Year-Old-Virgin
For most viewers, their first true introduction to Kat Dennings came in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Released in 2005, this Steve Carell-led comedy was a huge hit that helped put him on the map as a star in the industry. The story centered around him (Andy) as he looked to lose his virginity at 40.
During the film, he dates Trish Piedmont (Catherine Keener), who has a daughter named Marla, played by Dennings. Although Marla isn’t a huge part of the plot, she does get to be part of an interesting and memorable scene with Andy as he takes her to a sexual health clinic, looking to learn as much as she does.
In some ways, it seems like Kat Dennings has been doing the best work of her career over the past couple of years. One shining example of that is Dollface, a comedy series that premiered on Hulu in early 2019 and was recently renewed for a season 2.
Dennings takes on the lead role of Jules Wiley, a woman who attempts to rekindle her old female friendships that fell by the wayside during her long romantic relationship that just ended. Dennings doubles as an executive producer and works with Shay Mitchell, Brenda Song, and Esther Povitsky, as well as some notable guest stars.
02/10 Big Mouth
Kat Dennings hasn’t done a ton of voice acting so far but her most recognizable work in animation is likely the recent appearances she made in Marvel’s What If…? series. It saw her play Darcy Lewis again but only in a couple of episodes.
It’s on Netflix’s Big Mouth where she has shown up more prominently. The hilarious comedy about two awkward teen boys going through adolescence is as wild as it gets. Dennings isn’t a main character but she has been a guest in over a dozen episodes as Leah Birch, the sister of the protagonist Nick.
Once again, the high point of Kat Dennings’s career sees her as Darcy Lewis. Fans everywhere were surprised to hear that she’d be returning to the MCU in 2021’s WandaVision because she hadn’t been around since 2013 and had never interacted with either of the two main characters.
She was a welcome inclusion, with audiences getting to see that she has become an astrophysicist. Darcy was brought in to help figure out what’s going on with Wanda Maximoff and the town of Westview, bringing some levity to a series that was filled with somber moments.
Written by Kevin Pantoja for Screen Rant, article published on October 24