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An Interview with Joey King, Star of Ramona and Beezus
DVDizzy.com Presents: An Interview with "Ramona and Beezus" star Joey King

Accomplished 11-year-old actress becomes movie star and Selena Gomez's younger sister


Among 20th century children's literature, few character names are as recognizable as Ramona Quimby. When a long overdue film adaptation was announced, only one young actress would get the chance to play the protagonist of Beverly Cleary's eight-book series.
That young actress was Joey King. Having followed her two older sisters into show business, 11-year-old King has built a substantial list of movie and television credits in just four years. She's lent her voice to Horton Hears a Who! and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, made multiple guest appearances on "Ghost Whisperer" and "CSI", and even acted in such major films as Reign Over Me and Quarantine.

Ramona and Beezus, the latest book-turned-family-film from Walden Media (Charlotte's Web, Bridge to Terabithia, The Chronicles of Narnia), casts King as Ramona and "Wizards of Waverly Place" star Selena Gomez as her big sister Beezus. Though warmly reviewed by critics, the small movie did get a bit lost in the shuffle of cinema's competitive summer season. Like all modern films, though, it will get a second chance to be found and enjoyed through the magic of home video.

In anticipation of today's DVD and Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo pack release from Fox, Joey King recently took time to talk with DVDizzy.com about Ramona and her evident passion for acting.

DVDizzy.com: Were you familiar with the Ramona books before auditioning for the role?

Joey King: I actually only read one book before. But when I found out I had gotten the part of Ramona Quimby, I read all the books and I absolutely thought they were amazing.

Is your relationship with your older sisters similar to Ramona and Beezus'?

I would have to say no, because me and my sisters don't really fight that much. We really, actually love each other, even though that sounds crazy. Of course, every sister loves each other, but usually they fight. Me and my sisters get along pretty well.

Selena Gomez and Joey King play Quimby sisters Beezus and Ramona.

What kind of fun things did you and Selena Gomez do while making the movie?

Sometimes, I would go over to her hotel room or she would go over to mine. And we'd play on Selena's Mac computer. We would make videos. I once made a Trident commercial. You can find it on YouTube under Selena Gomez's channel. We went shopping together, saw movies together, had sleepovers. Sometimes, when my mom had to run a couple of errands, Selena would babysit me and we'd go to Starbucks and stuff. It was fun. We had a great time together.

Did you kind of feel like you were sisters?

Definitely! Definitely felt like we were sisters.

Do you have a favorite scene in the movie?

I have a favorite scene that I filmed. It was the water fight scene. It was amazing to film. It was the best.

What's your favorite thing about being an actress?

My favorite things about being an actress are meeting new people, getting to experience new things, and going different places. You get to do so many things that a lot of people wouldn't get to do,
like visit different countries -- well, I went to Canada -- and meet new people, and I got to meet Selena, of course, and John Corbett, and Bridget Moynahan, and Josh Duhamel, and Ginnifer Goodwin. So, meeting new people and making new friends are my favorite parts.

You've done both live acting and voice acting. What's more fun for you: seeing yourself on screen or seeing an animal speaking with your voice?

Um, I don't know, actually. I think it's really cool seeing an animal made out of me with my voice in it. And I also think it's really pretty awesome to see myself on TV screens. But they're different. As animated voices, you're just recording in a sound booth and don't get to do a lot of actions. Like, in Ramona, I got to set a broom on fire. [In animation], you just have to make it sound like you're setting a broom on fire in the sound booth. But sometimes you get to watch your little animal make the movement while you're talking in the sound booth, which is fun. So I don't know if I have a favorite, because they're both pretty cool.

Would you like to play the character again if they were to make another movie?

Of course, I would love to play Ramona again. I'd play her in a heartbeat. I don't know if there is going to be another movie, but if there is, I would definitely love to play Ramona.

What was your favorite part about playing her? Is there anything about the character you really liked?

I like her outgoing personality and her confident personality. I like how she's not afraid of anything and when she does fail or something doesn't go right, she just stands right back up again and keeps trying. She's very determined and I like that.

Are you the same way?

In some ways, I am and in some ways I'm not like Ramona. But I'd say I'm a pretty determined person (laughs).


When I found out we were going to do this interview, I turned to our occasional contributor Renata Olson, who is student-teaching in Dr. Krohn's 5th Grade class of Peter Hobart Elementary School in St. Louis Park, MN. The following questions come from those students...

How and why did you become an actor?

Well, I became an actress because my sisters were in acting. Starting with my sister Kelli, she was in acting when she was younger, because everyone said, "Oh my gosh, you gotta get this kid into acting." My second older sister, the middle child Haley, is in acting as well because she really wanted to be. But, when it came to me, obviously, I was put in acting because of my sisters but also because everyone said I had such an outgoing personality. And after I got put into it, I just loved it ever since. It's really, really fun.

What do you like to do when you're not acting?

Hmm, I don't know. I like to do a lot of things. I like to see movies and play board games with my sisters and my friends and my parents and my Grandma. And I like to go ice skating and roller skating. I haven't gone ice skating in a while, but I do love to roller skate. Sometimes, I like to go bike riding with my Dad. So I have a lot of things to keep me busy and, you know, I love spending time with my family, so that's pretty much what I do in my free time.

What is your favorite movie?

I have to say my favorite movie is 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. It's the best. It's hilarious.

Ramona (Joey King) lets her hands move with her cat Picky Picky in "Ramona and Beezus."

What is your favorite animal?

A zebra, definitely. They're really cool looking.

What is your favorite color?

I think you got me there. It always changes, but right now, it's neon green.

What is your favorite song?

You know, I have so many favorite songs. I listen to the radio all the time while I'm driving in the car, so, I don't really have a favorite song.
Anything that comes on is my favorite song because I love every song. I do like songs by Lady Gaga and Black Eyed Peas. So, those are definitely some of my favorites.

What is your favorite cereal?

My gosh, they're asking some good questions!

These are some sharp fifth graders.

I like Cap'n Crunch. That's probably my favorite.

Do you have any pets?

I have a lot of pets. I have a fish, three dogs, and a pot-bellied pig. The pot-bellied pig, her name is JayJay, she's actually in the other room right now.

Do you go to a public school?

Actually, I'm home schooled.

What is your favorite type of pizza?

Hmm, I know this sounds really weird, because I'm a kid and no kid likes mushrooms, but I like cheese with mushrooms. It's really good.


There you have it! Be sure to check out Ramona and Beezus, now available on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Ramona and Beezus Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy cover art
Buy Ramona and Beezus from Amazon.com: DVD, Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Combo
Look for our review in the coming days!

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Posted November 9, 2010.



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