The 19-year-old actress became a teen queen after starring in Netflix’s The Kissing Booth. Her next role, in Hulu’s The Act, is poised to take her even higher.
When I meet Joey King on a warm day in early March, the 19-year-old actress is wearing overalls, Doc Martens, and a teal Piaget watch which retails for over $18,000 (she says she’ll pass it down to her kids someday). A pink and yellow bouncy ball rests in her front pocket, but she has no idea how it got there.
She’s arrived first for our meeting at her favorite restaurant — a light, airy market-style eatery in Studio City that serves artisanal pickles, fresh-baked baguettes, and prosciutto-topped burrata. With a book in her hand, she’s wrapping up a chat with a friend. “I always run into people I know here,” she says, laughing, before hugging her friend goodbye, selecting our table, and whisking me over to the deli counter. She insists on getting the pickles (she gets them every time), points out three dishes every first-timer must try, and makes easy conversation with everyone behind the counter. Later, we’ll be interrupted by writer-director Mike White, who she’ll introduce as “my 2:30” before settling back into her chair. This afternoon, she’s drinking iced green tea, but explains that her usual coffee order is either an iced latte with oat or almond milk or straight black coffee, something she learned to drink while working on sets (“I used to do the thing where you put like 17 Splendas in it, and I just grew out of it,” she says).
Joey Lynn King has learned a few things after 15 years in Hollywood — lessons she’ll need right now during a make-or-break, career-defining moment, thanks to her transformative dramatic role as Gypsy Rose Blanchard in the highly anticipated series The Act, premiering March 20 on Hulu, and the coming sequel to The Kissing Booth, the Netflix rom-com that made her a next-generation streaming star.
“I think my favorite part is seeing The Kissing Booth fans really rally behind me for The Act,” she says. “I’m really excited for them to see me in a completely different light.”
It’s easy to root for King to leverage this fleeting opportunity to go from being an actor who gets asked “Are you famous?” to a member of the Hollywood elite. “It’s so funny to me when people recognize me,” she says. “Sometimes they come up to you, and they can’t quite place where you’re from, so they just ask you, ‘Are you famous?’ And I just [think], ‘Well, you don’t know my name. So clearly not.’”
She’s easygoing, open, and seemingly unfazed by her rising celebrity status — which isn’t always the case for someone who wears a watch that costs more than some cars. She’s tried on just about every genre in her career — from kid comedies to sinister horror flicks. As Elle in The Kissing Booth, King showed teenagers that a romantic comedy can be led by a girl who feels weird about her changing body and doesn’t wake up with the bombshell waves and fully painted face of a Pretty Little Liar every morning. But nothing has stretched her range or talent as extensively as her new Hulu gig. “I’ve never really gotten to showcase that I can become a different person,” she says. “I completely let go of all my vanity.”
King grew up in Simi Valley, just a stone’s throw (or two-hour drive in traffic) from Los Angeles. Her parents are typical suburbanites, uninvolved in the hustle of Hollywood, and yet the acting bug called King and her two sisters, Hunter King (who stars on Young & The Restless) and Kelli King (who’s appeared on shows like Grey’s Anatomy). Between her frequent visits home and King’s mom tagging her daughters in unfiltered, candid snaps from home as @MasterKingMom on Instagram, King says her family keeps her feet on the ground.
She got her start at age 4 with bit parts on shows like The Suite Life of Zack And Cody. She then progressed to playing a series of spunky pre-teens in movies like Ramona and Beezus, Crazy, Stupid, Love., and Battle Los Angeles. More serious roles followed as she transformed into the young Talia Al Ghul to Marion Cotillard’s adult Dark Knight Rises villain and played Deputy Grimly’s daughter Greta on season 1 of FX’s critically beloved series Fargo.
Full article: refinery29.com