Joey King Interview | China Girl from Oz the Great and Powerful #DisneyOzEvent


Joey King Interview | China Girl from Oz the Great and Powerful



During our morning of interviews we were privileged to meet Joey King. Joey plays China Girl in the movie. Joey is a fun spirited down to earth teenage girl that we actually spent a little chunk of time hanging out with at the after party with Emma, Sam Raimi’s daughter. I could feel the energy coming from them… Joey’s mile never stopped as people lined up to take photos with her and I remember hearing her say something to the effect of she’s ok with anything they wanted, no worries about so many pictures. After seeing the movie I realized what an incredibly talented young lady she is! I predict we will be seeing a lot more of this rising star in the future.


QUESTION : How did you get involved with the project?

JOEY KING : Um, I got involved with the project, I, um, 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 [STAMMERS] it seemed like such a fun thing to do, and it was just [STAMMERS] like, a breathtaking movie.


QUESTION : Who is your best friend?

JOEY KING : I have, um, I have more than one best friend. I have a lot. I have Emma, which is Sam’s daughter. And I have Amanda, Ariana, Heather. I have a lot of best friends.


QUESTION : Were any of the actresses like your mom on set?

JOEY KING : Michelle Williams is [STAMMERS] more like my mom. Mila was more like my sister. Michelle was really funny because she, you know, 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, um, one time when she asked me, how, 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, uh, 10-years-old. She goes, ten, really!

That’s early! I’m just like, no it’s not! So she, uh, she wanted to ask me a few things, and she was more like a mom figure to me.


QUESTION : Do you have a China Girl doll yet?

JOEY KING : I’m working on getting it. I’m almost there. Um, I really want one because she’s so cute, and I think it’d be really fun to show, uh, my, uh, family.


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, ‘cause that was 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, it was really exciting for me, because I got to play two characters. I played, um, 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 really, it was like I was watching myself, like, kind of, but in an animated character.


QUESTION : Do you feel like it was easy getting into the character?

JOEY KING : Um, I think that it was, it was, um… ‘Cause there’s parts I’ve, uh, done before where, uh, it’s very difficult to get into that mode, and you have to be very, uh, 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, uh, she’s very, uh, had a lot of personality. She’s very energetic, and she’s a little, not that I’m saying I am. But she’s just a little bit manipulative, in a way, and I like, she… Uh, but I pull pranks on my sister, so I can’t say that I’m not.


QUESTION : What was your favorite part about the movie?

JOEY KING : Um, there’s so many great parts about filming that movie, ‘cause it was just, um, it 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. And he was very… He let us really do, like, he let us play around with it.


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, ‘cause when I started, I was a, [STAMMERS] I’ve been doing this since I was four years old, and I’m [STAMMERS] I have 13 right now. But it took a while, you know, 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, you know, auditioning, and getting so close, but not close enough, you know, to where you actually get it. So, and I never gave up, ‘cause I am here, and I… that’s my advice to everyone, to never give up, because you never know when, when it can happen.


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 : Did you get to hang out with the puppet much?

JOEY KING : I got to be on set a lot, which was really cool, because what I… What they did was they filmed my face in the booth. Um, 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 Hover, he was amazing. Like, his work with the puppeteer, 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, and…

Um, 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 : How do you balance your work with being a teenager?

JOEY KING : Um, well, you know, I, [STAMMERS] a lot of people ask me that, and they’re, like, well, how do you, how do you balance it because, you know, it must be hard being, doing this work and stuff, and you know, it’s, it’s actually a lot [STAMMERS] It’s a lot of fun for me to come here and do this kind of thing. It’s exciting for me. And, um, I love doing… I love going away and filming, ‘cause I usually have to travel. And when I come home, I, I, I get to see my friends, and I get to hang out with them, and do fun things a lot. But this is, um, this is what I love to do, and it’s, it’s basically just, um, just like being a kid, for me, like, being a teenager, it’s, it’s part of, 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, it’s kind of cool to see that kids look up to me, and how to be, and they admire my work and my personality, and I think that’s really, that’s really neat, because it’s, like, [STAMMERS] I get to do these things. I get to do these kinds of charities, and I get to share, um, like, 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, um, it’s exciting for me, and it’s also, sometimes it’s a little bit of a challenge as well. But mostly it’s, it’s, um, it’s more fun. But the reason why it’s a challenge sometimes is because, you know, you have to, like, ‘cause I, I’m, like, I’m [STAMMERS] I’m not like a normal teenager, you know? I love, I love hanging out with my mom. My mom and I just went shopping the other day together. But, you know, I just, I love it, and I think it’s really fun, and, um, and I would, I just, I love letting kids know that there’s more than just sitting at home on your computer and doing things like that.



QUESTION : Did you know any of the other actors or actresses prior to making this movie?

JOEY KING : Um, this was the first time I had met them, working on the movie, but I, I knew of them very well. Um, I loved James in, uh, 127 Hours, and Mila, I love all her movies. And Michelle, and Rachel and Zach. Um, so yeah, I knew who they were, and I loved meeting them, because [STAMMERS] they became, like, 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, uh, hi Mr. something. But it was, it was really fun. It was, it was very, it was very relaxed.


QUESTION : Can you tell us about the swear jar?

JOEY KING : Uh, yeah! You know, actually, I don’t… Did I do… Yes! I did the swear jar on, um, on Oz, the Great and Powerful. Um, but you know what? My mom was the one who put the most money in it. Which was funny because, uh, she, she swears more than the cast and crew. Um, 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, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t keep the money. I donated to, um, 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, um, elderly people who can’t get out of their home.

So that’s, it was, it was more of, um, I got to do that for, for them. And so doing the swear jar was kind of, like, a funny thing, in a way. But also it was a really, it was actually a really nice thing.


QUESTION : How much did you raise?

JOEY KING : Oh, that’s a… I, I forget. Uh, 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, um, my teacher Eva. She, uh, 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, and for, for this, uh, for the Meals on Wheels, and so [STAMMERS] we decided to do it, and we, uh, she bought me a, uh, piggy bank, and I painted it, and it was a chalk board, and it was, I forget, her name’s, like, swearetta or something. I don’t know. But, um, so I just brought her around on set when somebody swore. You know, [STAMMERS] the, the, the first assistant director, Casey, he, um, he put a down payment of 20 dollars so he can, he could swear, 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 scene in the movie?

JOEY KING : Um, 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 [SP?] 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, uh, hunt the Wicked Witch. And that scenes is my favorite because it was kinda, um, you get to see, like, this side of China Girl where she’s not [STAMMERS] She’s, she’s the kind of that manipulative little girl. But she’s really, she really wants to hang out with them and go with them, and she just doesn’t want to…

She wants to, um, she wants to go on this adventure. She’s a very adventurous little girl, and she’s an orphan. Um, ‘cause her parents had, uh, passed away in the Wicked Witch, ‘cause the Wicked Witch sent her, um, her monkeys, and, um… So it was, it was, um, it was a funny scene, and, um, I loved seeing how it all played off.




QUESTION : What was the most challenging thing for you about being on set?

JOEY KING : Um, we were almost filming this movie for six months, which is longer than anything… Usually, it’s just two to three months. Um, I wasn’t there the whole time. I was, I was home for one of those months, but, um, 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 [STAMMERS] 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, uh, um, James and everyone could hear us through our, like, 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, ‘cause, um, when I wasn’t doing school, I was usually roaming around. Um, but my, the sets were, like, the most amazing thing for me to see, ‘cause they were just, they were so big, and detailed, and so I just walk on them, and [STAMMERS] it’s like, whoa! This is real! This is real life! And it was really, it was really cool for me because I loved the original movie, and the sets were very similar, but more. They were more, you know, detailed, and they were, they were just, it was so cool for me.

Um, but there was also a big studio that I would roam around, and I’d go, I’d run to the wardrobe partment, and the hair department, and like, hey guys! Especially the wardrobe department. I got to, I was, like, 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! The… So it was, [STAMMERS] Glenda’s, so that was really cool, ‘cause I was always [STAMMERS] walking around.


QUESTION : What was your favorite character other than your own?

JOEY KING : Definitely Finley. Finley was so cute! He was [STAMMERS] In the movie he’s so funny. And you know? I love about, um… I think that it’s kind of cool because Finley and China Girl kinda bring, um, ‘cause, you know, the movie is, it has a… It 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, um, and it really, like, lightens the movie up, and I love that. And Finley is definitely, hands down my favorite character because he’s so funny, and is just, I watched [STAMMERS]

It was, I was laughing so hard, and Zach was sitting behind me in, at the premier, and we were laughing together. And, um, I really, I really like, I like, I 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 would, I would totally, like, I, I want to show him off to everyone. I’m like, yep, that’s Finley. My friend, my, my, my besty. So, yeah.



If you haven’t had a chance, check out the rest of the cast interviews!

Michelle Williams | Glina the Good

Sam Raimi | Director

Mila Kunis | Theadora

James Franco | The Wizard

Rachel Weisz | Evanora

Joey King | China Girl

Zach Braff | Finley





Disclosure: I attended this press trip as a Guest of Disney. All opinions are 100% my own.


  1. Christina Jackson says

    What a little adult! Great interview, it’s so fun reading the interviews with the child actors, they’re so honest and definitely more excited about everything.

  2. OZ is a great movie, very bright and interesting, thanks for posting!)

  3. Cindy B says

    I loved China Doll! She was my favorite “new” character from the movie. Thank you for letting us know more about her and the actress/

  4. Oz is a great movie

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