Joey King on the magic of 'Borealis,' family ties and having Taylor Swift and Jaime King in her squad

By Clare Douglas

"I'm a California girl, so anything below 60°F is cold to me!" jokes actress Joey King, who has had her fair share of the varying degrees of Canada's climate. After working on the snowy Calgarian set of TV's Fargo, the Los Angeles native jumped provinces to work in the sunny, albeit chilly, landscape of Manitoba on the Sean Garrity-directed indie film Borealis.

SCROLL DOWN FOR TRAILER

Borealis tells the story of a father and daughter trying to find common ground.

The movie sees the 16-year-old playing a young teenager struggling to come to terms with impending blindness all while trying to navigate a rocky relationship with her gambling-addicted father, played by Canadian actor Jonas Chernick ( Lucid). The harrowing tale of perseverance, adventure and acceptance also stars Emily Hampshire and Kevin Pollack.

Joey and her sister Hunter are both actresses in Hollywood. Photo: © Getty Images

Hello! caught up with Joey on the eve of the film's primary release in Toronto (Apr. 8) before it rolls out across Canada to talk about her new film, her busy year ahead (the in-demand star has six projects with 2016 release dates including the blockbuster Independence Day: Resurgence) and working with her sister and fellow actress Hunter King (Young and the Restless) and why Taylor Swift and Jaime King are the definition of true blue friends.


What was it about the character of Aurora that attracted you to the project? What I loved so much about Aurora was how even though she is given this immense difficulty and this immense disability, she has to be essentially okay with it because that’s all she has. I love how throughout the movie you see her walls break down. Even though she’s so strong, she kind of lets her emotions show and that she is vulnerable.

What's one thing you hope audiences walk away with from the film? That everybody has a story and something in their life, whether it’s good or bad. We just have to keep that in mind.

Aurora is on a mission to see the Northern Lights. Have you ever gone on that journey in your own life? Not yet. I would die to see the Northern Lights. I really want to plan a trip because I think that would be something so magical.

It must be cool to be able to talk to your sister Hunter about the ins and out of acting ... It’s amazing. I mean we are just two normal, hilarious and weird people who just love what we do and we’re best friends. She’s just got nominated for her fourth Daytime Emmy and she’s won two already and I’m just so proud of her. We’re both each other’s support system and we are so happy to be doing what we do.

Are there any other aspects of film making that you'd love to tackle? Absolutely. I think that regardless from having a strong acting career, I also want a strong behind-the-scenes career. There are so many layers of amazingness to this industry and it’s so fun as I go to peel back all the layers and just go for such amazing new things.

Joey has worked with James Franco on six projects.

Have you picked up any tips from your multi-hyphenate friend James Franco? Definitely. I think that he’s just so intelligent and he works at such a fast but very precise pace. He knows exactly what he wants so he can get it done in a timely manner but still make it look beautiful.

What was it like to jump from an indie film like Borealis to Independence Day? Doing an action movie is so much fun and it’s absolutely crazy. It’s surreal when you’re on an action movie. There’s green screens everywhere and you’re in a beautiful hotel ... It’s crazy!

Joey (L) says she has learned a lot from friends like Taylor Swift, Jaime King and Selena Gomez. Photo: Instagram.com/SelenaGom

How have friends like Taylor Swift and Jaime King helped you both in your career and private life? It’s amazing to have female friends like that who are older and who have more experience. As much as they’re great friends inside the business, outside of the business they’re great people to turn to because they have more experience to be like, “Hey I’m having this trouble.” It’s incredible to be able to turn to people like that who know so much more about life than you.

HELLO! Canada magazine is available for your tablet and smartphone. Get HELLO! Canada, PEOPLE, Vanity Fair and over 100 more of the world’s best magazines for one low monthly price at Texture by Next Issue. CLICK HERE to sign up for a free trial.