Between school, extracurriculars, homework, jobs, and maintaining a social life, most teenagers are busy. But when you shift the priorities — say, if you’ve been a working actress since you were 4 — that adds a whole new layer to the concept of being busy. But Joey King, who is something of Zach Braff’s mini-muse, manages to juggle all of her roles so well that she even has time to take in a few shows during New York Fashion Week. The charmed life, indeed.
The actress, who got her start on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and moved onto films like The Dark Knight Rises and Stonewall, caught up with Teen Vogue during a quiet moment in her schedule — shuttling from an airport is as quiet as it will ever get for her — and talked to us about what she saw at NYFW, how she’s taking fashion risks in her own life, and why being a famous teenager isn’t that different from being a regular teen. Really.
You have a lot of projects coming up — could you tell us a little about some of them?
I have a movie coming out called Borealis, where I play a girl who is gradually going blind, and then a movie I filmed called Smartass is getting distribution right now. I play a smart-ass, and it’s a really crazy film and it’s so much fun. And right now, I’m filming a movie called Going In Style in New York and that’s directed by Zach Braff, starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin. This is the third time I’m working with Zach. He’s the absolute best. I love him so much. He’s such a great person. We did Oz the Great and Powerful together, and we became friends on that, and then Wish I Was Here and now this. That should be coming out early next year, and then Independence Day: Resurgence should be coming out next summer.
Can you tell us anything about Stargirl yet?
I can’t give away too much, but it’s such a great script and I really can’t wait to see what will happen with it. It’s such a beloved book, and Catherine Hardwicke is incredible, and she has such amazing visions and I love talking to her and working with her, she’s amazing.
And you’ve been doing a fair amount of activism, right?
I’ve been hanging up flyers in Los Angeles for anyone in a vulnerable situation to call 1-800-Runaway which is with DoSomething.org. 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ. And it’s such an important thing to shed light on because as much as we’ve made progress in this country, we still have a long way to go with treating LGBTQ community fairly. I’ve been doing a lot of research on organizations that really help with taking in those kids and having a place for them to go. Even little steps like that…if you’re tweeting about it, if you’re trying to do something good, you’re bringing awareness. I have more followers than the average 16 year old, so anything I can do in the small position of power that I have…anything helps.
How do you balance all of this with just being a teenager?
I feel like people ask me that a lot and… I don’t know, what I do is what I love so much and it is my being a teenager for me. I get to do so many cool things. I went to my first fashion week ever this year and it was so much fun. I went to my first fashion show, first everything, and it was incredible. These kinds of experiences to me are these experiences and memories that I’ll cherish forever. This is my reality and I love it so much.
What was New York Fashion Week like?
It was incredible. I am so taken aback and in awe of Fashion Week. I got to go to the Christian Siriano show and the Alice and Olivia presentation. And not only were the clothes beautiful but the atmosphere was so much fun and I got to meet some really cool people. I can’t wait to come back to Fashion Week, it was such an incredible experience. I love the fashion world and I’m starting to really understand and enter it, so hopefully it’ll be a way for me to expand my fashion knowledge.
How have you been applying that to your own fashion choices?
I feel like this Fashion Week, and the stuff I’ve been wearing lately… people are reacting to it and a really positive way and I’m really excited because a lot of the fashion choices I’ve been making lately are really reflecting who I am now. I have a better grip on what I want to dress like now, and I’m so excited for the things to come. Like last night, I wore a red suit and I was super excited because I was the only girl at the premiere and I didn’t want to be the only one wearing a dress, so I had to wear a suit.
What about fashion do you love in particular?
You can be whoever you want when you dress up, whether it’s what you wear on a carpet or in your everyday life. You can change your style and just be a different person. People get too caught up in like, “Oh, I have this specific style, I’m a tomboy” or “I have a ’60s-type style.” Hey, wear whatever you want. If one day you want to wear a ’50s dress, wear a ’50s dress. If the next day you feel like wearing a beanie and jeans, wear a beanie and jeans. There’s no limitations on fashion and that’s what l love about it.
Joey King is many things to many people. For movies buffs, she’s the skilled prison child in The Dark Knight Rises, Steve Carell’s daughter in Crazy, Stupid, Love, and the free spirit in Zach Braff’s 2014 dramedy Wish I Was Here. For others, she’s the actress who shares a super cool handshake with Hollywood heartthrob Channing Tatum. For us here at Zimbio, she’s a star on the rise. In honor of her new film Stonewall, Roland Emmerich’s drama about the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the good-humored actress revealed everything you ever wanted to know about her.
Actor you wouldn’t mind being for a day:
Best character you’ve ever played and why:
I’m going to give you two of my favorite characters because of how polar opposite they are: My character Grace in Wish I Was Here because of her sweet simplicity and intelligence, and my character Freddie in one of my most recent films, Smartassbecause of how rebellious and outspoken she is.
Caption this photo, please:
“When someone Channings all over your Tatum?!?!?!”
Describe yourself in one sentence:
I like big butts and I cannot lie.
Embarrassing story you’re ready to share with the world:
I once did an entire meet-and-greet with my fly down. #yeahdude
The full interview you can read HERE
Joey King and Charlie Plummer have been cast as the two leads in the adaptation of Jerry Spinelli’s best-selling YA novel STARGIRL. Catherine Hardwicke (“Twilight”) is directing from a screenplay written by Kristin Hahn. Gotham Group (“Maze Runner’), Hahnscape Entertainment (“Tumbledown”), and BCDF Pictures (“The Outskirts”) are producing.
First published in 2000, the critically-acclaimed STARGIRL tells the story of a homeschooled teenage girl who enrolls in an Arizona high school, altering the ecosystem of the student body with her effortless nonconformity, capturing the heart of a star-struck boy named Leo.
King will play the role of ‘Stargirl’, one of the most vivid and memorable characters in the YA canon. Plummer will take on the role of ‘Leo’, the intriguing character who narrates the story.
It will be Hardwicke’s first YA film since TWILIGHT. Production begins in New Mexico this fall.
King has an impressive upcoming film slate including Roland Emmerich’s STONEWALL, lead roles in INDEPENDENCE DAY 2 and BOREALIS, James Franco’s ZEROVILLE, and Zach Braff’s GOING IN STYLE. King is known for her roles in WHITE HOUSE DOWN, THE CONJURING, OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES, CRAZY STUPID LOVE, WISH I WAS HERE, for which she was nominated for a Gotham Award, and for her title role of “Ramona” in RAMONA AND BEEZUS, for which she won a Young Artist Award. She has been nominated for an additional six Young Artist Awards. Joey also starred in FX’s acclaimed series FARGO, which received 18 Emmy nominations and won the Emmy for Best Miniseries.
Plummer recently starred as Jack in “KING JACK,” which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in April 2015 and won the Audience Award for best narrative film. He has wrapped his third season on the acclaimed Cold War-thriller “GRANITE FLATS,” appeared on HBO’s “BOARDWALK EMPIRE” for the past three seasons, and has had guest appearances on “PERSON OF INTEREST” and “WENDELL & VINNIE”. Charlie was in “NOT FADE AWAY,” the first feature from “Sopranos” creator David Chase.
The premiere of the film is scheduled for September 5, 2015