Joey King (aka China Girl) Interview | Oz the Great and Powerful #DisneyOzEvent

While in Los Angeles, our group was given the opportunity to interview the cast of Oz the Great and Powerful. I’ve posted most of my interviews but there are still some really great posts to come this week including this one. China Girl was one of my favorite characters in the movie. She captures your heart strings from the moment she makes her debut.


Photo Credit: movies.yahoo.com

Joey King got involved in Oz the Great and Powerful by simply auditioning for the film. She really loved the movie. It was exciting and magical for her because she is a huge fan of the original movie. She was able to meet Sam Raimi (director) during the screen test. Joey wanted to be a part of the film ‘really bad’ because it was such a breathtaking movie and seemed like such a fun thing to do. 

This was Joey’s first time meeting any of the cast. While she was on the set, she said Michelle Williams (who plays Glinda) was most like her mom. Michelle has a daughter and was asking Joey all sorts of questions during the film like at what age was she allowed to wear heels. She once asked her at what age she got her cell phone. She didn’t want to give her daughter a phone too late or too early. When Joey told her that she was ten, Michelle was very surprised and thought that was early. Mila Kunis (who plays Theodora) was most like her sister. Zach Braff (who plays Finley, the Flying Monkey) was like a brother to her. James Franco (who plays The Wizard) was always teasing her on the set. 


Photo Credit: HollywoodReporter.com

The World Premiere (yes, the one I was at), was the first time Joey had ever saw the movie. Before the premiere, she had only seen about 20 minutes of it. Seeing it for the first time was really exciting for her because she got to play two characters. She played China Girl in the Land of Oz and a little girl in a wheelchair in Kansas. She said it was really cool to see how everything came together and how they did China Girl. Joey said they used CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) technology. They filmed her face and attached her expressions onto China Girl. It was somewhat like watching herself as an animated character. 

On a side note: after the world premiere, there was an after party at a nearby club in Los Angeles, Lure. Of course, Joey King was there. I had the pleasure of meeting her, we chatted for a while. She is an absolute sweetheart. She even took this picture with me! 

Joey felt it was easy getting into her character as China Girl. There were parts that she had done before. It’s very difficult to get into that mode. You have to be very different than yourself but Joey is always up for a challenge. She loves those kind of things and this role was a bit more close to her personality. China Girl is very sassy and has a lot of personality. Joey is very energetic and is slightly manipulative, as she pulls pranks on her sister. *Side note: I love that she has this amazing career, yet still behaves as a little girl should. 

Filming Oz the Great and Powerful was really exciting for Joey because she loves the original Wizard of Oz and loved everything about this script. One of her favorite parts of filming was being able to work with the rest of the cast and Sam. She feels Sam is an amazing director and person. She loves the way he works. He is very precise and catches every little detail and that makes all the difference. Plus, he lets the cast play around with it a little.  

Even though she has a ton of favorite scenes, Joey’s favorite scene of the film was when she was trying to convince Oz to let her go with him and Finley on their journey to go hunt the Wicked Witch. That scene is my favorite because you get to see this side of China Girl where she that manipulative little girl. But she really just wants to hang out with them and go with them on this adventure. She’s a very adventurous little girl.  

Joey got to hang out on the set with the puppet often. They filmed her face in the booth. Zach and her were in the same booth together so they got to go on set a lot. They would bring the cameras on set. The puppeteer, Phillip Huber, amazed her. His work with the puppet was so cool to watch. China Girl had so many strings on her and he knew how every single one worked. There was a string where she would blink and move her arms. It was almost like she was a real person. Joey forgot she was just a puppet. 

The most challenging part of being on the set was they were filming for almost six months. She said that is longer than anything. It’s usually just two to three months. She wasn’t there the whole time. She was home for one of those months. The most challenging things for her was that she wasn’t on set the whole time. It wasn’t as fun being in the little booth as it was on the set. But, at the same time, it was kind of fun because James and everyone could hear them through little headphones. So Joey and Zach would always mess with James by saying, "listen to your conscience." 

When Joey wasn’t doing her schoolwork during the film, she was usually roaming around. The sets were the most amazing thing for her to see. They were so big and detailed. She would just walk on them. Then she would be like, "Whoa! This is real. This is real life!" She could relate the current sets with the original movie, Wizard of Oz, but they were more detailed. Joey like to roam around and go to the wardrobe department and the hair department just to say hi. She really loved the wardrobe department. She loved to just look at the costumes. She loved the Wicked Witch and Glinda’s costume the most. 


Photo Credit: insideoutmotherhood.com

When we asked her who was your favorite character other than herself, there was no hesitation when she said Finley. Joey thought Finley was so cute. She really loved Finley’s sense of humor. She loved that Finley and China Girl bring a certain humor and light to the movie. It lightens the movie up. Finley is definitely, hands down, my favorite character because he’s so funny. During the premiere, Zach was sitting behind her and they were laughing together.

It’s not really an issue balancing her work and being a teenager at the same time. It’s a lot of fun for Joey. She loves to come and do these interviews, it’s exciting for her. She loves traveling and filming. Then when she comes home she gets to see her friends, hang out with them and do fun things. Acting is what she loves to do so it’s like being a kid to her. She said it best herself – "it’s a part of who I am and I love it."

As you must know, Joey is a role model for other kids. It’s cool to her to see that kids look up to and admire her, her work and personality. She feels privileged to be able to do these things. She gets to do all kinds of charities and then gets to share the these that she does. She loves staying involved with the world. At times, it can be a challenge but usually it’s more fun. She’s not always a normal teenager, she says. She likes hanging out with her mom. They had just gone shopping together. She likes to let kids know there is more to life than just sitting at home on the computer and doing things like that. 


Joey King and us "Mommy Bloggers" during the interview

During filming, Joey and her teacher, Eva, decided to make a swear jar. Eva brought her a piggy bank and Joey painted it. It was also a chalkboard. She even named the swear jar something like Swearetta. Every time somebody used foul language, they would have to put money in the jar. Her mom was the one who put the most money. Joey said she swears more than the cast and crew. The first assistant director, Casey, he put a down payment of $20 in the jar so he could swear 20 times without paying. It’s funny to Joey to hear everyone swear but it was for a good cause. Joey didn’t keep the money. She donated it to Meals on Wheels which is a charity that her grandma volunteers for. Joey goes and delivers the meals to elderly people with her a lot. 

Joey’s biggest advice to other kids that would like to get involved in acting is to never give up. She has been doing this since she was four years old. She is now 13. It took a while to get where she is at today. It took a lot of auditions, rejections and getting so close – but not close enough. She never gave up and here she is. You just never know when it can happen. 

Just as most 13 year old girls, Joey has many best friends. Emma, which is Sam Raimi’s daughter, is one of them. She also mentioned Amanda, Ariana and Heather. At this time (February 15th) Joey had not yet got her own China Girl doll yet. She was working on getting one and really wanted one because she is so cute and it would be fun to show her family. Joey has watched the original Wizard of Oz many times, over and over again. It’s one of her favorite movies that she grew up with because her mom and sisters loved it.    

*During our interview, we were tweeting about it and using the hashtag #ChinaGirl. About halfway through our time with her, the hashtag was trending on Twitter. Joey was so excited and she couldn’t wait to tell her mom. 

  OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL will be at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, CA
March 8th – April 30th in Disney Digital 3D and Real D 3D 

March 8 – 31 ONLY you can see “Disney Mysteries of Magic” live on stage!  
An expert wizard will show you the artistry of illusion in a magical showcase.  
 
March 8 – April 30, you can see an exclusive display of costumes from the movie!  
For tickets call 1 (800) DISNEY6 or visit www.elcapitantickets.com
 
*All Photos Courtesy of Disney, unless otherwise noted.

Although Disney provided me with an all expense paid trip, all thoughts and opinions expressed are those of my own. I genuinely love this movie and it is my pleasure to share my memories with you. 

 

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Comments


  1. This was Joey’s first time meeting any of the cast”
    I disagree, look at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/08/movies/oz-the-great-and-powerful-starring-james-franco.html

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