People in Film | Joey King

The Many Faces of Joey King

Joey King | Super-Smart and Sensitive

In WISH I WAS HERE, Joey King plays Grace, one of the most complex characters in a family of complicated folk. Very attached to her life at the local Yeshiva, Grace is confronted with a seemingly untenable future when her father, Aiden Bloom (Zach Braff), is forced to remove her from her classmates and start a new life by being home-schooled.  “She’s very misunderstood in the beginning of the film,” King told Paste Magazine. “Her family doesn’t understand her.” Initially acting badly to the cruel twist of fate, Grace (with the help of her family) finds the dignity and (of course) grace to embrace her new future with hope and bright fuchsia wig. Braff, who’d worked with her on Oz the Great and Powerful, knew early on he wanted King to play Grace. “Joey turned out to be one of the coolest kids I’ve ever met; she is super-smart.” Braff remembers. “The father/daughter bond between Aidan and Grace is a big part of the movie, and it was great to get to play opposite someone familiar.” Braff was not the only one on set to perceive the young actress’s amazing talent. “Her instincts are gold,” Kate Hudson noted of her on-screen daughter. “She gets the beats and understands the drama, and she also understands sensitivity and vulnerability.”  Still a teenager, it’s clear that King has put together a remarkable resume , demonstrating a range of material and characters.

Joey King | A Commercial Asset

Caption: Above, Life Cereal commercial; below, Eggos.

 

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Joey King proved to a child prodigy when it came to acting. “I used to do little Stage Door Theater plays at our local theater," Joey King told Pop Entertainment.  "It was really small. There were only about 100 seats in there. That's when I really found out that I loved it so much, that I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I got into commercials and it was off from there.”  Of course, it helps if at age four you radiant cuteness and intelligence the way King did, when she was cast in her first national commercial for Life cereal. Her natural likability proved so successful that she’s been cast in over 104 TV ads. Indeed if you never seen her TV or film work, you no doubt have seen her smiling face at some time: hanging out with her dad at a deli counter for Eggos; watching her mom get new necklace in Kay Jewelers ad; running a sidewalk faux-juice stand in a Juicy Juice spot.

 

Joey King | Growing Up on Screen

Caption: Above, Joey King in Ramona and Beezus; below, with Julianne Moore in Crazy, Stupid, Love.

In 2006, she started working in television, being cast in a range of family shows, starting with several guest appearances in Disney Chanel’s The Suite Life of Zach & Cody. From there she would regularly be cast in TV shows, from comedies to more dramatic parts, as in Medium (2008) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2007).  While she normally played character roles, in 2010, she was cast as the lead opposite Selena Gomez in Elizabeth Allen’s family comedy Ramona and Beezus, based on Beverly Cleary’s popular YA novels. In her first starring role, King shines as the clutzy, but charismatic, Ramona. Indeed, NPR noted that King plays her “with the right blend of clumsiness, frustration and defiance.” While she took off in Disney family comedies, she later brought her special spark to more adult family fare in film and television. In Crazy, Stupid, Love, King plays Steve Carell and Julianne Moore’s daughter, a young bystander in a family struggle being waged by marital infidelities. And in NBC’s Bent, King was cast as Amanda Peet’s 10-year-old in this sexy sitcom of adults acting badly, a role for which HitFix recommended her as “a very natural child actor who works well with everyone.

Joey King | Ready for Action

Caption: Above, Joey King in The Dark Knight Rises; below, with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx in White House Down.

If Joey King excelled at playing the adorable daughter, she made an even bigger impact when she was cast as a child living dangerously. Since 2011, she’s been the go-to gal for directors needing a youngster for high octane, explosive action films. In 2011, she was cast in Jonathan Liebesman’s big-budget sci-fi adventure, Battle: Los Angeles, in which she plays Kirsten, one of several children left behind at a Los Angeles police station as aliens are slowly but surely destroying southern California. In Chris Nolan’s 2012 epic The Dark Knight Rises, King was cast to capture the essence of Talia (Marion Cotillard) as a young girl (for which she was nominated for Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film – Supporting Young Actress). And in 2013, she pumped up her action credentials, appearing in Roland Emmerich’s political thriller White House Down. As the daughter of Channing Tatum, a security guard who walks into trouble when the two of them go on a White House tour, King delivers a one-two bunch of spunkiness and comic relief as she helps save the president (Jamie Foxx) from a terrorist attack. 

Joey King | Making Her Voice Heard

Caption: Above, Katie from Horton Hears a Who!; below, with Finley (voice by Zach Braff) in Oz the Great and Powerful

While Kate Hudson praised her on-screen daughter Joey King as having “the most beautiful little face on film – her eyes just light up,” King proves to still be a very effective presence when she is just a voice. In recent years, her unique personality has lit up animated characters in a number of films. “I think it's really neat to hear my voice come out of animal or creature that someone made from their imagination,” King commented. In the 2008 adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, King voiced the character of Katie, a baby yak, who uttered the unforgettable lines, “In my world, everyone's a pony, and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies.” In 2009, she voiced the character of the Beaver Girl in Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. And then Sam Raimi cast her to do double duty –– as a real life girl in a wheel chair and as the voice for China Girl, living doll from China Town who accompanies Finley, the Flying Monkey – in his 2013 fantasy adventure Oz the Great and Powerful. Her appearance, along with Braff’s, make Oz’s journey for The Denver Post’s Lisa Kennedy “funny and poignant and memorable simultaneously.”

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