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Joey King’s Young Hollywood 2019 Interview on The Act, Registering to Vote, and Shaving Her Head

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Joey King’s remarkable acting résumé can be intimidating. But sit in the same room with her and she’ll make you feel right at home. The bubbly young performer has been working nonstop since her first television role, a guest spot on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Since then, she has appeared in the music video for Taylor Swift’s song “Mean,” nabbed guest spots on shows such as Fargo and The Flash, and charmed legions of new fans after starring in Netflix’s runaway hit The Kissing Booth.

Recently, Joey has been busy with her transformative role on Hulu’s The Act, a crime anthology based on the real-life story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard. Joey plays Gypsy, a young woman who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after her mother was found stabbed to death in 2015; Gypsy is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence. Her mother, Dee Dee (played by Patricia Arquette), suffered from Munchausen syndrome by proxy and had allegedly been abusing her daughter by making her sick for years to win sympathy and attention. (Gypsy’s boyfriend at the time was later convicted of first-degree murder.) Joey is almost unrecognizable as Gypsy, having shaved her head and donned large, wide-framed glasses for the part.

Along with her work on the much-anticipated series, Joey has also been working on The InBetween, a supernatural romance recently picked up by Paramount Players that she’ll be starring in and producing. There’s hardly anything Joey isn’t already a queen at. As part of Teen Vogue’s Young Hollywood Class of 2019, she opened up about doing Gypsy’s story justice, becoming increasingly passionate about politics, and more.

Teen Vogue: As a representative of young Hollywood, what parts of you as performer do you hope to see more of in Hollywood in general?
Joey King
: I’m a big people person. I love getting to know people before making any judgments, getting to know their story. I find that when I work a lot on sets, I meet the most interesting people. Not just people who are producers, directors, or cast. The crew is such a vital part of making anything happen, and so really getting to know those people and respecting those people is a huge thing that I want to see more. I want to see people respecting others around them, because we all have a job to do, and each job is just as important as the next one.

TV: So far, what has been the biggest challenge to proving yourself in Hollywood?
JK: I just really want to show people that what I do is so important to me, no matter what kind of role it is. I want to show people that I can do any kind of role. That I can take on anything and really just go at it 110%. The biggest challenge in proving myself is being able to obtain those roles and certain characters that really get to show the range that I have and want to show.

TV: Your social media following majorly increased after The Kissing Booth. What have you learned about having a huge platform of more than 8 million Instagram followers?
JK:
I really feel very lucky to be able to have a voice that people care about hearing, but it is a lot of responsibility, you know? I want to set a good example for people, but at the same time I just want to show them a good time, so I try to do a little bit of both. Mostly I just try to be myself, and as cliché and stupid as it sounds, I feel like that’s the most important thing, because I want people to be themselves in real life or on their Instagram platforms or wherever.
Something that I just love to do is just never take anything too seriously. Sometimes I post just the stupidest pictures of myself with a face mask, this close up, or I call myself an egghead since I have no hair. I also think just not being afraid. Because so much of the time, you get mean comments from people. And that sh*t just rolls off my back. I don’t even notice them anymore. And so I post whatever the hell I wanna post.

TV: What’s an example of something that you have spoken out about that was maybe dealing with a heavier topic?
JK:
Because I’m now 19, I’ve gotten a lot more into politics than I had been before. That’s because I was not yet of age and I found it really hard to educate myself on politics. I even had a hard time figuring out how to register to vote. And that’s OK to be able to say that it’s confusing to figure out. And it’s confusing and hard to figure out what issues you need to know about. So this year, I really dove into that and tried to educate myself as best as possible. Lately, I’ve been speaking out about human trafficking, the importance of voting, and I went on a march recently [while] shooting in Savannah, Georgia. My costar AnnaSophia Robb [and I] went on a march to end human trafficking. It was just so inspirational to see all the people that came out to do that. When you have a platform like mine, and I’m lucky enough to have a vast amount of followers, I think I’m really proud to be able to say something that means something to me.

TV: The public is always scrutinizing, especially young women’s images. So how does it feel having shaved your head three times now? What have you learned about beauty and identity through the process of letting all your hair go?
JK
: When I first shaved my head, when I was 11, I was so excited to do it. And then I got so sad because people were so mean about it online, and it just got so disheartening. Then the second time I did it, when I was 14, I was like, “Screw it. I learned from last time. I’m not gonna let anyone bother me.” And then it kind of happened again. I got a little sad because people were so mean about it. They were saying just awful things on Instagram. And then I had this awakening. I was like, “Why am I caring? I’m 14 years old. I have no hair. I look really freaking cool. And guess what? It’s gonna grow back.” So when this time came around for a role, I was ready to jump all in. And I can say that I haven’t felt more feminine in such a long time. I feel so feminine with my head shaved. I feel great, and I feel pretty, and I feel confident, and it takes me not even five minutes to shower anymore [laughing]. It’s so freaking nice.

TV: With The Act, you’re telling the story of Gypsy Rose Blanchard, which is really dark. What have you done to make sure you’re doing her story justice, as opposed to kind of sensationalizing it?
JK
: It’s something that I’m actually quite aware of. I just want to make sure that if she ever sees the show one day, I want her to know that we wanted to do right by her. The story is so messed up and there are so many layers, and it’s so, so heavy. I never want it to feel like we’re making fun of the story or we’re doing anything to romanticize it. It’s nitty-gritty; it’s really disturbing. And it’s uncomfortable because the story is really uncomfortable. What happened is so uncomfortable. And I’m really hyperaware of just trying to dive into Gypsy’s role as much as I can. I feel really proud of the work I’m doing.
With that being said, of course, I’m an actor, I’m very nervous about it, and I just want people to love it. And be immersed in the story, as immersed in the story as I am. So I’m hoping that the reaction to it is really cool because we put so much work into it, especially me and Patricia [Arquette]. Our relationship off-camera now has become so intense. We care about each other so much because we go through so much together onscreen. And Calum Worthy, who plays Nicholas Godejohn, is so phenomenal. I think all of us are trying our hardest to make sure we do right by these people.

Source: teenvogue.com

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Joey King Shares Her Upcoming Projects and Dream Role Following ‘The Kissing Booth’

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Joey King has been dazzling the screen with her goofy presence and quirky charm since she was four years old. From her first few roles in TV commercials through her first major role opposite Selena Gomez in Ramona and Beezus through to her most recent roles in The Kissing Booth and Slenderman, King has done nothing but prove she is an actress to be reckoned with. We got the opportunity to speak with her about her upcoming roles, what it was like working on her recent movies, and some of her favorite parts of acting in our Fall 2018 issue.

Let’s start by talking about your recent and upcoming projects! Tell me a little bit about Slenderman and your character, Wren.
I would say she’s pretty feisty. She’s sarcastic; she’s got a quick wit and a sense of humor about her that not everyone finds charming. She thinks she’s the most charming person on the planet but no one else does. But I think what’s crazy about Wren is that she uses her humor as a defense mechanism and really just a troubled girl. She makes a lot of mistakes and hurts a lot of people. Even though she thinks she’s helping people, she has to go through a lot In the movie before she realizes what she’s done but by then it’s already too late.

What was it like playing such a dynamic character?
Wren was so much fun to play. There are so many layers and emotional things that had to come through her and I was so excited that I got to be the one to do that. I think she’s really special.

Did you have nightmares after working with a “real-life” Slenderman every day?
Well the guy that played Slenderman, his name is Javier Botet. He is just the funniest man and everyone loved him so much. And when he would suit up as and it would really freak me out but he was just such a nice guy. But when I would go back to my hotel room after a day on set, I would sleep with my lights on because, you know of course I would play with my lights on after filming Slenderman. I would check my closet every night before I went to sleep.

That is amazing. So let’s talk a bit about the other projects you have coming up!
Gosh, I am so excited for all of them. The In-Between is going to be amazing. We just sold it, and it’s such a great story. It’s basically like the movie Ghost for teenagers. It’s a love story honestly, and it’s really heartbreaking, and it’s going to be so awesome. I can’t wait to start making it.

I’m so excited for Summer ‘03 to come out. I love that movie so much, and I had so much fun making it. It’s so wild and inappropriate and hilarious. I cannot wait. I think that people will have very strong feelings about it, and I hope that they love it because I love it so much. It’s just such a wild movie.

Then I have another film coming out called The Lie. That movie is going to be such a transition for me. It’s such a contrast between Summer ‘03 and The Kissing Booth because I play such a dark, just sad, sad girl and so many horrible things happen in this movie. It’s going to be crazy to watch everything unfold. I’m so excited for that to come out, too.

Full interview: pulsespikes.com

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Joey King for Euphoria magazine

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On discovering her love of acting:
“I was so enamored at how much fun I had throughout the whole experience. That was when I was like: ‘This is was what I want to do forever.’ Even at 9, I knew, and as I’ve gotten older that love has never left, which I’m so happy and grateful for.”

On how she characterizes her work ethic:
“I think I’m someone who is professional but I don’t take things too seriously. Like yes, it is a job. Yes, it is work, but I never want to lose my sense of fun. I think that’s what makes me so in love with my job… I always have a good time doing it. Even if the subject matter is dark and heavy, or the physicality of it is draining, I want to make sure I’m having fun. Like every time I step on a new set, it’s an adventure to make new friends meet new people.”

On how her upbringing raised her to have thick skin in a tough industry:
“I’ll be honest: I got told I wasn’t pretty enough for a role, and that really hurt me because it was just the harshness which unfortunately you have to become callous to. But with the type of person that I am, it fuels me, even more, to stay true to myself and be myself as much as I can, and I’m so grateful I was raised that way. I was raised in a way to let things roll off my back and taking a pause before I let anything affect me.”

On her favorite line from a past film:
“From Horton Hears A Who, my character says, ‘In my world, everyone’s a pony, and we all eat rainbows and poop butterflies,’ and that is a line that has stuck with me for years, and I think a lot of people who’ve seen the movie say it’s their favorite, too!”

Source: euphoriazine.com

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How ‘The Kissing Booth’ became a pop culture sensation (even if critics hated it)

   

They had just finished up a round of Skee-Ball when they were spotted by a couple of teenage girls meekly clutching iPhones.

We love ‘The Kissing Booth,’” one of the young women exclaimed. “Can we take a selfie with you?
The three stars of the Netflix film — Joey King, 18, Jacob Elordi, 21, and Joel Courtney, 22 — obliged of course. Since the film’s release in May, they said, they’ve been approached like this hundreds of times.

Every day, at least a couple of times a day,” Elordi said. “Some people are strange, but most of the young kids are awesome. The other night I was eating by myself at a diner and a group of college friends asked me if I wanted to sit with them, so I did.

His costars, meanwhile, grew up as kid actors in Hollywood. Courtney was 14 when he scored his first big role in J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8,” and King just 10 when she starred opposite Selena Gomez as the iconic Beverly Cleary character Ramona Quimby in “Ramona and Beezus.”

But despite years of building up solid resumes — King has appeared in “The Conjuring,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and the TV series “Fargo” — none of their projects have given them the instant recognition of “The Kissing Booth.” Earlier this month, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, called the film “one of the most-watched movies in the country, and maybe in the world.”

Which, frankly, no one expected.
The film is based on a story written by a 15-year-old, and it first appeared on Wattpad, an online self-publishing platform. It follows an upbeat teenager named Elle (King) whose high school existence is going swimmingly until she falls for her best friend’s hunky older brother (Courtney plays the BFF, Elordi the b.f.). It was directed by Vince Marcello, a Disney Channel filmmaker responsible for “Teen Beach Movie” and its subsequent sequel, “Teen Beach 2.”

In other words, “The Kissing Booth” is cute enough, but the majority of critics have declared it an objectively bad movie: It has a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

But as Vulture put it, the romantic comedy is “bad in a comforting way. Most of the plot points and supporting characters are blatant rip-offs of earlier teen films, which gives the film a similar quality to those pop songs that build their hooks by sampling previous hits.”

It’s also an intriguing new piece in the ongoing puzzle known as Netflix original movies. While the streaming giant has produced a slew of respected, award-nominated television fare — “Orange Is the New Black,” “House of Cards,” “Making a Murderer” — its film content has yet to make the same kind of broad impact.

Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” which the company picked up at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, earned Netflix its first Oscar nominations outside of documentary categories just this year.

Other titles — from “Okja” to “War Machine” to Sundance prize winner “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” — have flown lower on the cultural radar. Even a “success,” like Will Smith’s “Bright” — which Netflix says attracted a lot of eyeballs, though it never publicly released streaming figures — was dinged by scathing reviews.

But few, if any, of Netflix’s movies outside of its film library have been aimed at young people. Which is partially why the company decided to produce “The Kissing Booth,” financing the film’s two-month shoot in South Africa last year.

We had ‘13 Reasons Why’ and ‘Stranger Things’ on the series side, but it was a space we hadn’t explored much on the film side,” said Ian Bricke, Netflix’s director of independent film. “We thought this had a Disney Channel vibe, but felt slightly more grounded — it felt like an interesting, underserved spot between younger YA and edgier teen fare.

Full article: latimes.com

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Wonderland Magazine

   

If the first things that come to mind when you hear the words “child star” are DUI charges, squabbles with the paparazzi and unusual works of performance art, then consider Joey King as a true exception to Hollywood’s stereotype — the young actor has been climbing the steady road to success for over 14 years and isn’t showing any signs of stumbling.

Perhaps the secret to the getting to the top in one piece lies in a solid starting point, which in King’s case takes the shape of a cereal commercial and a collection of home movies created with her sister and fellow actress, Hunter King. “One of my favourites that we made was called Revenge About Cheerleaders,” she tells me when I manage steal five minutes away from her busy schedule. “We shot it at our house and I was in charge of sound effects, wardrobe and playing a cheerleader’s father – clearly it was a legit production.”

Legit production or not, it already sounds like a film I’d like to see, and Revenge About Cheerleaders is now part of an impressive repertoire of movies. In fact, with roles in titles ranging from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, The Conjuring to Fargo, you’ve probably seen the 18 year old grow up on screen before your very eyes, and in turn, King has witnessed the initial whirs and murmurs of a slowly shifting industry along the way.

I feel the industry has become more inclusive in a lot of different ways. We’ve been seeing more people fighting for equal pay, we’ve seen more films that have people of different backgrounds and colour, and we’ve seen more women in roles that they deserve to have — just to name a few things,” says the LA native. “In this business – and in any business – there’s always been the good, the bad, and the ugly. Hopefully by people publicly trying to make a difference we’ll see much less of the bad and the ugly.

With the recent release Netflix’s adaptation of Beth Reekles’ best seller, The Kissing Booth, and the much anticipated release of Summer ’03 in September, 2018 is perhaps King’s biggest year yet. She’s also about to embark upon filming The Bayou, an upcoming thriller starring Dylan O’Brien and Academy Award winner, Gary Oldman. “I’m honestly so excited for this role and this film, I think I’m gonna explode,” she says.

Though, even with all the big titles, it’s charm that’s King’s ace — she’s got bags of it. “My advice is don’t take yourself too seriously,” she says. “Be silly, have fun, and don’t try and be a different person to who you are because you think that’s what others expect of you.” Wise words from Hollywood’s most promising young talent.

Source: wonderlandmagazine.com