Summary

  • Joey King’s diverse range of acting credits includes comedies, thrillers, comic book adaptations, and more.
  • Despite brief roles like Talia Al Ghul in The Dark Knight Rises, King’s impactful performances make her stand out.
  • Check out King’s standout performances in films like Slender Man, White House Down, and The Act for a glimpse at her versatility.



Despite being only 24 years old, Joey King currently has 73 acting credits to her name. She has appeared in a wide array of genres on both TV and on the big screen, including comedies, psychological thrillers, comic book adaptations, rom-coms, and more. King’s most famous characters may well be her recurring role in The Kissing Booth franchise, but her range is better explored in a number of other performances, many of which are based on true stories.

King has been in feature films, miniseries, indie films, shorts, TV series, and multiple Taylor Swift music videos, and she’s just getting started. However, even though Joey King’s acting career is in its relative infancy, she still has many impressive projects worthy of recognition. With so much acting likely still ahead of her, here’s a look at 10 unmissable performances that have marked her career so far.



10 The Dark Knight Rises

King Plays Talia Al Ghul In A Brief Flashback Scene

It is not much of a role to speak of, given that her time on-screen measures out to less than 30 seconds, but Joey King’s character’s importance to the narrative of the film lands The Dark Knight Rises in the number 10 spot. She plays the child version of Marion Cotillard’s Talia al Ghul, the mastermind behind the film’s takedown of Gotham City, alongside the indomitable Bane, played by Tom Hardy.

Joey King’s role in The Dark Knight Rises was one of her first; she was just 12 years old at the time of filming. Despite not saying a word throughout her entire appearance in the film, her performance is impactful, and it stands out as one of the more memorable flashback scenes in the entirety of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. The shot selection and intentionally limited screen time help make the moment an important one.


9 Slender Man

King Plays Wren In This Horror Adaptation

Slender Man

Director
Sylvain White

Release Date
August 10, 2018

Cast
Jaz Sinclair , Javier Botet , Julia Goldani Telles , Joey King , Annalise Basso

Runtime
100minutes

While Slender Man may have garnered plenty of negative reviews, King’s performance as a terrified teen struggling against forces beyond her control is noteworthy. Wren is one of the few good characters in the film, and King is quite believable as a victim. She fully commits to the role, and her willingness to play the part makes this one of her best performances.


Joey King’s horror film acting ability was certainly noticed during her performance in The Conjuring, which kickstarted her acting career and helped broaden her range and her ability to play characters who stand out; she’s anything but a static character in Slender Man. As the film progresses, Wren’s stability and reliability regress, which is a testament to King’s casting in the film. Joey King makes Slender Man into something passable.

8 White House Down

King Plays Emily Cale in This Fun Action Romp


White House Down struggled to compete with Olympus Has Fallen, which came out in the same year and featured a strikingly similar premise. Olympus Has Fallen spawned two sequels, while White House Down never received a second installment. It’s a shame, though, because in a different release window reality, the reverse could have been true. As a result, King wasn’t given the chance to grow alongside her character, Emily, in the film.

Her performance in White House Down was strong, though, given that it’s a small, secondary part: playing John Cale’s (Channing Tatum’s) daughter. Her role in the film is to provide a grounded, stake-setting narrative motivation for her father, a prospective Secret Service agent forced into the role of protecting the president during a terrorist attack. Emily Cale is kidnapped, so she is absent from much of the action in the film, but her resillience and charm make this a memorable milestone in Joey King’s career.


7 Ramona And Beezus

King Plays Ramona Quimby In This Adaptation Of Beverley Cleary’s Beloved Story

Ramona and Beezus

Director
Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum

Release Date
July 23, 2010

Runtime
1h 43m

Ramona and Beezus is the film that put Joey King on the map, and it remains one of her most memorable and beloved roles. As the titular Ramona, she stirs up loveable trouble and drives the film forward. Starring alongside Selena Gomez in this adaptation of Beverley Cleary’s cherished works, King charms and delights as Ramona. This is her biggest early acting credit, introducing her to the mainstream viewing public for the first time.


King’s first major foray into the spotlight – as the focal point of this movie – helped present her as a genuine Hollywood name, and she’s utilized that to expand into genres and formats as varied as can be. King is perfectly cast in this role and, alongside Selena Gomez, makes this comedy film a must-see for families and film lovers alike.

Joey King and Selena Gomez in Ramona and Beezus

6 Bullet Train

King Plays “The Prince”, The Conniving String-Puller


Bullet Train is one of the best ensemble action films in recent memory, and its unsurprising that the impressive Bullet Train cast would want to include Joey King. Her stature and demeanor: picture-perfect for a seemingly-timid, scared, and innocent girl. Her acting prowess: excellent for a secretly-plotting, vindictive, and truth-twisting plotter.

King stands out in this ensemble action/comedy flick despite sharing the spotlight with a dozen other notable actors. Her character, “The Prince,” spends most of the film putting on an act of her own, so King does double duty, acting while acting, and fooling the other characters into believing she’s the victim, not one of the people manipulating events. In spite of sharing screen time with some arguably more famous A-list stars, she holds her own.


5 Fargo

King Plays Greta Grimly In The First Two Seasons

The 52-time nominated and six-time Emmy winning hit anthology series Fargo has had its fair share of stars come through in its five seasons. Accordingly, certain performances can get lost in the weeds. Nevertheless, King’s remains memorable, despite being in her early teens when her character, Greta, featured in the show.

She portrays the daughter of Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks), who is one of the main protagonists of the show’s inaugural season. Both Hanks and King briefly reprise their roles in the second season, which shifted to a different narrative focus and a different cast of characters. King has often been presented to audiences as a secondary character, but she’s succeeded, in large part because of roles like this one, in carving out a name for herself as a great actor in her own right.


Joey King as Greta Grimly in Fargo

4 Radium Girls

King Plays Bessie Cavallo In This Film Based on True Events

Radium Girls, despite some mixed reviews, is an important movie: it tells an important, cautionary story that condemns the practice of prioritizing profit over people. While the characters in the film, including King’s character, Bessie Cavallo, are fictitious, the “radium girls” were very much real, and their stories are riddled with tragedy and misfortune.

King, keeping with many of her other roles, portrays someone who has a dynamic character shift, seen developing as the film progresses. In Radium Girls, she takes Cavallo from a pitiable individual to someone who enacts and inspires radical change, and her work is both believable and emotional. This film – and Joey King’s commendable work within it – deserve a better outlook, just like the radium girls themselves.


Joey King as Bessie Cavallo in Radium Girls.

3 The Act

King Plays Gypsy Blanchard In This True Crime Story

The Act

The Act

The Act is a true-crime anthology series that delves into the disturbing real-life cases behind headline-grabbing stories. The show’s first season focuses on the toxic relationship between Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter, Gypsy Rose, revealing a complex web of deception, abuse, and ultimately, murder. Starring Patricia Arquette and Joey King, the series explores themes of manipulation and the lengths to which individuals will go to escape their circumstances.

Cast
Patricia Arquette , Joey King , AnnaSophia Robb , Chloe Sevigny , Calum Worthy , Denitra Isler , Rachel Ticotin , Steve Coulter

Release Date
March 20, 2019

Main Genre
Biography

King has been involved in numerous adaptations of real-life events, and perhaps none is more jarring than her performance as Gypsy Blanchard in the true crime telling of the horrors of Munchausen by proxy (MSP). This behavioral disorder is one that impacts a caretaker, in this case, Gypsy’s mother Dee Dee, who makes – and keeps – Blanchard sick. This triggers a response, and it allows them to perpetually garner sympathy and admiration, despite being the cause of the issues that they supposedly treat.


(Gypsy Blanchard’s) Her change from scared victim to scarred killer is not something every actor could pull off.

King’s narrative arc, based on the real-life Gypsy Blanchard, is as chilling as it is cautionary. Her change from scared victim to scarred killer is not something every actor could pull off. However, as a sympathetic and slightly terrifying presence throughout the drama King manages to do so.

For her portrayal of Gypsy Blanchard, Joey King was nominated for best actress at The Critics Choice Awards, the Golden Globes, the Emmys, and the Satellite Awards.


2 We Were the Lucky Ones

King Plays Halina Kurc In This True Story Set During World War II

In one of her most recent roles – as Halina Kurc in We Were the Lucky Ones – Joey King once again embodies a person who actually lived and brings their tale to life. Halina Kurc, born in 1917 in Poland, grew up as nazism grew and expanded throughout Germany, and, ultimately, nearly half of Europe.

The film, based on the 2017 Georgia Hunter novel of the same name, centers on the Kurc family’s adversity, both internally and externally, as they navigated a world that cast them aside and persecuted them as inferior. This is no easy task for any actor, but King plays Halina Kurc with dignity and reverence. Alongside Logan Lerman (Addy Kurc), King brings an important tale to life; they both perform admirably, and the miniseries quickly garnered high praise.


1 The Conjuring

King Plays Christine In This Modern Classic Horror Film

Three years after her breakout role in Ramona and Beezus, Joey King shifts from a lovable scamp to a tormented child in The Conjuring. In one of the most recognizable moments of her career so far, King steals the spotlight with a terror-induced, blood-freezing scream that is scary to watch, even with the lights on.


Because of her commitment to the role of Christine, King has reaped acclaim and a career as an actor. It’s safe to say that no single role – and no single moment – has been as pivotal to her career as The Cojuring. It’s easy to forget that, as a child actor, the negative mental impacts of a film like The Conjuring have the potential to leave legitimate, damaging effects, long-term. Joey King, however, has been in five horror films in her young career, so she clearly has a knack for it.

Joey King’s horror films not featured in this list include
Wish Upon
,
Quarantine
, and
The Lie



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