Joey King is only 21, but she’s already been in basically everything. And we do mean everything — the uber-talented Jewish actress has been in Eggo commercials, CSI episodes, and Batman movies. She’s voiced beaver girls in the Ice Age franchise, starred in award-winning Hulu shows, as well as truly awful but incredibly successful Netflix movie franchises (yes, I’m talking about The Kissing Booth).
Through it all, King has proudly and joyfully celebrated her Jewishness — yeah, that’s right, Joey King loves Hanukkah sweaters, too.
Here are 18 things to know about Joey King:
1. She was born Joey Lynn King in Los Angeles, California, on July 30, 1999 to parents Terry and Jamie King. Her mom is basically her BFF and so are her two older sisters, Kellie and Hunter, who are also actors.
2. “I’m part Jewish and part Christian, but I’m mostly Jewish,” Joey said in a 2013 interview.
3. Joey’s acting career started at age 4, starring in commercials. Her first one was this adorable Life cereal spot:
4. But her big breakthrough was in 2010, playing Ramona in Ramona and Beezus, opposite Selena Gomez, of course. The movie, based on the Beverly Cleary books, was a smash hit, and everyone fell in love with spunky Joey as Ramona:
5. She was in the music video for Taylor Swift’s 2010 hit, “Mean.” You can see her starting at 1:59, being bullied by some preppy girls, and then again, at the end of the video, getting a private concert from Taylor. Win!
6. In an interview with Jay Leno to promote Ramona and Beezus, King told him she wanted a pet mini pig for her 11th birthday, but her dad wouldn’t let her have him. “I guess it’s because he grew up on a farm, he’s like ‘oh yeah, mini-pig is the perfect size to fit the oven,'” she said.
After the interview, Leno surprised her with, you guessed it, a mini pig! King named him JayJay in honor of the host.
7. In 2013, King starred in the horror movie, The Conjuring. “That movie messed me up for my whole life,” she told Howard Stern. During the filming, mysterious bruises started showing up on her body (eek), quite like a certain plot point in the movie about a haunted farmhouse (in fact, it was the makeup artists who were supposed to paint bruises on Joey that noticed them!). Joey was soon diagnosed with a condition called ITP, in which your immune system mistakenly attacks platelets. Joey says the condition resolved itself after the filming and has never returned (which actually checks out, ITP can follow a viral infection in children and can be a one-off type thing). Still, the whole ordeal was pretty spooky.
8. Zach Braff played her dad in the very Jewish film Wish I Was Here. In the movie, Zach plays Aidan, who is charged with homeschooling Grace, played by Joey, and her brother after his father stops paying the tuition for their private Orthodox day school.
“I’m Jewish, but I’m not really, really religious. Grace is. Getting to go deeper into that was really cool,” King said. “Getting to see life through her eyes is really fascinating. Like you said, at 12 years old, she’s already thinking about shaving her head for her husband. She’s very misunderstood in the beginning of the film. Her family doesn’t understand her. As the movie progresses, you see her become less uptight. People start to accept her more when she becomes less uptight. Her character really develops, which is cool for me.”
9. King has shaved her head for three different roles: for Batman Returns, for Wish I Was Here, and for the hit miniseries The Act.
10. Speaking of The Act, Joey knew this was one of the highest stakes roles of her career, playing a notorious character from a nationally infamous news story — Gypsy Blanchard, who killed her mother DeeDee Blanchard, who had Munchausen by proxy.
“I knew that if I did a bad job this show could ruin my career,” she told Howard Stern earlier this year. So she and her co-star Patricia Arquette made a pact: they would tell each other when they did a bad job on a scene, and when the other person needed to ask for another take. “She became much more than Patricia Arquette to me… we were able to do these traumatizing roles together,” Joey said.
11. The pact worked. The two actresses were nominated for a slew of awards for their roles in the show. Patricia won an Emmy and a Golden Globe, and, well, she accidentally hit Joey quite hard with the Golden Globe statuette, giving her a seriously epic bruise.
12. I guess we should talk about The Kissing Booth, Netflix’s objectively terrible, highly addictive, and extremely popular franchise starring Joey as Elle Evans. Seriously, The Kissing Booth is one of Netflix’s most-watched movies, despite it’s truly awful gender dynamics and well, pretty much everything aside from the cast (Molly Ringwald is in it!).
13. Joey famously dated her Kissing Booth co-star (and on-screen love interest in the soon-to-be three-movie franchise) Jacob Elordi between 2017 and 2018 (a full relationship timeline can be found here). Since their break-up, King said she does not want to date actors, and has been tied to The Act producer Steven Piet.
14. Joey’s next movie project has some pretty jaw-dropping co-stars: She’s going to be in a movie with Brad Pitt and Lady Gaga in the upcoming Bullet Train. Also in the movie: Logan Lerman and Jewish zaddy Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It’s truly a thrilling cast.
15. Joey loves baking and cooking, and she makes a mean looking kugel:
16. Speaking of Jewish food, bagel and lox are her fave, and she’s a fan of Russ & Daughters in New York. Joey and Jake Gyllenhall both!
17. She has a lot of Hanukkah sweaters. Like really, a lot.
18. Finally, let’s leave you with Joey singing (or at least, attempting to sing) Billy Joel’s “Vienna.” She’s the cutest.