Wish Upon’s Joey King interview: “I could never be a supernatural sceptic”

Wish Upon’s star Joey King would wish for Nando’s if she had the Chinese wish box

Be careful what you wish for. Especially when you’re doing your wishing on an ancient and mysterious Chinese wish box your father found for you while dumpster diving. Clare Shannon, played by Joey King (FargoThe Conjuring), gets a bit more than she bargains for when she does just that in John R Leonetti’s new horror Wish Upon.

To mark the film’s release, we spoke to King herself about horror, the supernatural, and what she’d wish for if she came across the box…

SciFiNow: What made you keen to get involved with Wish Upon?

Joey King: I think what first really piqued my interest about Wish Upon was that when I first read it I thought the script was unlike anything else I’ve ever read. It was an awesome mix between horror, sci-fi and action, and it also had a really heartfelt story behind it, all those layers. And it had such a tight and super unique ending!

Are you a big horror fan?

I love horror movies, but I’m also one of those people who get so freaked out by them, even by my own films! I watched Wish Upon and I couldn’t sleep for like a week after. I’m reading IT by Stephen King right now; can’t sleep… I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself. I love scary movies, and I think there’s something so special about them. They evoke terrifying but also really interesting emotions from people. Getting to bring those emotions out in people who go to the theatre, it’s like everyone is one and the same for two hours of an experience.

What are some of your favourite horrors?

One of my favourite horror movies ever, which is going to sound not modest at all—one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen is The Conjuring. The cinematographer on The Conjuring was John Leonetti, and he’s also the director on Wish Upon. I think it’s amazing because he and I created such a strong bond on The Conjuring, and when he approached me about doing Wish Upon I was 100 percent game. He created such a cool movie.

King (L) as Clare Shannon with Shannon Purser

Could you tell us a bit about your character in Wish Upon?

I play Clare Shannon. When we first meet her, she’s a girl who is terribly tragedy-ridden. She’s gone through quite a bit and she’s kind of a miserable young girl. She gets this box, this Chinese wish box that her father finds and gives to her, and it begins to change everything for her. Everything becomes exactly how she wants them to be. She wishes for these things and they happen. It’s too good to be true honestly, and it’s crazy. Then things start to spiral out of control when she realises that for every wish she makes a blood price is paid and somebody dies. It’s really crazy to watch this young girl who is seemingly sweet and depressed at the beginning turn into this monster that subjects people to these terrible deaths.

Blood price aside, what would you wish for if the Chinese wish box was in your possession?

What would I wish for? Hmm… I would wish that Nando’s would come to Los Angeles.

That’s a good wish. What would the consequence be? Probably something to do with chickens.

Whatever the consequence, it is so worth it.

Are you a believer or a sceptic when it comes to the supernatural?

I’m not a sceptic at all when it comes to that stuff! I don’t know why… I’ve never been a sceptic. I’m 100 percent a believer. I get so terribly freaked out when it comes to ghosts and demons and the idea of them, and the fact that they can haunt you and scare you, and it has left me with sleepless nights thinking about this stuff! So I have never, ever been a sceptic and I don’t think I ever will be.

Wish Upon is in cinemas now. Get all the latest horror news with every issue of SciFiNow.