THE PRINCESS Interview: Joey King Talks Kicking Ass In A Dress, Becoming A "Disney Princess," And More
The Princess star Joey King talks to us about her lead role in Hulu's action-packed new fantasy movie, breaking down the challenges of kicking ass in a dress and her unofficial "Disney Princess" status.
An action-packed fight to the death set in a fairy tale world, The Princess is directed by Le-Van Kiet (Furie) and stars Emmy Award nominee Joey King (The Kissing Booth) as a beautiful, strong-willed princess who refuses to wed the cruel sociopath to whom she is betrothed, and is kidnapped and locked in a remote tower of her father’s castle. With her scorned suitor intent on taking her father’s throne, she must protect her family and save the kingdom.
Earlier this month, we got to speak with Joey about her role as this formidable warrior and learned more about the work that went into her transformation into a badass action hero.
The actor also explains the challenges that facing much larger opponents throughout the course of The Princess presented, and with the movie coming out on Disney+ in the UK (it arrives on Hulu in the U.S. on July 1), what it's like for The Dark Knight Rises star to technically play a Disney Princess.
Finally, we also get to hear from Joey about her role as The Prince in director David Leitch's highly anticipated action blockbuster Bullet Train, where she'll share the screen with Brad Pitt.
Check out our interview with Joey in the player below:
I had a really great time watching this movie, so can only imagine how much fun you had making it!
You are correct. It was a lot of fun. It was exhausting, but a lot of fun.
You kick a lot of ass in this movie, and early on, you're in that classic, very elaborate princess dress - how much more challenging did that make that first big fight scene?
That’s a great question and I love that question because building this dress around these fight scenes was something that took a lot of time and a lot of work. When I got to Bulgaria, which is where we filmed, I had already been rehearsing a bunch of fights. There was a period where we were like, ‘We need to build the dress and get a feel for what it’s going to be like so I can start training in a dress.’ Fighting in leggings and a t-shirt is much, much different to fighting in a big dress that tulle and corsets. It was a crazy, crazy costume, but our costume department was unbelievable. They made it super comfortable for me to fight in and it just took a lot of getting used to. I have to say, it looks so beautiful; this flowing dress billowing while I’m rolling and punching…it was difficult, but so worth it. The costume looked amazing with the fights.
You're taking on a lot of bigger opponents too, so in terms of training and preparation, was figuring out what that size difference would mean for your fighting style a big part of your training?
Absolutely. One thing that was also really crucial to building these fights was our stunt team. They are so incredible and choreographed the most amazing fights. They were so amazing in training me, but realised how much I wanted to do and how involved I wanted to be. I didn’t want to use face replacement. I wanted to fight as much as I could, and my two wonderful stunt doubles were so amazing and crucial in cheering me on and making sure I could do everything. They really started to build the choreography of the fights based on my strengths as a personal fighter, so I was able to feel super comfortable in these fights because I know they were tailored for my style of fighting and what I was best at. I got really good at things I was really bad at just a couple of weeks before and it was just amazing and all because of our stunt team.
The Princess is being released on Disney+ here in the UK, so I’d say that technically makes you a Disney Princess. How does it feel to be perhaps the most badass of all of them?
It does! I have been saying this for weeks now. Technically, I am a Disney Princess here. I really am. It feels so cool. Honestly, one of my favourite things that I took away from set is our costume designer, Verity, at the end of the shoot made me my own Princess action figure. She took small scraps from my costume and made a miniature doll’s costume. She took the hair and made me a Disney Princess Barbie doll with blood on her and everything! I was so honoured. I felt, in that moment, like Elsa or something. I felt so happy [Laughs].
Finally, from Princess to Prince, Bullet Train is a film a lot of people are looking forward to, so what was it like going from assassin to warrior or vice versa?
It was kind of crazy. They were shot quite a bit apart but are happening to come out around the same time. I love their similarities and their names, Prince and Princess. How crazy cool is that? And I’m a King! My last name is King, so how weird is all that? It was so fun. Playing Prince…I’ve never done something like that before. Her stoic demeanour, her absolute ferocity, and she’s just so sinister and truly crazy. Going from one crazy badass girl to another kind of crazy badass girl was so cool. They couldn’t be more different, but I couldn’t love either of them more than I already do.
The Princess also stars Dominic Cooper (Preacher), Olga Kurylenko (Black Widow), and Veronica Ngo (The Old Guard). The Princess was written by Ben Lustig & Jake Thornton (Final Fantasy), and produced by Neal H. Moritz (Fast and Furious), Toby Jaffe (Total Recall) and Derek Kolstad (John Wick), with Joey King and Guy Riedel (Spectral) serving as executive producers.
The Princess premieres on Hulu on July 1.