SLACKERS - Q&A with James King
So you began in modeling and now you are acting? What was the transition like for you?
Ever since I was young, I would be putting on plays for my family. I would always dress up like the Virgin Mary and I had plenty of cousins so I would always be directing them, telling them 'you're going to be from Egypt so you dance like that and you're going to be from Asia - so you dance like this..." That's where the acting came in. I also read a lot of books and was always writing and painting. I had gotten to the height of my career in modeling and wasn't learning anything anymore. I woke up and said ok, this is what I want to do now - I want to make movies. Everyone was telling me I couldn't leave modeling because I was making so much money at it. To me it wasn't worth it to stay in modeling. If you're not learning anything you have to move on. So I started auditioning.
Why did you dress up like the Virgin Mary?
I don't know. I just wanted to play the Virgin Mary and put on a Christmas play.
How did you like working on a comedy as opposed to working on PEARL HARBOR?
It was awesome. It's all about keeping the fun going and what can I put my enthusiasm towards. PEARL HARBOR was so amazing and so big and such an experience for me. I always want to do something different, it keeps your enthusiasm up and keeps you learning. "Slackers" was great because it was literally like going to college. You're going to a brand new place with people you've never met before and basically like going to a frat party every night and you're going to be doing outrageous, really crude, gross things. It was so much fun to do that. That's what acting is all about. If you're going to do it, why not do something different each time? You're learning from the best people and creating with the best people and it gives you a chance to open up your range.
Did you find this role was a stretch for you in the sense of being chased after by guys?
It was different. Coming from fashion you obviously have all these stereo types and since I've been acting I've been very conscious to not become the object of anyone's desire. Not that I ever felt that people were against me, people have been very supportive and the transition from modeling to acting has been very smooth for me. I am very aware of the roles that I take. When I found out that Jason was doing the film, I had to do it. "Rushmore" is one of my favorite films. He's such a brilliant actor and that's what its about for me-learning from the people around me. I thought it would be really fun to create a character where yes she's the object of his desire, but make her human and at the same time special and ordinary. That's what we really love about people... are the ordinary things. Girls with big boobs and teased hair are nice to look at but that only goes so far. So I created a girl that everyone could relate to - an object of desire that isn't unobtainable. As a woman you get tired of going to movies seeing and seeing a beautiful girl that's just a beautiful girl.
But you don't always have a choice of becoming the object of someone's desire. Sometimes you become the object of someone's desire and that just happens. Its in the other persons mind.
Yes. It's in the other persons mind but you want to give people motivation to feel that way.
How do you know when someone is hitting on you or when they are just being friendly?
I think that you feel the energy behind it.
Do you find that guys are falling at your feet?
I don't put my self in places where that happens very often. I'm usually with my friends or on set. But obviously everyone has those experiences where guys hit on you and they come up to you and say really funny things.
I remember when I was at the PEARL HARBOR premiere one of the boys from the flight deck came up to me and then got on his hands and knees and started serenading me at the top of his lungs. It was unbelievable it was like a scene from a movie. Here is this navy guy singing to me with this incredible voice and I'm staring out at the memorial thinking oh my god, this is my life and it's incredible. But then I also get the psycho fan mail from the guys in prison asking me to go to the circus. Bizarre stuff.
Has it always been from the beginning - guys falling for you?
No. I've had boyfriends but I've never been the one that guys were fawning after.
Did you ever give out the wrong phone number to a guy?
They have a certain number that I saw in New York that you can give out a specific phone number and it calls the loser hotline.
That is so awesome - that is too funny. I think everyone should have a voice mail box where if you don't want to talk to them it diverts the call and goes into the mailbox.
Have you ever broken anyone's heart before?
I think we've all broken hearts before whether it's our intention or not.
Have you ever had your heart broken?
Yes, but I think we do that to ourselves.
I know that you had some heartbreaking things happen to you early on in your career. Are you able to talk about that a little bit with us? You had the loss of someone close to you.
I've been through challenging things like all human beings and I think its all relative. I am extremely grateful for all my experiences because they are what have brought me to this point. They have also given me the enthusiasm and joy to live everyday and my appreciation for human life.
How do you deal with that at such a young age? you were all of 17 right?
Yes. You just deal with it. Just like any challenge that comes into your life You handle it the best way that you can.
Just getting through it and handling it the best way that you can.
James. What is the next movie we will see you in. LONESTAR STATE OF MIND?
Yes. I play a girl named Baby. Her character is very Holly Hunter-esque. It's sort of like a young Raising Arizona. She's all over the place - very emotional, very Southern. She's a girl who is from a small town in Western Texas and her big dream is to leave and become a soap opera actress. And she is leaving Texas with or without her fiancé. It's a story about a group of really funny kids that leave for California and all the crazy things that happen because of it.
Is Joshua Jackson in it?
Yes. Josh plays my fiancé. He's awesome. It's such a fun cast...there's me and Joshua and DJ Qualls and Ryan Hurst and John Mellencamp plays our father. Joshua Jackson is actually my stepbrother in the film.
You said he was your fiancé in the film?
He is - he's also my stepbrother. It's really quirky. Our thing is that we were together first and then our parents met and got together.
Doing the love scenes - do you ever feel uncomfortable?
It's so retarded. You're with some guy and they put you in a thong with a hundred people watching and you're thinking this is supposed to be hot and sexy. You just have to totally commit to it and go for it. Like the scene with Jason, Laura and I making out. It was so gross and out there that you had to commit to it because you want to get the reaction from people.
Is it nerve wracking to do nude scenes?
At first. We're human. I mean you're standing there in your bra and underwear thinking, 'How does my butt look and do I look fat and where do I suck in?' But you know what you are taking on. You know it when you're signing up to do it.
Are you really that self-conscious? Do you look in the mirror and think that there are things wrong with you?
I think that everybody does. There are days when I feel beautiful and there are days when I look in the mirror and think maybe if I looked this way or that way but that's something we all go through.
Anything you would change about yourself?
No not really.
What made you do SLACKERS?
It was the fact that I knew I was going to be completely outrageous and out there. I wanted to do a comedy but I wanted to do something that was clever and witty and ahead of its time. That's what SLACKERS is to me. Its very outrageous but at the same time very quirky and clever. I want to do mainstream films that everyone wants to see but at the same time are smart and different.
Had you worked with Dewey before?
Yes. When I was 15 years old - we did a shoot together. It was also a great experience working with someone who comes from fashion because there is an incredible sense of comradery. We were both making the transition and both really going for it.
Speaking of fashion, I work for US magazine.
Oh you do, that's one of my favorite magazines. One of my favorite things is sitting on the couch reading US Weekly, People and getting the dish. It's like my guilty pleasure.
Well I have a few silly sort of 'fashion girl questions for you?
Are you a bath girl or a shower girl?
Shower girl because I don't have a bathtub in my house. I have no bathtub and right now I am training really hard for a new movie where I am literally training 5-6 hours a day where I have to do wire work and kung-fu and I'm so sore at the end of the day but I don't have a tub to soak in. I'm going to start bathing in my sink.
What is the movie.
BULLETPROOF MONK Its a big film based on a comic book with Chow Yun Fat and Sean William Scott. The best way to describe it is it's a cross between THE MATRIX and CROUCHING TIGER. I'm being trained by the same people. It's just a phenomenal movie. I am really excited. I am going to Canada on Monday to start my next month of training for it.
You use olive oil in your hair? Is that a beauty secret of yours?
No. It actually happened by accident. At fashion shows they glue extensions in your hair and you can never get them out So you try and figure out the most slippery substance to get them to slide out of your hair and olive oil was the only thing that would work for me. Then I discovered it made your hair really shiny.
Any other cheap beauty secrets you could share?
That's probably my best one. I'm a product person so my products aren't very cheap.
Do you still speak to Kid Rock?
I'd rather not talk about that. I don't think its fair to talk about people if they aren't here.
What was it like growing up in Omaha? What did you use to do for fun?
It was great growing up in Omaha. I think it gave me a lot of room to be artistic. There's nothing for kids to do there so we listened to a lot of music and we...
What about the Zoo there?
They actually have a zoo in Omaha which is pretty incredible. But when you're a teenager the Zoo isn't the first thing you want to be running to do. We got to listen to a lot of music and we got to paint and read a lot. You really took the time to create things for yourself because there is nothing else to do except create.
You say you're a big product girl are you a salon girl?
I'm not really a salon girl because they aren't purposeful enough for me. I always feel when I am in a salon I should be doing something else. I'm not the kind of girl that can just sit for five hours and get her nails done - I get very antsy.
What kind of products do you use?
I use Revlon. I just signed for Revlon so I'm psyched - I get all my Revlon stuff for free.
Are you going out with Paul Walker?
Paul Walker? I've never gone out with Paul Walker. I've met him once. That was on the IMDB and I thought it was funny...they said we were living together.
Never lived with Paul Walker?
No. Never lived with Paul Walker.
Any new tattoos?
How many do you have now?
Nine. I'm not getting anymore. They're all small.
Which is your favorite one?
Probably the King on the back of my neck because its my family name.
What is the deal with Revlon?
They signed Julianne Moore and I to represent their brand. I'm really excited about it. Its what my grandmother and mother used. I participate every year in their walk for breast cancer and they put so much money into breast cancer research. Its very important for me to put my love behind the things I am endorsing and its something I'm very excited about.
How long is the deal for?
That's something we really can't talk about.
What are your stress relievers?
I like to surf and spend time with people that I love.
Where do you surf?
That dress you wore at the PEARL HARBOR premiere was incredible.
Thank you. That's one of the perks of being a young actress you get these incredible clothes to wear. It's sitting in my closet and I have to find another place to wear it. Dressing up is one of my favorite things to do.
Question & Answer Text Copyright Momentum Pictures