While in LA for the OZ The Great And Powerfull premiere we had the opportunity to interview the main cast members. This includes the lovely and talented Joey King, the thirteen year old young lady that plays China Girl. Here are my favorite questions from the interview.
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 : 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. And, 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 like, a breathtaking movie.
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. I loved James in 127 Hours, and Mila, I love all her movies. And Michelle, and Rachel and Zach. 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, ‘cause I’d be, like, oh, hey! How’s it going? And we just all talk, and hang out. It wasn’t, like, weird or anything, and it wasn’t, like, oh hi Mr. something. But it was really fun. It was very relaxed.
‘QUESTION : Were any of the actresses like your mom on set?
JOEY KING : You know, 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 : 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, when I wasn’t doing school, I was usually roaming around. But the sets were, like, the most amazing thing for me to see, ‘cause they were just 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 cool for me because I loved the original movie, and the sets were very similar, but they were more detailed, and it was so cool for me.
There was also a big studio that I would roam around, and I’d run to the wardrobe department, and the hair department, and like, hey guys! Especially the wardrobe department. I ran in there. 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! Glenda’s. So that was really cool, ‘cause I was always walking around.
QUESTION : Can you tell us about the swear jar?
JOEY KING : Uh, yeah! I did the swear jar on Oz, the Great and Powerful. But you know what? 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, but I was, like, this is a good way. ‘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. So it I got to do that for them. And so doing the swear jar was kind of, like, a funny thing, in a way. But also it was actually a really nice thing.
QUESTION : How much did you raise?
JOEY KING : I don’t remember. I’ll have to ask my mom. But she, she put in most of the money. So.
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, and I forget, her name’s like, swearetta or something. So I just brought her around on set when somebody swore. You know, the first assistant director, Casey, he put a down payment of 20 dollars so 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 part about the movie?
JOEY KING : There’s so many great parts about filming that movie, ‘cause it was was 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, he’s very precise, and he catches every little detail. But it makes all the difference. He let us really play around with it.
And that made it just feel really more natural. And also, the, the cast, like I said, Michelle’s 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 did you think of your finished character when you saw the movie for the first time?
JOEY KING : When I saw the movie, 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 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 like I was watching myself, kind of, but in an animated character.
QUESTION : Did you get to hang out with the puppet much?
JOEY KING : Yeah. I got to be on set a lot, which was really cool, because what they did was they filmed my face in the booth. But Zach and I, ‘cause we 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 Huber, he was amazing. Like, his work with the puppet, she had so many strings on her, and he knew what every one worked, and it was so cool to watch. There was a string where she could blink, and where she could move her arms. 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 : 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 she had a lot of personality. She’s very energetic. She’s a little, not that I’m saying I am, but she’s just a little bit manipulative, in a way. I pull pranks on my sister, so I can’t say that I’m not.
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 was your favorite character other than your own?
JOEY KING : Definitely Finley. Finley was so cute! In the movie he’s so funny. I think that it’s kind of cool because the movie has the good guy, bad guy, the suspense and everything. And I like that Finley and China Girl kinda bring a certain humor and light to it. And, it really lightens the movie up, and I love that. And Finley is definitely, hands down my favorite character because he’s so funny.
I was laughing so hard, and Zach was sitting behind me in, at the premier, and we were laughing together. And I really 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 that’s Finley. My friend, my besty. So, yeah.
QUESTION : What was your favorite scene in the movie?
JOEY KING : 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. And that scene is my favorite because you get to see this side of China Girl where she’s kind of that manipulative little girl. But she really wants to hang out with them and go with them. She wants to go on this adventure. She’s a very adventurous little girl, and she’s an orphan. ‘cause her parents had passed away ‘cause the Wicked Witch sent her monkeys. So it was a funny scene, and I loved seeing how it all played off.
QUESTION : How do you balance your work with being a teenager?
JOEY KING : Wll, you know, a lot of people ask me that, and they’re, like, well, how do you balance it because it must be hard doing this work and stuff. It’s a lot of fun for me to come here and do this kind of thing. It’s exciting for me. And, 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 basically just like being a kid, for me, being a teenager, it’s part of who I am, and I love it.
QUESTION : What is it like being a role model for other kids who are watching your career?
JOEY KING : It’s kind of cool to see that kids look up to me, and how they admire my work and my personality, and I think that’s really, neat, because I get to do these things. I get to do these kinds of charities, and I get to share these things that I do, and let kids know that it’s fun to do these kinds of things. It’s fun to do charity, and you always have to stay involved with the, with the world.
And, it’s exciting for me, and it’s also sometimes it’s a little bit of a challenge as well. But mostly it’s more fun. But the reason why it’s a challenge sometimes is because I’m not like a normal teenager, you know? I love hanging out with my mom. My mom and I just went shopping the other day together. But, I love it, and I think it’s really fun, and I love letting kids know that there’s more than just sitting at home on your computer and doing things like that.
QUESTION : What advice do you have to other kids that want to get involved in acting?
JOEY KING : You know, my advice to them is. 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 that’s my advice to everyone, to never give up, because you never know when it can happen.
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 have to tell my mom!
JOEY KING : Oh, that’s so cool! Thank you’!
Here’s the latest trailer.
THIS IS PART OF A SERIES OF ARTICLES. HERE IS THE COMPLETE LIST OF INTERVIEWS PUBLISHED SO FAR.
Interview with James Franco – OZ
Interview with Mila Kunis – Theodora
Interview with Mila Kunis – Theodora – OZ Spoilers
Interview with Rachel Weisz – Evanora
Interview with Director Sam Raimi
Interview with Michelle Williams – Glinda
Post on the OZ Premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in LA
Synopsis – Disney’s fantastical adventure “Oz The Great and Powerful,” directed by Sam Raimi, imagines the origins of L. Frank Baum’s beloved wizard character. When Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot—fame and fortune are his for the taking—that is until he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity—and even a bit of wizardry—Oscar transforms himself not only into the great wizard but into a better man as well. “Oz The Great and Powerful” is produced by Joe Roth, with screen story by Mitchell Kapner and screenplay by Mitchell Kapner and David Lindsay-Abaire. Grant Curtis, Palak Patel, Josh Donen and Philip Steuer are serving as executive producers. “Oz The Great and Powerful” opens in U.S. theaters on March 8, 2013.
“Oz The Great and Powerful” opens in U.S. theaters on March 8, 2013.
OZ Website and Mobile site: www.Disney.com/TheWizard
OZ The Great And Powerful on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OzTheGreatAndPowerful
OZ The Great And Powerful on Twitter: https://twitter.com/disneyozmovie
I attended this event as a guest of Disney, with all expenses paid. As always, any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way.