There is no question that Kat Dennings is an extremely talented actor. Her career has spanned several genres, including comedy, drama, and science-fiction. She has a very relatable and charismatic persona on-screen, and she is a joy to watch with every project that she takes on. In terms of blockbuster franchises, Dennings first entered the MCU in Thor and reprised her role as Darcy Lewis in Thor: The Dark World and, most recently, WandaVision. At the same time, she starred in the acclaimed comedy series 2 Broke Girls, where she was beloved by critics and audiences alike. There is no question that Dennings has a long and successful career ahead of her.
Dennings was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and began acting at a very young age. Her career started out with commercial work, and she eventually moved to Los Angeles with her family to pursue acting full-time. Her first big break was appearing in the HBO series Sex and the City. From there, Dennings appeared in several television shows, including Raising Dad and Disney Channel’s The Scream Team. Her feature film debut was in the film Raise Your Voice, where she acted opposite Hillary Duff. Dennings has since become a prominent actress, has worked on some big projects, and has led two television series. These are her best performances.
Update December 19, 2023: This article has been updated with even more great Kat Dennings performance and where each title is streaming.
10 To Write Love on Her Arms (2012)
To Write Love on Her Arms is a 2012 biographical drama based on the story of the founding of the famous non-profit organization of the same name. Kat Dennings stars as Renee Yohe, a young woman battling with various mental health issues, a drug addiction, and also self-harm tendencies. The story retells the heartwarming tale of how Yohe got the help from her friends and acquaintances who raised money for her rehab by telling her story on Myspace, titled “To Write Love on Her Arms”, as Renee wrote something self-deprecating on her arm with a razor blade.
Why She Is Great In It
To Write Love on Her Arms is a great non-profit that works towards helping people whose struggles are similar to Yohe’s to bring them into the light of a better life. Kat Dennings is incredible in the film, and it will definitely bring tears to your eyes. The film premiered at the Omaha Film Festival on March 11, 2012, but did not get a release until 2015, when it went straight to DVD. While it was mostly overlooked and not widely seen, Dennings proves her versatility as a performer and that she can do more than just comedy, the genre she is best known for. Rent on Amazon, Apple TV, YouTube
9 The House Bunny (2008)
Starring heavy hitters like Anna Faris, Emma Stone, and Colin Hanks, the comedy film The House Bunny is a fun and quirky movie about an aspiring Playboy Playmate who finds her calling as a sorority house mother after a misunderstanding. In the film, Dennings is a part of the Zeta Alpha Zeta sorority, which is almost on the verge of shutdown because the sorority is filled with socially inept and awkward girls. Dennings’ character, Mona Rita, is witty, sarcastic, and cynical and sports many piercings. Dennings brings a lot to her character, and she is completely committed to it physically and emotionally.
Why Kat Dennings Is Great in The House Bunny
The House Bunny is funny, sweet, and romantic. Ultimately, it shows the audience that it is important to be true to yourself while also opening up socially to others and being more outgoing. Anna Faris, Emma Stone, and Kat Dennings, along with the other members of the sorority house, have incredible chemistry with each other, and Faris is phenomenal in the role of a new house mother. Released the same year as Nick and Nora Infinite Playlist, The House Bunny went a long way to define her star image. Stream on Netflix
8 Defendor (2009)
Defendor is a vigilante comedy movie that stars Woody Harrelson in the role of Arthur Poppington, aka Defendor, who is trying to bring down a villain named Captain Industry. Kat Dennings plays Angel, a prostitute who helps Poppington and later starts to help him bring down a person named Radoven Kristic, who he believes is Captain Industry, because she told her. The film is a funny but heartfelt take on vigilante justice films that shows the audience how a hunger for revenge can turn an ordinary man into an extraordinary one.
Why The Defendor Is Underrated
Both Woody Harrelson and Kat Dennings did a fantastic job in the film, and their dynamic on-screen is filled with great comedic chemistry, as expected from two legendary comedic actors. The film is also a great tale about how a great person can influence the lives of other people and help them turn their luck around. All of these serious issues were handled in a comedic manner, which made the film incredibly entertaining. Released in 2009, the film did not generate the same type of buzz that similar grounded comedic vigilante stories like Kick-Ass and Super did, but it is certainly worth checking out and Dennings is a major part of that. Rent on Apple TV
7 The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
The 2005 movie The 40-Year-Old Virgin is a classic comedy movie centering around the hilarious exploits of an introverted 40-year-old virgin man named Andy (Steve Carell), whose friends try helping him have sex for the first time. The movie is an all-time comedy classic complete with brilliant performances by the whole cast. One of the best things about the film is Andy’s dynamic with his friend group consisting of David (Paul Rudd), Cal (Seth Rogen), and Jay (Romany Malco), and how after initially making fun of him for his lack of experience, they join forces together to help their friend find love.
Why Dennings Is Great In The 40-Year -Old Virgin
In the film, Dennings plays a pessimistic teenage girl named Marla who is constantly fighting with her mother, Trish (Catherine Keener). At first, she does not like Andy but gains respect for him when he comes to her rescue during a humiliating moment. Although Dennings plays a supporting character, she is an absolute scene-stealer in this film. She completely embodies the frustration and insecurities that come with being a teenager, and she broke out in a cast full of future all-stars. Stream on Peacock
6 Charlie Bartlett (2007)
The 2007 film Charlie Bartlett stars Anton Yelchin in the titular role and tells the coming-of-age story of a boy whose father is serving time for tax evasion and whose mother is loving but also suffers from depression. Charlie, diagnosed with ADHD, joins a public school where he struggles to fit in but slowly becomes popular as he offers the students free therapy and also sells prescription drugs that he obtains by feigning sickness. Kat Dennings plays the role of Susan Gardner, who is the daughter of the school’s alcoholic principal, Nathan Gardner (Robert Downey Jr.) and also Charlie’s girlfriend.
Why Kat Dennings is Great in Charlie Bartlett
The two young actors, Yelchin and Dennings, did a phenomenal job in the film, while the role of RDJ only added to the intriguing plotline. The movie is an underrated gem that underlines the importance of mental healthcare among teenagers and shows us how dangerous it can be if they get their hands on illegal drugs. The chemistry between the three main characters is amazing and perfect for those who like coming-of-age films with a realistic undertone. The relationship between Dennings’ and Downey Jr.’s characters was also authentic and sweet. Plus, Dennings singing “If You Want to Sing Out” is a scene steeling moment that highlights her diverse abilities as a performer. Stream on Hoopla
5 Daydream Nation (2010)
Daydream Nation is a Canadian drama film that delves into the life of Caroline Wexler, a seventeen-year-old high school student, who starts dating her teacher after she moves to a small town where everyone seems to be high on the fumes from an industrial fire with her father. Her life is further complicated when she also starts to fall for a fellow student and stoner, who is in love with her, and there is a serial killer on the loose who murdered a cheerleader.
Why Dennings is Great in Daydream Nation
Even though the plot of the movie is problematic and there are some disturbing themes, such as a teacher involving himself in a romantic relationship with a student, Dennings’ performance is great. She is as charming and confident as ever as a high school student trying to navigate her love life, her social life and also getting into trouble due to her inner conflicts. She also has great chemistry with the rest of the cast, especially Reece Thompson and Josh Lucas. This movie proved that Dennings was perfect for lead roles and not just as secondary characters. Stream on Hoopla, CW
4 Dollface (2019-2022)
In the Hulu series Dollface, Dennings plays Jules Wiley, a web designer who reunites with her women friends after the ending of her relationship. The story centers around her struggles as a single woman trying to rekindle all the female friendships she has lost along the way and also finding her individual self in the process. The series ran for two seasons before it was sadly canceled but Dollface proved that Dennings could be a lead by giving heartfelt but comedic performances.
Why Dennings Is Great In Dollface
Dennings gives a charming performance in every episode and gives an honest portrayal of a 30-something woman navigating love and friendship. She proved, once again, that she could lead a television series with ease, this time balancing comedy and drama a lot more than 2 Broke Girls. At the same time, her chemistry with her co-stars really shines through as their is a believable friendship (one that was reflected in real life as co-star Brenda Song was in attendance at Dennings wedding). It is a shame that this incredible show that is one of the actor’s best performances, was not only canceled after two seasons but also pulled from its home by the streaming site Hulu. However, they have since added it for purchase on PVOD. Buy season 1 on AppleTV.
3 WandaVision (2021)
Dennings reprised her role of Darcy Lewis in the acclaimed Disney+ miniseries WandaVision. While she had previously played the role in 2011’s Thor and 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, WandaVision gives her more room to flesh out her character. Darcy has become a highly intelligent and respected scientist who is the first to discover that Wanda Maximoff is broadcasting her hex through the television. Dennings gives her character a sense of wit that makes her a joy to watch on screen and is an absolute scene stealer. Her casting, having been the star of the sitcom 2 Broke Girls, was a nice meta-joke on Marvel’s part by bringing in someone who already led a sitcom as one of the leads in the series about sitcoms.
Why Darcy Lewis is One of Denning’s Best Roles
WandaVision is one of the most critically acclaimed series from MCU and is an absolute treat for any Marvel fan as well as nonsuperhero fans. Dennings had already won hearts with her quirky portrayal of Darcy in the Thor movies so it is no surprise that people loved her in this series as well. Other than the Thor films, she also appeared as Darcy in the beloved Disney+ animated series What If…? and will reprise her role in the second season of the show as well. Dennings also returned in a cameo role for Thor: Love and Thunder, as it appears, she is now firmly established back in the MCU. Dennings’ performance made Darcey one of the most beloved MCU side characters, and we hope to see more of her. Stream on Disney+
2 Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (2008)
In the charming film about love, music, and New York City, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Dennings’ plays a wealthy teenager named Norah who is obsessed with good music. Over the course of one night, she sparks up a romance with a musician named Nick (Michael Cera) who is also the ex-boyfriend of one of her friends. The result is the story of two young people at a major turning point in their life who find love in one another.
Why Dennings is Phenomenal in Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
The chemistry between Cera and Dennings was top-notch and Dennings gives an honest portrayal of a good-hearted young woman who is struggling with ex-boyfriends and a crazy best friend. It is a heartfelt movie about finding love in unexpected places. Dennings and Cera make an adorable on-screen couple, and the pairing of the two of them together felt like a big deal as it was Cera, hot off roles in films like Superbad and Juno being paired with a rising star like Dennings, making this a seminal movie in both of their careers. Dennings proved that romance is also a strong forte of hers with this movie. She came into the limelight with her performance and was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance- Female. Rent on Vudu and DirecTV
1 2 Broke Girls (2011 to 2017)
In the popular sitcom 2 Broke Girls, Dennings played the role of a poor waitress named Max Black who befriends a down-on-her-luck rich girl, Caroline Channing (Beth Behrs), and teaches her how to navigate a life of poverty. In what was just a standard sitcom on the page, Dennings brought to life with incredible comedic delivery mixing deadpan sarcasm and natural comedic timing to deliver hilarious performances week after week.
Why 2 Broke Girls Comes Out On Top
2 Broke Girls is one of the few sitcoms with two women as the central characters. The series perfectly shows us the struggles of women who are trying to make ends meet while also trying to navigate love in a cruel society where money is all that matters. Both Dennings and Behrs are absolutely phenomenal, and their fantastic dynamic makes the show an absolute delight to watch. The popularity of this show brought both Behrs and Dennings to the mainstream audience. The show also won the 2012 People’s Choice Award for Favorite New TV Comedy. Combine that with the signature waitress outfit, and the series shot Dennings into a new level of popularity that she continues to carry to this day and will likely be the role she is best known for throughout her career. Stream on Roku or Buy on Apple TV