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Kim Kardashian is an actor now. And she’s actually kind of good

For someone who is widely regarded as famous for being famous, Kim Kardashian has quite an impressive resume. She’s a reality TV icon, savvy businesswoman, devoted mother, social media maven and prison-reform advocate. And now, in an almost full-circle moment, she’s back on screen – only this time she isn’t playing herself.

Last week, Kardashian added fully fledged actor to her ever-growing list of achievements after starring in the first episode of American Horror Story: Delicate, the 12th instalment of Ryan Murphy’s popular horror anthology series. And she’s actually kind of good.

Kim Kardashian as Siobhan in American Horror Story: Delicate.

Kim Kardashian as Siobhan in American Horror Story: Delicate.

The show, which is based on Danielle Valentine’s book Delicate Condition, follows up-and-coming actor Anna Victoria Alcott (played by Emma Roberts) as she undergoes her third cycle of IVF and becomes increasingly fearful that something is trying to sabotage her pursuit of motherhood.

Kardashian plays Anna’s high-flying publicist, Siobhan, bringing an element of levity to an otherwise paranoia-ridden world. She first appears in her expansive Manhattan office, immaculately dressed and completely self-assured, calmly telling someone over the phone that “the Daniels” – who we assume to be the directing duo behind Everything Everywhere All at Once – can suck something entirely inappropriate.

“It’s exhausting being better than everyone,” she says as she turns towards Anna to begin building the plot, something her character continuously does throughout the episode.

Her first lines, hilariously profane yet performed with her trademark deadpan vocal fry, could not be more Kim Kardashian. She has clearly delved into her wealth of experience with publicity, exuding a sense of calm and confidence in the face of such an uncertain and unforgiving industry.


Kardashian’s wit should come as no surprise. Some of the funniest lines from Keeping Up With the Kardashians were hers (“I’m not buying her a f---ing pair of shoes. I bought her a f---ing career,” she once said of her sister), and her comedic monologue on Saturday Night Live in 2021 was so well-received, #KKWonSNL began trending on X (formerly Twitter).

But embodying a fictional character is a different story. She’s had a crack at it before, including her role in Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counsellor (2013) and when she voiced Delores in Paw Patrol: The Movie (2021). Delicate is different through – not only because it’s her first foray into horror, but because she features so prominently throughout.

Her delivery can sometimes be wooden, revealing her lack of acting experience compared to her adept co-stars (this is particularly apparent when delivering lines that stray from what she’s familiar with, such as “you have a peculiar penchant for turning dreams into nightmares”). But this arguably works to her advantage. She knows better than most how important perfection and presentation are when publicising someone on the world’s stage. Rather than betraying her lack of acting chops, her stiffness comes across as a conscious decision to highlight her character’s desensitisation after years in the business.

Kim Kardashian (left) holds her own beside stars like Emma Roberts (right) in American Horror Story: Delicate.

Kim Kardashian (left) holds her own beside stars like Emma Roberts (right) in American Horror Story: Delicate.

Kardashian handles the role with the same kind of seriousness she gives to her other endeavours, whether it’s her Spotify podcast – The System: The Case of Kevin Keith – her legal studies, her multiple businesses (Skims shapewear, SKKN skincare, homewares, just to name a few) or even her emoji app.

Though some of her projects have come and gone, like her Kim Kardashian: Hollywood mobile game in 2014, they’ve never had any problem turning heads. Each project has operated as a stepping stone towards something greater, further separating herself from the D-list fame she enjoyed at the beginning of her career.

Whether you’re a Kim K fan or not, the proof of her acting chops is right there on screen. She has managed to climb her way from the reality E! network to FX, known for distributing award-winning shows like The Bear.

Is it stunt-casting? Yes. But American Horror Story has been down that road before with great success: Lady Gaga won a Golden Globe for her role in American Horror Story: Hotel in 2015.


Granted, there are still plenty of episodes to go, but her initial performance proves she can generally keep up with her fellow actors. Perhaps it’s time we allow her to retire the famous-for-being-famous label and acknowledge the fact that she has managed to not only wear many hats, but to suit them rather well.

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