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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

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The Laterals

   

Early this month, Netflix released a film about a high school student being forced to choose between her best friend and secret crush. Titled The Kissing Booth, Joey Lynn King stars as the outgoing Elle Evans, who is fairly popular among her peers but has never gone out on a date, let alone been kissed. However, things take a turn when she ended up at a kissing booth, facing her best friend’s brother. Although the storyline may not appeal to the older crowd, this romantic comedy has managed to beautifully capture the ups and downs of infatuation.

The optimistic, upbeat Joey is exactly the kind of California girl that people instantly fall in love with, hands down! Born and raised in Los Angeles, you may know the American actress from her role as the well-meaning troublemaker Romona Quimby in Romona and Beezus, the 2010 adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s book series. Thriller enthusiasts may recognize her as Christine Perron, the first Perron in The Conjuring who noticed malevolent spirits in the house. And chances are, some may have identified her voice in animated films such as Horton Hears a Who! And Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

Now, Joey is branching out into other films, with a role in James Franco’s upcoming comedy-drama Zeroville and a star turn in Slenderman, where she plays a high school girl who sets out to find her mysteriously missing friend.

Being in this industry from a young age, do you sometimes believe you’re missing out on life?
This is a question that I get frequently, and I can honestly say no. I don’t feel like I’m missing out. I feel like I’m the luckiest fricken girl alive. I really love what I do, and I also love the snacks on set. If anything, everyone else is missing out on those snacks.

“I love bringing books to life on screen. I think what Beth Reekles did with The Kissing Booth was incredible. This teenage girl starts a story on Wattpad, and then gets herself a book deal and THEN it gets made into a feature film for Netflix!? It’s truly inspiring.”

Summer 03 is a fun, nutty film! Tell us how you got involved in it and your initial idea of its storyline. Do you have a specific favourite scene or quote in the movie?
Summer 03 certainly is a nutty film. When I first read the script, I immediately fell in love with it. It is funny, shocking, raunchy, and relatable. I mean the list goes on. I think one of my favorite scenes filmed was my big speech at my grandmother’s funeral in the end. It’s WILD.

How does it feel to be in a book-to-film adaption whereby the book is written by someone of your age?
I love bringing books to life on screen. I think what Beth Reekles did with The Kissing Booth was incredible. This teenage girl starts a story on Wattpad, and then gets herself a book deal and THEN it gets made into a feature film for Netflix!? It’s truly inspiring. I love the story and the way the movie came out so much.

You met your boyfriend Jacob Elordi at The Kissing Booth. Tell us about your first impression of him and how did it develop into something more? Would you like to work on another film together with Jacob in the near future?
Tis true!! Jacob and I met while filming on the set of The Kissing Booth and we honestly hit it off the minute we met, but just as friends. The shoot was about two months long. For the first month, I would say he became one of my best friends and I felt so comfortable around him to a point where we were both like “Hey, this person makes me feel happy and warm. Maybe there’s something there.” The best part is, we’re still best friends and we would love to work together again someday.

Full interview: thelaterals.com