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Joey King Interview About Making ‘We Were the Lucky Ones’ on Hulu

Joey King Interview About Making ‘We Were the Lucky Ones’ on Hulu

In this edition of THR Frontrunners, Emmy-nominated actress Joey King joins Tyler Coates for a conversation about her lead role in HBO’s limited series We Were the Lucky Ones at a live event hosted by the San Vicente Bungalows in Los Angeles.

“I’ve never really experienced anything like it,” says King of the show, based on the novel by Georgia Hunter and inspired by her relatives’ stories of survival during World War II and the Holocaust. “I’ve played so many interesting people, and I’m just so grateful for all the things I’ve ever done. But there is something so specifically emotional and just deep-rooted, tied to this project for me.”

The show follows the Kurcs, a close-knit family of Polish Jews who lived peaceful lives in Radom despite the rise of antisemitism in the country ahead of the German invasion of Poland in 1939. But once Hitler’s army enters Poland, the Kurcs are separated — with some members fleeing the country, some going into hiding and others captured and sent to work camps. 

King recalls saying yes to the lead role of Halina, the youngest Kurc sibling, before a script was written after being approached by Tony-winning Hamilton director Thomas Kail, who helmed the pilot and finale serves as an EP on the show. In between her immediate response and when the script was finally delivered, King tore into Hunter’s novel, which she called a guiding light for the cast and crew.

“We were lucky enough to each have time with Georgia to be able to pull additional information about the people we were playing from her,” recalls King. “I wanted to get to know [who Halina] was outside of this terrible event, because she was a woman who had spunk and humor and so much vibrancy outside of the war. It was all kind of surreal to be able to have access like that to the family.”

King also notes that the entire cast is made up of Jewish performers, which added an additional poignancy to the actors’ performances. “One of the best parts about being an actor is that we play people that maybe we have nothing in common with,” she said. “But to have an all Jewish cast was like, there’s really something so special about it. Everyone had such a personal, ferocious tie to this and this feeling.” 

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Because of her own background, King admits she knew that one day she would tackle this subject matter in a film or TV show. “I don’t remember the moment I learned about the Holocaust — I didn’t go to school one day and come back and be like, ‘Oh my God, this horrible thing I just learned today … .’ When you grow up Jewish, you just know about it,” she says. “It’s hard to explain other than, like, it’s just in my roots.”

This edition of THR Frontrunners is brought to you by Hulu.

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