10 Questions with 12 Strong Actress: Allison King
Allison King is known for her role in the sci-fi drama Midnight Special. She has been quite busy this year and has appeared in the recently-released film Baby Driver. She is working alongside Amy Shumer and Miles Teller in Thank You For Your Service, which will be released on October 27th. Get to know this actress who isn’t planning on slowing down anytime soon:
What was it like to work with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on Horse Soldiers?
Unfortunately, I didn’t work with him since we have no scenes together, but I did get to work with his wife, Elsa Pataky. She was lovely, very generous and warm. Together they really brighten up a room, they’re both so incredibly gorgeous. There’s obviously a lot of respect and love there between them. They seem like such a great family.
What was the biggest challenge in filming Thank You For Your Service?
It’s funny, I can’t think of any. But I don’t think it was all easy peasy. It’s because I loved working on Jason Hall’s excellent writing so very much that it didn’t feel like a challenge. It felt like love at first sight! All hand drew hearts and cupids and stuff.
What was the most fun scene to film in Baby Driver?
The whole thing was fun. I think it would have to be the action sequence I had a small part of. I’ve never really done anything like that so it was all new and exciting. That kind of thing can be hard. Playing surprise or shock is the hardest thing to play as an actor, and when you know violence is coming it’s hard to keep it authentic. But I just learned on my training as an actor, kept my body relaxed and allowed the violence to affect me new each time. Plus, it was super fun to be a part of so many moving parts, rain, cars, guns, music… so fun. Like a physical Symphony.
What inspired you to begin acting at 5 years old?
I didn’t actually start until much later. When I was younger it was just about playing pretend and living inside my favorite stories. The Boxcar Kids was a favorite. As a young kid, I loved the idea of being self-sufficient in the big grown up world. I think that’s why I love post-apocalyptic stories so much. As an adult, it inspires me to tell stories that define and change us. Jill Soloway calls it an “empathy machine.” I think that’s such a great way to put it. Stories allow us to live inside someone else’s head and heart for a short time. And even though we’re so incredibly connected these days, we’re also incredibly isolated and alone. Maybe that’s just part of the human condition. But stories open us up to another point of view and that creates greater empathy and love and compassion among us. That is something worth fighting for.
What inspired you to study at The Esper Studio?
I had gone in and done an interview to join the studio and found the entire experience incredibly confronting in a way that felt scary and intriguing all at once. There are a lot of places you can study as an actor where they prey on your vulnerabilities, but this was grounded in a sense of healing. I walked away from that training a different person and an artist. It was a wonderful place.
What do you think is your biggest success?
That I’m still here and still doing this crazy job. I’ve been training and working for a very long time and the fact that I didn’t give up is a success in and of itself. Well, to be clear, I gave up about a hundred times, but it always called me back. I’m proud of my resilience. I got a lot of gold by taking a slower road to working professionally. And looking back I can say that it was a wonderful road.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
There are so many female filmmakers and artists who are changing the game right now that are such an inspiration to me. Jill Soloway spun me out with I Love Dick and Transparent. Lena Dunham is always making me think and feel new things that feel like they’ve been living inside me for a long time. I love JK Rowling, not only for Harry Potter but also for her outspokenness on Twitter. She’s teaching us all how to be in the public sphere with wit, charm and not caring what others think.
New York City or Los Angeles?
Why not both? I’m a more is more kind of girl.
Who is your style icon at the moment?
Oh no… you’re about to find out my dirty little secret: I have no style! I’m really a T-shirt and Jeans kind of girl who dreams of being on The Sartorialist. I love finding my inspiration in street styles and on blogs. But I’m not so great at applying those looks to my own closet. Ask me again in a couple years. I’m really working on this aspect of my life right now!
Any advice for aspiring actresses?
1 If you fight for your limitations, you get to keep them. If there’s anything I’ve learned, every obstacle is an opportunity with a lesson embedded inside of it. There are obstacles at every level, it never ends. Number two: Start with joy. There are a lot of parts about being an actor that are pure drudgery. It is a job after all. But if you can remember to start with joy, your playful, child-like, creativity opens up and that’s when the good work happens. Remember why you started down this road. If the joy is gone and you can’t find it, take a break and find it again. Life is too short to live without joy.
Her new film 12 STRONG is coming our January 19th
Photographer: Birdie Thompson
Hair: Matilde Campos
Makeup: Anton Khachaturian