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.