The Princess star Joey King chats about building her fighting style from scratch, training with costar Veronica Ngo, and excitement for Bullet Train.
Hulu’s new action thriller The Princess, premiering on July 1, dispenses with the traditional Disney narrative and damsel-in-distress tropes to provide a fast-paced, no-holds-barred tale of one woman fight for freedom. Joey King (from Netflix’s popular The Kissing Booth franchise) plays the eponymous princess who must save her kingdom from her evil husband-to-be.
With not only The Princess but also this year Bullet Train under her belt, King is quickly becoming an action aficionado. With a director like Le-Van Kiet (Furie and The Requin) supervising her progress, it’s no surprise she was able to go from novice to expert over the course of the film. Fellow cast members include Dominic Cooper (Preacher) as the evil lord taking her throne, Olga Kurylenko (Black Widow) as his right hand woman, and Veronica Ngo (The Old Guard) as the princess’ mentor Linh.
Screen Rant spoke to King about how The Princess was her training ground for fight sequences, the collaborative relationship she had with costa Veronica Hgo, and her excitement for upcoming projects.
Screen Rant: I love how The Princess just throws you into the middle of the action right from the start, and you do not get a moment to catch your breath. How do you prepare for that?
Joey King: Yeah, right! How do you prepare for that? This was quite the undertaking. I had never done anything like it. I had no fight training prior to this, and so I really jumped in headfirst. I had some amazing trainers. I started training in LA, and then I switched to training in Bulgaria with the whole Bulgarian stunt team.
It was just so wonderful to work with people that made me feel so uplifted. Because I knew, going into this, that I wanted to get to a place where I was able to do most of the stunts and the fight scenes myself. Because it just makes it more authentic. It adds your own style; your own personality to it. And I was playing the Princess after all, so I wanted to be able to inhabit her and really put in that hard work.
Everyone was so supportive of me doing that, and I’m proud to say that I was able to do 85% to 90% of what you see onscreen.
That’s amazing. How much of that went into your scenes with Lin, which are some of my favorite parts of the film? It’s so nice to see that like training dynamic, and it feels that there’s so much more that’s unspoken between them. Can you talk about working with Veronica [Ngo]?
Joey King: Veronica is amazing. She has such an amazing style of fighting. I had so much to learn from her, and I admire her so much.
She actually came in a little bit late on the production, so I remember when she came in. I had been training for a while already; we’d already started filming, and I was so nervous because I admired her fight style so much. And I just wanted her to think I was good enough. She was so helpful, and she was she was surprisingly impressed with my fighting. I was so happy about that. We had such a good time, because we got to train together, we got to film together and create this bond.
I also love that she’s my mentor in the movie, but we do both have extremely different styles of fighting. And I love that, because it just shows that the Princess is inspired by Lin, but she is her own person. And Lin wants the princess to be her own person. I just love their dynamic. It is beautiful.
You have so much coming up, between this and Bullet Train and Hamster & Gretelwhich I’m very excited about.
Joey King: Me too, actually! Thank you.
Can you talk about how fun it is to do all these different things?
Joey King: It is so fun! Especially, by the way, Hamster & Gretel has been great. Because throughout the last year, between all the things I’ve been doing, I’ve had to find time to record sessions for Hamster & Gretel; in between these little pockets of time that I have, which has been such a nice change of pace. I love that show. It’s hilarious.
And filming Bullet Train? My God, how do you even sum up that experience? It seems like … Was that even me? I got to be an assassin in a Brad Pitt action movie that filmed in Los Angeles, and I played a cool character. It’s just larger than life. I can not believe I got to be part of it, and I’m just savoring all these really cool milestones.
The Princess Synopsis
When a beautiful, strong-willed princess refuses to wed the cruel sociopath to whom she is betrothed, she is kidnapped and locked in a remote tower of her father’s castle. With her scorned, vindictive suitor intent on taking her father’s throne, the princess must protect her family and save the kingdom.
More: 15 Excellent Action Movies With Female Leads You Can Stream Right Now
The Princess will be available to stream July 1 on Hulu.
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