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What ‘Wish Upon’ Star Joey King Learned from Selena Gomez About Fame and Overcoming Her Haters

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Curled up on a bronze leather couch at The London New York City hotel in midtown Manhattan, Joey King traces her fingers along the wall. “I love this wall,” she says, drawing abstract lines and curves on the tan velvet wallpaper.

The moment is perhaps the only instance of childish whimsy I see from King, 17, during our hour-long conversation. After all, she turns 18 at the end of this month. But other than her age, King’s wise-beyond-her-years persona might come from her 10-plus years playing precocious little sisters (Emma Stone’s in “Crazy, Stupid, Love”), daughters (Channing Tatum’s in “White House Down”), and granddaughters (Michael Caine’s in “Going in Style”) on film and television. “I got to grow up around a lot of people who I admire and look up to,” King says.

The next on-screen family member King will adopt is Ryan Phillippe in July 14’s “Wish Upon,” a horror film about a teenage girl whose wishes to become popular end in tragic consequences. However, instead of playing sidekick to her more seasoned co-stars like she did for the bulk of her career, King—now dressed in a baby pink blazer, cropped jeans, and silver metallic heels, with her shaggy chestnut brown hair resting on her shoulders—is finally ready to take the lead.

Raised in a suburb of Los Angeles, King, the youngest of three daughters, began acting at 3 in community theatre productions with her sisters. It didn’t take long before she made the move on-screen, beginning with a Life cereal commercial at 4. “I didn’t have any lines. I was gluing Life cereal onto a piece of paper as a craft project, and I started eating it,” King said. “It was a cute little thing.”

Soon after, King started landing guest spots on shows like “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody” before scoring her big break as Selena Gomez’s baby sister in 2010’s “Ramona and Beezus,” a role that solidified her decision to pursue acting professionally. “I was like, ‘This is for me forever,’” King says, “I just had so much fun. It’s just continued with the same amount of fun every time I go on set.

But when it came time for “Ramona and Beezus” to premiere as King was entering third grade at a new school, the experience was far from a dream. As King was appearing on movie screens across the country, she received groans from her classmates, who outcasted her for her acting career. “They hated me before they met me,” King says.

However, King knew better to retaliate. Instilling a lesson she learned from Gomez, who she admits she still keeps in touch with, on killing with kindness, King took the high road, concentrated on her work, and brushed the bullies off her shoulders. “Selena was 16 when she did the movie. I’m almost 18. I really looked up to her as an older sister…She really took me under her wing and treated me like family.” King says. “We had conversations about staying humble and being nice to everyone and working as hard as you can.

King carried Gomez’s lessons on humility throughout her career. It’s likely what landed her a part in Taylor Swift’s music video for her 2010 single, “Mean,” in which King played an outcasted schoolgirl forced to eat alone in the bathroom. It’s also likely what inspired King’s glass-half-full attitude, as evidenced by her positive outlook on everything from Twitter trolls (“They motivate me”) to hardships at school (“I loved the teachers”) to her first-ever kiss with Keegan Allen in 2011’s “The Sound and the Fury” (“I was super-duper nervous, but it all worked out.”)

Full interview: stylecaster.com

Categories Article Photos Photoshoot

Joey King Is Most Definitely Going in Style

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The chance to appear in a film alongside three of the greats—Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman—has to top the bucket list for every young actor. Such is the dream fulfilled for Joey King, 17, who plays Michael Caine’s whip-smart granddaughter, Brooklyn, in Going in Style, the Warner Brothers remake of the ‘70s caper flick, directed by Zach Braff, in theaters Friday. King’s had a very exciting career already, including starring last year in Independence Day and starring in Wish Upon, a thriller slated for release on June 30. We were happy to catch up with King to talk about her career plans, her family and why it’s really cool to be Zach Braff’s muse.

There had to be so many things, but what was the best part of being in the Going in Style cast?
I think the best part was getting to work with people who I so greatly look up to in New York City. What more could I ask for? Legendary people, great food, unreal movie—the list goes on.

Pretty amazing to join this venerable cast, too.
Shooting with Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin is almost indescribable. I’ve always looked up to these men and one can only dream of working with a cast like that. It was so amazing because not only were they obviously insanely talented, but they confirmed all my hopes and dreams because they are the nicest men in the world. Alan would often play ukulele in the hair and makeup trailer, Morgan is just so lively and would always dance with me on set and Michael is so sharp and witty so our banter felt so natural and he became like a real grandfather to me.

I read that this is the third film you’ve worked on with Zach Braff.
Working with Zach Braff is something I will never get enough of. This is my third film with him and I hope there will be many more. He’s so sweet and calls me his muse, but I don’t think he realizes how much he inspires me. I feel everything he touches is magic, he can provoke such a range of emotion from audiences as an actor, writer and director. Going in Style is so funny I couldn’t stop my eyes from watering in the theater I was laughing so much and the soundtrack is fire, which Zach always knows how to do so well. I’m so proud of him and I’m proud and grateful to call him my director and friend.

What’s next for you?
Next up I have a film coming out that’s a psychological thriller called Wish Upon starring myself, Ryan Phillippe and Ki Hong Lee. It’s going to be so rad! And I was just in South Africa filming a Netflix movie called The Kissing Booth starring myself and Molly Ringwald. It’s a really sweet and hysterical teen rom-com that has a Pretty in Pink, She’s the Man and Mean Girls vibe to it all in one. I can’t wait for people to see it.

Do you have a mantra when it comes to picking projects?
I pick my projects based on if I like the script and if I think I’ll have fun doing it. But my favorite thing to look for is a challenge—something I’ve never done before or something I want to try that’s been incorporated into a script. I have huge dreams and making career choices can be very scary, but I have so many great people in my life, especially my mom and my sisters, and I always look out for myself. For me, it’s about having as much fun as possible and being kind to everyone.

Source: parade.com