Mandalynn Carlson

Mandalynn Carlson (born August 25, 1999) is an American actress from Taylor, Michigan whose first film appearance was a supporting role in the 2011 action biopic Machine Gun Preacher, with Gerard Butler.[1] Leaving Michigan for Hollywood, Carlson has found success with supporting and lead roles in dozens of independent films and television shows, including Greys Anatomy and CSI: NY.[1]

Mandalynn Carlson
Mandalynn Carlson (2015).jpg
Mandalynn Carlson at the screening of The Sparrows: Nesting (2015)
Born (1999-08-25) August 25, 1999 (age 22)
Detroit, Michigan, United States
Years active2009–present
Height5 ft 2 in (157 cm)


Carlson began her acting career in 2010 with a supporting role in Machine Gun Preacher alongside Gerard Butler, Michael Shannon, and Michelle Monaghan. She continued to do local projects in Detroit, including the period piece, Mary's Buttons (2012), which was based on a true story and Naked Angel (2014) with James Duval and Debra Wilson. She co-starred on an episode of CSI: NY with Jadin Gould, Olivia Stuck and Emily Robinson, as teenagers who were victims of a senseless shooting. She was in a skit on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2012.

In 2013, Carlson worked on her first pilot for NBC, Brenda Forever,[2] where she was the lead alongside Ellie Kemper and Ken Marino. The pilot was directed by David Wain and written by David Lampson and Andrew Leeds. NBC passed on the pilot and Carlson went on to work on Shonda Rhimes ABC show Scandal with Kerry Washington and Lisa Edelstein. She plays the product of a love affair between a high powered CEO and a nominee for a Supreme Court Judge in the episode Top of the Hour. Fans created the hashtag, #hamandpineapple, to interact with Carlson during live tweeting.

Carlson worked with the same producer of Mary's Buttons on another film, Small Town Santa (2014) with Dean Cain and Christine Lakin. Her father is played by Cain, a small town sheriff who is angry at the world because he is away from his daughter on Christmas Eve. Carlson worked with Cain again on her next film, A Horse for Summer (2015), where she played the lead role of Summer Dean, a troubled teen who bounces from foster home to foster home while her mother is in jail. She is eventually sent to live with her uncle whom she has never met. Trouble follows her there as well and she forces Cain to make a hard choice on whether to let her stay or send her back to the city. This film was Nancy Criss's directorial feature debut. Christopher Atkins and Lee Meriwether also star in the film.

Mandalynn Carlson (right) and Dominique Swain at the screening of The Sparrows: Nesting

In 2015, Carlson worked on Deadly Sanctuary (2015), her third film with Dean Cain and second with Nancy Criss. The film stars Daniel Baldwin, Eric Roberts, and Paul Greene (actor). She then went on to work on A Horse Tail where she has a lead role playing Patrick Muldoon's daughter. It also stars Charisma Carpenter and Dominique Swain. Carlson and Atkins worked on an indie film together less than two years later, titled The Sparrows: Nesting (2015) which has been touring the film festivals. The film stars Kevin Sorbo, James Duval, Judy Norton Taylor, John Savage (actor) and Valenzia Algarin.

She finished filming Fishes 'N Loaves: Heaven Sent where Patrick Muldoon plays her father in a feature film for the second time. Carlson's mother is played by Dina Meyer and her brother is Brandon Tyler Russell. The film is a faith based film about a pastor that moves his family from the big city to a small town and the shocking change between the two and is set to be released in 2016.

Mandalynn was on the 2015 season 12 premiere of Grey's Anatomy playing the role of Jessica Tanner in scenes with Sara Ramirez, Justin Chambers and Kelly McCreary which dealt with teen suicide and bullying.

Carlson plays Sam Lambert in Roadside Stars paired Mandalynn with acting legend and academy award nominee Candy Clark from American Graffiti, Gene Loveland and Boti Bliss of CSI:Miami fame.

In 2017, Carlson stepped behind the camera to direct an episode of Creepy Chronicles. "The Keeper", was episode 102 in the series which debuted on Amazon Prime. Carlson was also executive producer on episode 2 and episode 3 called "Pool Party", under her production company Smash the Glass Pictures.

Mandalynn joined Pure Flix (studio)'s series, Hilton Head Island, in season 2, recurring as troubled teen Katy Trisk. The drama, nicknamed a "hope opera" as it steers away from using language, sex and violence in the story, follows the prominent Trisk family who runs the fictional ISLE Television Network in South Carolina's most notable resort town. The series stars Donna Mills of Knots Landing, Michael Swan from As the World Turns, Emmy-winning actress Crystal Hunt of Guiding Light, and Antonio Sabato Jr of General Hospital. Season two adds Linda Gray of Dallas (1978 TV series) fame.

Personal lifeEdit

Carlson was born in Detroit, Michigan on August 25, 1999, the only child of Eric and Sherri Carlson. She started performing in an annual family play at the age of two years with her two cousins and her grandmother Pauline Ettore, a councilwoman for the City of Taylor.[3] Her parents owned Michigan Crafty & Motion Picture Catering[4] which sparked her interest in the industry.

Homeschooled since the 6th grade, Carlson started her first year of college at the age of 15 years.[5] As a college sophomore at 16 years old, she was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa with a 4.0 gpa.

Community involvementEdit

She is an outspoken activist against bullying, coming from the perspective of "living in that moment" during elementary and middle school. The bullying by schoolmates in grades 4-6 lead her parents to choose home schooling for Mandalynn, allowing her to work at an accelerated pace as well as provided time in her schedule for training and acting. In 2013-14, Mandalynn was a guest speaker on the TBTG Music Is My Language Tour around Southern California schools, bringing a positive message about acceptance and advocating against bullying.[6]

Carlson actively speaks with young girls about self-image and has written articles about the topic.[7] She visits underprivileged children in the Watts projects, supports the Ronald McDonald House of Pasadena fundraisers and visits chronically ill children at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.[8]



Photo with Gerard Butler and Mandalynn Carlson on the set of Machine Gun Preacher, filmed in Michigan 2010.
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Margaret & Izzy Little Margaret Short Film
2011 Happy Holiday Christina
2011 Machine Gun Preacher Paige's Friend as Amanda Carlson
2012 Mary's Buttons Bessie
2012 Little Shadows Amy Short Film
2013 The Dead Kid Annie Baxter Starring role
2014 Naked Angel Little Girl Without Faith Filmed in 2009
2014 Small Town Santa Kara Langston Original Title "Holiday Miracle"
2015 A Horse For Summer Summer Dean Starring role
2015 The Sparrows: Nesting Di
2015 Deadly Sanctuary Tiffany
2015 A Horse Tale Chloe Thompson Starring Role. Original Title "A Christmas Promise"
2016 Fishes 'N Loaves: HEAVEN SENT Chrissy Michaels Starring Role. Lionsgate releasing 9/6/2016
2018 Mimesis: NOSFERATU Amy Peterson Supporting


Year Title Role Notes
2012 CSI: NY Kelly Dupars Episode 908: "Late Admissions"
2012 Jimmy Kimmel Live! Sister Episode 10.292
2013 Brenda Forever Young Brenda Miller NBC Pilot[9]
2013 Scandal Annie Stanner Episode 216: "Top of the Hour"
2013 Totally! Amy Pilot
2015 I Didn't Do It Paula Episode 2.4: "Lindy & Logan Get Psyched!"
2015 Grey's Anatomy Jessica Tanner Episode 12.1: "Sledgehammer"[10]
2016 Roadside Stars Sam Lambert Episode 1.1: ""
2018 Class Act Courtney Recurring (Season 1-2):4 Episodes
2018 Hilton Head Island Katy Trisk Recurring (Season 2):6 Episodes

Awards and nominationsEdit

Association Year Category Nominated Work Result Ref
Young Artist Awards 2013 Best Performance in a TV Series Guest Starring Young Actress 11-13 years CSI:NY CSI: NY (season 9) Nominated [11]
2014 Best Performance in a TV Series Guest Starring Young Actress 14-16 years Scandal Top of the Hour Nominated [12]
2015 Best Performance in a Film for DVD Small Town Santa Won [13]
2016 Best Performance in a Film for DVD Young actress A Horse For Summer Won [14]
Best Performance in a TV series Guest Starring Young Actress (14 – 21) Grey's Anatomy Sledgehammer (Grey's Anatomy) Won [14]
Young Entertainer Awards 2016 Best Performance in an Independent or Film Festival -Feature Film (15-21) A Horse For Summer Won [15]
Best Guest Starring Young Actress 14 to 16 - TV Series Grey's Anatomy Sledgehammer (Grey's Anatomy) Nominated [15]


  1. ^ a b The News Herald
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (29 March 2013). "CBS Pilot 'The Surgeon General', NBC's 'Brenda Forever' Add To Casts". Deadline.
  3. ^ "" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  4. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2015-12-08. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Twitter
  7. ^ "Teen Actress Mandalynn Carlson Discusses the Power of Positive Thinking and Self-Love".
  8. ^ Getty Images
  9. ^ "CBS Pilot 'The Surgeon General', NBC's 'Brenda Forever' Add to Casts". 29 March 2013.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Archived 2013-04-02 at WebCite
  12. ^ Archived 2015-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ Archived 2015-09-11 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ a b Archived 2016-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ a b


External linksEdit