Adoring Joey King

Feb 19th, 2022

Actress Joey King was approached to star in the new Paramount+ original film “The In Between” — a story about first love, loss and an epic romance — before it had even been fully written.

“Our writer Marc Klein came to me and my team with this idea,” King told TheWrap during a recent interview. “And the funny thing is, it wasn’t even a script yet. It wasn’t even a book yet. … He just had this amazing passion about him and this great story that he had personal ties to as well. And his pitch just blew me away.”

“The In Between,” which is now streaming exclusively on Paramount+, stars “The Kissing Booth” alum as Tessa, a teenager fresh from the foster system, whose one outlet from her difficult life is photography.

“I did not know anything about operating a [Minolta] film camera at all, and I got to learn which was so cool,” King said. “I learned a little bit more about photography and I really kind of fell in love with just capturing moments on the set. I took so many pictures on set, and I made a photo book at the end of shooting, and I just I still love looking through it. It’s just like a lovely little time capsule of like what we went through on our little movie.”

Things start to look up when Tessa meets Skylar (Kyle Allen) in a meet cute as random and romantic as they come. Skylar, a high school senior who believes in romance, offers to translate a French film for Tessa during a chance encounter at a movie theater where they both individually chose to see the same foreign film.

“[Skylar] speaks four languages,” Allen said. “And I would say a huge part of his character is being really family-oriented and not really being hurt by life, which is in contrast to Tessa’s character who has been severely hurt by life. Skylar hasn’t been hurt at all. … Anything that’s been mildly difficult in Skylar’s life he’s gotten over pretty easily.”

While Tessa has had a tough upbringing as a foster kid, King said it was easy to connect with her character.

“I think the best part about Tessa is that there is a relatability about her that everyone’s kind of experienced at one point or another in their life,” King said. “Whether it has to do with, you know, troubled relationships or family trauma or just anything that you’ve gone through that’s a hardship in your life. A lot of the times at some point we all get closed off and are not open to being vulnerable with ourselves with other people.”

But that vulnerability is tested when Skylar is tragically killed in a car accident. The aftermath of the accident, though, has a twist. As Tessa tries to come to terms with what happens, she starts to believe Skylar is trying to reach out to her from the other side. The supernatural-tinged love story provides an important message, according to Celeste O’Connor, who plays Tessa’s close friend, Shannon.

“I think the really essential and important message of the film is just how important love is and how powerful love is, because we follow a girl who has had all these traumatic experiences,” O’Connor told TheWrap in a separate interview. “And she finally opens up and that love, and that connection she feels to Skylar is what kind of pulls her to discover all these new things about herself and the world, and then the love that Shannon and [Tessa] have for each other kind of guides that journey as well. So, I think the importance of love is absolutely the central theme here.”

“The In Between” director Arie Posin told TheWrap that part of the reason they wanted to make the film was as a response to the last few years.

“There’s been so much darkness the last couple of years. I feel like we were all very, very united in wanting to make something that had some light and some life to it,” he said. “It only takes one candle to light the darkness. We were trying to make a story about love that would kind of cut through the dark a little bit and I think that kept us going every day.”

King is excited for fans to see the meaningful duality in storytelling throughout the film, and she hopes it leaves people with a powerful message.

“This movie’s perspective [is] a beautiful version of what could happen after we pass away. We can view our lives in the in between and have closure and be able to just see what our lives gave us,” King said. “And also, the idea that we can still keep love alive through someone’s memory even after they’re gone is really gorgeous. And you know, I hope their hearts break and [that] their hearts are also uplifted.”

“The In Between” is now streaming exclusively on Paramount+


Feb 9th, 2022

She has been acting professionally for the better part of two decades, so Joey King has a bit more experience than the average 22-year-old Hollywood actor. And after the gigantic surprise success of The Kissing Booth, and its subsequent sequels, she knows what it’s like to have a global hit on her hands. Add an Emmy nomination for her phenomenal work in The Act to her resume, and you have a well-respected actor/producer with a constant pile of scripts on her desk and first-look deals at Hulu and Netflix. In this episode, she explains how it only seems like it’s easy for her to get emotional on camera, why learning everyone’s name on the set actually helps her work, the importance of letting the best idea win especially if it isn’t yours, why she encourages healthy debate with her team, her mystical connection to her new film The In Between (which comes out Friday, February 11th on Paramount+), and much more.


Feb 9th, 2022

Joey King stars in a new romance movie, The In Between, but in some ways it’s an homage to a classic film. The 22-year-old actress, who also served as a producer on the Paramount+ flick, plays Tessa, a teenage girl, who after surviving a car accident that took the life of her boyfriend, Skylar (Kyle Allen), believes he’s attempting to reconnect with her from the afterworld.

“It’s an homage to Ghost,” King told ET’s Rachel Smith of the 1990 Oscar-nominated movie, starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. “We wanted to make the YA [young adult], modern-day version of this film… I’m really, really proud of the way it turned out. It makes me cry, at moments makes me laugh. Ultimately, it just makes your heart swell, really.”

A large part of the film’s success was due to King’s onscreen chemistry with her co-star, something she said came quickly once filming got underway.

“Filming a movie with COVID restrictions is very bizarre. Getting to know your castmates, and becoming close with them, and bonding with them, as you’re supposed to do, is just a little bit harder,” King admitted, before saying of Allen, “Kyle is so great. We became so close on this shoot.”

“Once we started talking, and hanging out, and bonding, it was like, no protocol can really stop us from being friends,” she said. “I’m so happy that we had the relationship that we did. He’s the best.”

In addition to starring in the project, King also served as a producer, which she found to be “really rewarding” and “really amazing.”

“I think what this movie has done a beautiful job at is kind of making death a little less scary,” she said. “I think that it just kind of made that topic a little more comfortable to talk about… It’s a really beautiful take on what happens after we pass, and that’s another reason I was really drawn to it.”

The In Between will begin exclusively streaming on Paramount+ on Feb. 11, just in time for Valentine’s Day!

King is no stranger to starring in romantic movies, but told ET that she has no plans on making another sequel to The Kissing Booth — at least not anytime soon.

“I think we left it where it should be left,” King said of the third film, which debuted on Netflix last year. “I loved playing Elle Evans. It was some of the most transformative years of my life, being able to play her, being able to love her. I love her so much.”

“I always say, if we do a reboot in like 40 years, I’m down,” she added, “but, I think for now, where we left her is where I’d like people to be able to imagine what she’s doing next.”

King is more likely to return to the Taylor Swift universe. The actress starred in Swift’s music video for “Mean” back in 2010, and told ET that she’d be down to reprise her role when the singer releases a Taylor’s Version of the track.

“I am such a fan of her. I just love everything that she’s putting out. Love her Taylor’s Versions,” King said of Swift’s rerecorded albums. “If there’s a Taylor’s version of ‘Mean,’ who knows what’s going to happen? I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just put on a little mushroom cap wig and just make it all over again.”

Her willingness to return is largely due to her great on-set experience the first time around.

“It was really special. It was very magical,” King said. “At that age, it was a larger-than-life set to be on. To be around her, she was so lovely. She was so sweet.”

In the meantime, King has a lot of upcoming projects, including Bullet Train, which she stars in alongside Brad Pitt and Sandra Bullock.

“It was the coolest thing ever. It was as cool as anyone can imagine it. You hear those big names, and you hear Hollywood, and you hear action movie, your mind goes to all these big, beautiful places, it was like that. It was pretty incredible,” King gushed. “I’ve been doing this for such a long time, and you always dream to be on a set, and be with all your favorites, and also get to soak up all that knowledge.”

King, who said she admires Pitt for being “graceful and so kind” on set, stayed mum about her role in the assassin flick, only noting that the character was “very fierce” and “so fun to play.”

“It was just a 10/10 experience,” she said. “I got to work with some people I’ve longtime admired. It blows my mind still that I got to be part of that. I can’t wait for it to come out and for people to see it.”


Feb 7th, 2022

The In Between star Joey King details the film’s romantic and supernatural elements, along with the process of filming during a pandemic.

The In Between combines love, loss, and the afterlife in its heartwrenching narrative. The Paramount+ original film stars Joey King as Tessa, an emotionally detached high-school student whose upbringing in foster homes has damaged her self-worth. Meeting and falling in love with Skylar (Kyle Allen), an optimistic and kind romantic, changes Tessa’s life before a car accident kills Skylar. Tessa’s heartbreak turns into hope when she realizes that Skylar is attempting to contact her from a realm of the afterlife known as the “in between,” which her friend Shannon (Celeste O’Connor) helps her reach. King is no stranger to romance or the supernatural, as she headlined Netflix’s The Kissing Booth trilogy and featured in horror films The Conjuring and Slender Man.

King spoke with Screen Rant about The In Between’s love story paired with its ghostly elements, as well as her experience making the Paramount+ film.

Screen Rant: I know that The In Between has been in the works for quite some time now and you not only got to star in the film, but you also produced it. Can you start by telling me about what the process has been like for you getting to this point, finally, right before its release?
Joey King: Oh my God, it feels so good. I’ve been with this movie since it was just a little embryo. Just knowing all that went in to this movie to make it happen, to film it, filming it during COVID, just finishing it, I cannot be more thrilled that it’s coming out very soon and people will finally get to see it. It was the greatest experience making this movie.

Did COVID have any impact on the process of filming it?
Joey King: Yes. We shot in the middle of the pandemic. It was right when the vaccine was starting to come out and I was like, “Are we going to be able to get it? What’s going on?” It was really interesting. I was really nervous, actually, because there was very strict COVID rules. I was like, “How am I going to bond with my cast members? How am I going to create chemistry with Kyle? What am I going to do?” I’m so happy that it did not hinder our ability to all love each other and become so close. It presented its challenges, but at the end of the day, we made it through a shoot and everyone was safe, and I made some lifelong friends. So, it was a win.

Considering the movie’s supernatural elements, how would you say The In Between differs from a typical love story?
Joey King: It differs from a typical love story in many ways where you have a lot of timeline hopping. Also, the biggest difference is that we keep the love alive after the heartbreak, which is something that is really different. It’s a different take. We nurture the fact that you can still keep love alive even after someone in the relationship has died. But the complications of doing that aren’t without consequences. This movie is so heartbreaking, and it’s stressful, and it’s beautiful, and you feel all these things and you’re rooting for these people while also knowing the outcome in the end can’t be rainbows and smiles. So, I’m really proud of what we accomplished.

I wanted to mention how much of Tessa’s conflict revolves around her distant relationship with her adopted family. How does meeting Skylar change her in that way?
Joey King: I think it changes her a lot in that way. I think that’s a great question because initially she’s healing from a lot of family trauma. Yes, she loves the people that she lives with, but her capacity to love and her idea of love is stunted because she has been so burned in the past and she doesn’t know how to open herself up fully and vulnerably. Meeting Skylar scares the bejeezus out of her because she realizes that this guy is going to help her be brave. Ultimately, she allows herself to fall in love with him and it’s the best thing that could ever happen for her because she learns to love herself, and more importantly, her family too.

How would you say your experience with this film has affected your view on death and the afterlife?
Joey King: I think that this movie has affected my view in a way where I feel like I believe in the in between already. This movie just shines a really gorgeous light on what we hope to happen after we die. So, I personally feel like this movie makes me a little less afraid of death. None of us can escape it. It’s our fate, every one of us. This movie brings me some comfort in that.

The In Between premieres February 11 on Paramount+.


Feb 3rd, 2022

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Joey King may have some growing yet to do, but at 22, the multihyphenate has a surer head on her shoulders than many of her decades-older colleagues. Whether she’s talking about maturing through the industry or developing projects under her production banner, she speaks with both a Hollywood veteran’s perspective and the OMG enthusiasm characteristic of Gen Z.

“Don’t surround yourself with the ‘yes, yes, yes’ men. The most important thing for producing, acting—anything—is to surround yourself with people who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth,” she says. “Have crazy ideas, and don’t be afraid to say them. But don’t be a dick about it.”

“Don’t be a dick about it” is as good a mantra as any for finding success in showbiz, and King is living proof. She has been acting professionally for 18 years (your math does not deceive you; she began at the ripe age of 4) after getting her start in commercials. From there, the Los Angeles native began to book steady television and film work in kids’ and adult programming alike—a title role in children’s literature staple “Ramona and Beezus” and a substantial arc on “Fargo” among them.

In 2019, she received an Emmy nomination for her work on “The Act,” Hulu’s limited series based on the true story of a mother with Munchausen syndrome by proxy who won’t stop making her daughter sick.

While “The Act” marked a turning point in how the industry perceived her, King cites Netflix’s “The Kissing Booth” franchise as the most substantial shift in her career to date—not because it was one of the streaming platform’s biggest-ever hits, but because it allowed her to explore producing for the first time.

King now has her own production company—All the King’s Horses, which is co-led by Jamie King and Dan Spilo—and a pair of unprecedented first-look deals with Netflix (as of last spring) and Hulu (as of 2020).

The slate of projects she has helped bring into reality includes an adaptation of the sci-fi novel “Uglies” for Netflix, the limited series “A Spark of Light” for Hulu, and this month’s metaphysical romance “The In Between” for Paramount+. It’s all because she decided, unequivocally, that what she has to say is valuable.

“I just had these opinions and felt a little uncomfortable giving them when no one was asking,” she says of what initially led her to producing. “Now it feels so good to be able to be like, ‘This may be a crazy thing to say, but I have the merit to say it, so let’s all just talk about it.’ ”

Though her résumé argues otherwise, King doesn’t wear her confidence on her sleeve. She’s hyper-aware of the fact that she is part of an industry that, historically, has had very little interest in listening to young women, much less granting them power. While she acknowledges that becoming a young female producer likely would not have been possible even 10 years ago, that progress doesn’t change the fact that she often finds herself confronting condescension.

Young women, she insists, shouldn’t have to prove themselves to be taken seriously, but an “I’ll show ’em all” mindset still creeps in when she is on the job. “When I’m on new projects or when I’m pitching and in all these different meetings, I’ve come across so many people who still treat me like a child, and it is so upsetting,” she admits. “The thing is, I just try to remind myself that it says more about them than it does about me.”

Ever levelheaded, King also recognizes that her past as a child actor may inspire these preconceived biases. The friction she describes is one that nearly every actor will experience at some point in their career: getting the business at large to see you outside of the box it has placed you in.

“People within the industry, when they’re addressing me and realizing that I have this role of producer now—I still feel like sometimes they think they’re addressing 15-year-old me,” she says. “My biggest struggle is trying to get people to see me.

“That’s a really tough thing to do,” she adds, “to change the industry’s mind about you.” Yet by all accounts, King has done just that. She now creates sophisticated work both in front of and behind the camera, and that is not an accident. “I’ve worked my butt off and I’ve had so much fun doing it, but I have been able to make that transition,” she says.

Full interview: