Kaitlyn Dever: 6 Things You Didn't Know About the ‘Booksmart’ Star

With buzzy roles in Unbelievable and Booksmart, Kaitlyn Dever has gone from rising star to Golden Globe-nominated actress. 

But with a ten-year career and a role alongside Leonardo DiCaprio under her belt, the 23-year-old actress is no stranger to Hollywood. Here, six surprising things you didn’t know about Kaitlyn Dever. 

1. She’s Originally From Phoenix, Arizona

The 23-year-old is the second of four children to parents Tim and Kathy Dever. 

Both of her parents were ice skating coaches in Phoenix before her family moved to Dallas where she enrolled in acting school. She also joined a month-long acting program at the Dallas Young Actors Studio. 

kaitlyn dever
Matt Winkelmeyer / GEtty Images

2. Her First Role Was In An American Girl Film

Dever's first notable acting role was in the American Girl film An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong (2009) as Gwen Thompson, a bullied homeless girl.

In 2011, she was cast in a recurring role as Loretta McCready in the FX series Justified during the show's second season. That same year, Dever was also cast as a series regular in the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen.

However, it was in 2019 that Dever officially went from rising star to big Hollywood actress with a breakout role in Olivia Wilde's Booksmart alongside Beanie Feldstein. Now, she’s got major buzz (and a Golden Globe nom) thanks to her performance in Netflix’s Unbelievable, where she plays the lead role of a teenager who is raped at knifepoint. When her character reports the incident to police, detectives pressure her into saying that she made it all up for attention. 

3. She’s Also Involved With Music

While acting is her main priority, Dever is also part of a folk-rock band.

She and her sister Mady, 21, are members of the band Beulahbelle, which, according to THR, is about to release its first single.

“I've realized in making this music video, it's extremely difficult to get anything done,” Dever said. “I’ve always been an actor and that's it. I've never been in the producing world and gotten a taste of what that kind of job takes. Getting someone locked in to DP, then getting everyone on the same dates, and then everyone has to be on the same page with the concept and the budget goes up. I'm dealing with this on a very, very small scale—so small—but it made me realize like, oh, it's too hard making movies.”

4. Her Dad Was The Voice Of Barney The Dinosaur For Seven Years

Back in 2015, Dever shared a video to her personal Instagram account featuring Barney jumping around some balloons and repeating the phrase “We’re gonna have a party.” 

“Everybody, meet my dad. (But I'm being serious..this is his voice),” she captioned a Tweet where she shared the video. 

We’re just wondering why Dever never made an appearance on the show. 

5. She Was In A Movie With Leonardo Dicaprio

Pretty much ever actor’s dream, Dever worked alongside DiCaprio for the 2011 film, J. Edgar. 

The movie follows J. Edgar Hoover (DiCaprio), the powerful head of the F.B.I. for nearly fifty years, as he looks back on his professional and personal life.

Dever, who was just 14 at the time, played United States Attorney General Mitchell Palmer’s daughter. Pretty impressive. 

6. She’s A Huge 'lizzie Mcguire' Fan

How do we know this? Well, while participating in Bustle’s “In The Bustle Booth With Kaitlyn Dever,” the Detroit actress revealed her favorite overused quote...

“Lizzie McGuire you are an outfit repeater.” Need we say more?