I interviewed Joey King from Oz The Great and Powerful! She plays China Girl and steals the show for sure! Her character is hilarious, funny, sweet, and loyal! I loved watching her and Oscar (played by James Franco) interact on the screen. She made the movie funny along with her friend Finley the Flying Monkey (played by Zach Braff). I had the opportunity to meet her the night of the premiere at the after party. She was very cute and sweet. I had asked her what question she would want me to ask during our interview. She had told me, “Ask me who my best friend is.” At the time she was with Emma who is the daughter of the director, Sam Raimi.
Joey even joined us in our twitter party we had the other day! She tweeted out with us and LOVES to interact with her fans via twitter and Facebook. For being as young as she is, she does SO GOOD at using social media! I’d be a proud mommy for sure! We had her trending on twitter during our interview AND during our twitter party!
— Joey King (@JoeyKingActress) March 8, 2013
Check out our interview:
QUESTION : How did you get involved with the project?
JOEY KING : I got involved with the project, I auditioned for it, and I really loved it. It was so exciting for me, and magical, ‘cause I’m a huge fan of the original movie. When I went to the screen test, I got to meet Sam there. And it was just amazing. And I wanted to be a part of it really badly because it seemed like such a fun thing to do, and it was just a breathtaking movie.
QUESTION : Who is your best friend?
JOEY KING : I have more than one best friend. I have a lot. I have, Emma, which is Sam’s daughter. And I have Amanda, Ariana, Heather…. I have a lot of best friends.
QUESTION : Were any of the actresses like your mom on set?
JOEY KING : Michelle Williams is more like my mom. Michelle was really funny because she has a daughter Matilda and she wanted to know things like what age I got my phone at, how old am I to wear heels? So she was asking me a bunch of things. And one time when she asked me how old were you when you got your phone? ‘Cause I don’t want to give Matilda a phone too early or too late. And I was, like, I got my phone at 10-years-old. She goes, “..ten, really! That’s early!” I’m just like, no it’s not! So she wanted to ask me a few things, and she was more like a mom figure to me.
QUESTION : Do you have a China Girl doll yet?
JOEY KING : I’m working on getting it. I’m almost there. I really want one because she’s so cute, and I think it’d be really fun to show my family.
QUESTION : What did you think of your finished character when you saw the movie for the first time?
JOEY KING : When I saw the movie, ‘cause that was at the premier, that was the first time I’d seen it. I had only seen about 20 minutes of it before. But it was really, it was really exciting for me, because I got to play two characters. I played, a little girl in a wheel chair in Kansas, and then I played China Girl in the Land of Oz. So it was really cool to see how everything came together, and how they did China Girl, ‘cause what they did was they used CGI technology, and they filmed my face, and attached my expressions onto China Girl. So it was really like I was watching myself but in an animated character.
QUESTION : Do you feel like it was easy getting into the character?
JOEY KING : I think that it was, ‘Cause there’s parts I’ve done before where it’s very difficult to get into that mode, and you have to be very different than yourself. But, you know, I am always up for a challenge, and I love those kind of things, but this one was a little bit more close to my personality. She’s very sassy and had a lot of personality. She’s very energetic, and she’s a little, not that I’m saying I am. But she’s just a little bit manipulative, in a way, and I like….I pull pranks on my sister, so I can’t say that I’m not.
QUESTION : What was your favorite part about the movie?
JOEY KING : There’s so many great parts about filming that movie, ‘cause it was just really exciting for me. You know? ‘Cause I love the original, and I just loved everything about the script. One of my favorite parts was just getting to work with everyone, like James, Mila, Zach, Michelle, and Sam Raimi is an amazing director, an amazing person, and I love the way he works. He’s very precise, and he catches every little detail. But it makes all the difference. And he was very… He let us really play around with it.
And that made it just feel really more natural. And also, the, the cast: I said, Michelle’s like a mom, more like a mom figure to me. Mila’s like a sister to me. Zach is like a brother to me, and James is always teasing me on set. And he’s like a brother to me, too. So I love them all.
QUESTION : What advice do you have to other kids that want to get involved in acting?
JOEY KING : I’ve been doing this since I was four years old, and I’m 13 right now. But it took a while to actually get where I am. And it’s really exciting now that I am here because it was a lot of rejection and a lot of auditioning, and getting so close, but not close enough…to where you actually get it. So, I never gave up, ‘cause I am here, and I… that’s my advice to everyone, to never give up, because you never know when, when it can happen.
QUESTION : How old were you when you watched the original Wizard of Oz?
JOEY KING : That’s a really good question. I’m not really sure. It was a while ago because I’ve watched it so many times, over and over and over again. It’s one of my favorite movies. I grew up with it…
QUESTION : Did you get to hang out with the puppet much?
JOEY KING : I got to, I got to be on set a lot, which was really cool, because what I… What they did was they filmed my face in the booth. Zach and I were in the same booth together, we got to go on set a lot, and they brought the cameras on set, and the puppeteer, Philip Hover, [SP?] he was amazing. Like, his work with the puppeteer…she had so many strings on her, and he knew what every one worked, and it was so cool to watch. But cause…There was a string where she could blink, and where she could move her arms, and……so I got to hang out with her a lot. It was almost like she was a real person. I forgot that she was just a puppet. That was really exciting and neat.
QUESTION : How do you balance your work with being a teenager?
JOEY KING : I have a lot of people ask me that…It’s a lot of fun for me to come here and do this kind of thing. It’s exciting for me. I love going away and filming, ‘cause I usually have to travel. And when I come home I get to see my friends, and I get to hang out with them, and do fun things a lot. But this is what I love to do, and it’s, it’s basically just like being a kid, for me, like, being a teenager. It’s, part of who I am, and I love it.
QUESTION : Did you know any of the other actors or actresses prior to making this movie?
JOEY KING : This was the first time I had met them, working on the movie but I knew of them very well. Um, I loved James in 127 Hours, and Mila, I love all her movies. And Michelle, and Rachel and Zach. Um, so yeah, I knew who they were, and I loved meeting them because they became like a family to me, and it was exciting to get to see them every day…We just all talk, and hang out. It wasn’t weird or anything, and it wasn’t like, “..oh, uh, hi Mr. something.” But it was really fun. It was, it was very very relaxed.
QUESTION : Can you tell us about the swear jar?
JOEY KING : Uh, yeah! You know, actually, I don’t… Did I do… Yes! I did the swear jar on Oz The Great and Powerful. My mom was the one who put the most money in it. Which was funny because she swears more than the cast and crew. Everyone had to be careful, but you know, it’s fine. It’s kind of funny when they swear. ‘Cause,I didn’t keep the money. I donated to Meals on Wheels, which is a charity that my grandma volunteers for, and I go and deliver with her a lot. It’s where you deliver meals to elderly people who can’t get out of their home….And so doing the swear jar was kind of, like, a funny thing, in a way. But also it was a really, it was actually a really nice thing.
QUESTION : How much did you raise?
JOEY KING : Oh, I forget. I don’t remember. I’ll have to ask my mom. But she, she put in most of the money.
QUESTION : So you started the swear jar?
JOEY KING : My teacher Eva. She was my teacher on Oz The Great and Powerful. We decided, we’re like, okay, let’s do this. This is gonna raise money for the Meals on Wheels, and so we decided to do it and she bought me a piggy bank, and I painted it, and it was a chalk board…I forget, her name’s, like, Swearetta or something. But, um, so I just brought her around on set when somebody swore. The first assistant director, Casey, he put a down payment of 20 dollars so he could swear, he could swear 20 times, and he wouldn’t have to pay. So it was a really, it was a really funny thing. Yeah.
QUESTION : What was your favorite scene in the movie?
JOEY KING : Um, you know, my favorite scene was when, well, I have a ton, ‘cause there’s so many, and there’s so many good ones with Finley trying to go on Oz, and Michelle, but one of my favorite scenes is when I’m convincing Oz to let me go with him, and Finley on their journey to go hunt the Wicked Witch….She’s, she’s the kind of that manipulative little girl. But she’s really, she really wants to hang out with them and go with them, and she just doesn’t want to…
QUESTION : China Girl’s trending on twitter.
JOEY KING : It is?
QUESTION : Yes.
JOEY KING : No way! What? It’s trending on Twitter?
QUESTION : Yes.
JOEY KING : Ah! I’m so excited right now! That is so cool! I’ll have to tell my mom!
QUESTION : We made flying monkey trend for Zach earlier.
JOEY KING : Oh, that’s so cool! Thank you’!
QUESTION : What was the most challenging thing for you about being on set?
JOEY KING : We were almost filming this movie for six months, which is longer than anything… Usually, it’s just two to three months. I wasn’t there the whole time. I was home for one of those months, but one of the most challenging things for me was that I wasn’t on set the whole time, you know? ‘Cause I was on set a majority of the time, but when I had to go back in that little booth, it wasn’t as fun as it was being on set. But at the same time, it was kind of fun because James and everyone could hear us through our little headphones. We spoke in the microphone and they could hear us.
So Zach and I were always, like, James, listen to your conscience. So, we would kind of mess with him, and got in their head. So that was fun, but it was also one of the most challenging things, ‘cause I love being on set with the other guys.
QUESTION : When you were not doing your voices, would you run around on set and explore?
JOEY KING : Yeah. You know, ‘cause, um, when I wasn’t doing school, I was usually roaming around. Um, but my, the sets were the most amazing thing for me to see, ‘cause they were just, they were so big, and detailed, and so I just walk on them, and it’s like, whoa! This is real! This is real life! And it was really, it was really cool for me because I loved the original movie, and the sets were very similar, but more. They were more, you know, detailed, and they were, they were just, it was so cool for me.
But there was also a big studio that I would roam around, and I’d go run to the wardrobe department, and the hair department, and like, hey guys! Especially the wardrobe department…I was, like, hey guys, can I just take a look at the costumes and just, like, look at them? Like, yeah, sure! Go ahead! And so all the costumes were crazy! The Wicked Witch! The… So it was, Glenda’s, so that was really cool!
QUESTION : What was your favorite character other than your own?
JOEY KING : Definitely Finley. Finley was so cute! In the movie he’s so funny…And I like that Finley and China Girl kinda bring a certain humor and light to it. It really lightens the movie up, and I love that. And Finley is definitely, hands down my favorite character because he’s so funny, and is just, I was laughing so hard, and Zach was sitting behind me in, at the premier, and we were laughing together. I really, I really like, I like, I like those two characters, Finley and China Girl. But Finley’s my favorite.
QUESTION : Do you have the Finley monkey yet?
JOEY KING : I want that one, too! I don’t have it! He’s so cute! Like a little stuffed animal. I want to show him off to everyone. I’m like, yep, that’s Finley. My friend, my besty. So, yeah.
Disclaimer: Disney paid for all expenses to send me to L.A. to attend the Red Carpet Premiere, Wreck-It Ralph Press Day, & Interview the cast. All opinions are my own and YES I love Joey and the MOVIE! The box office numbers definitely tell the truth too! 😀