Hunter King is a rising young actress who can be seen on the small screen as Summer Newman Travers on The Young & the Restless, a role that landed her a Daytime Emmy award last year. When she’s not working, King volunteers with several charities that benefits special needs children and spends time with her family in Los Angeles.
The 21-year-old charismatic actress is set to star in a role completely opposite of who she really is in real life. As Avery Keller in “A Girl Like Her” opposite Lexi Ainsworth, who plays Jessica Burns in the film, Hunter tackles the challenging role of a “mean girl” in high school who relentlessly bully’s her former friend Jessica with it all caught on tape in the documentary style indie film.
I spoke with King this week and she gave Glambergirlblog the inside scoop on making an important movie in this day and in age about a social issue that needs much attention, bullying. Check out some excerpts from our chat.
On the plot of the film: “A Girl Like Her” is really about two girls and how they use to be friends but, what a lot of girls experience in high school is that girls drift apart, and you find new friends, or whatever the situation is. They kind of just drifted apart and there’s some really silly situation that happens that makes Avery dislike Jessica and from then it’s Avery’s mission to make Jessica’s life miserable and she’s relentless from that point on.
On her character Avery Keller: “My character is really just so awful to Jessica. It’s heartbreaking at how mean she is to her. She’s really mean to her but at the same time there is a reason why she is the way that she is, not that there’s an excuse for her behavior ever but, she’s not a mean-hearted person, she’s going through tough times and you’ll see it throughout the movie.”
On her attraction to the role: “At first I was really nervous to take on this role because I don’t ever want to be type cast as a bully. This film is so powerful and the way that it’s told that I don’t want people to look at me and see a bully. It’s honestly such an amazing project and something that I really wanted to be apart of. It’s so different from your standard bullying movie, it has such a strong message and it’s really trying to solve the problem with bullying. It speaks directly to everybody but a lot to bullies and trying to get them to acknowledge that there is a reason that they are the way they are, there’s a reason they are behaving this way, and for them to acknowledge it and be able to make a change. I was bullied in high school a little bit and just knowing that people are going through that, and people like Jessica going through it so much worst, I just wanted to be able to help anybody in any way that I could [with this role].”
On social media and bullying: “Just like Jessica, girls can’t escape it now. You go home and you think you’re done for the day but people text you, people tweet things, people Facebook you, it’s like it follows you where ever you go, it’s so sad. I get it from people who watch the soap opera. You know anybody who’s on social media and puts themselves out there totally understand where I’m coming from but you have people who say really hurtful things and especially because they’re behind a computer and they feel stronger and usually wouldn’t say these things in person. It’s just much more worst these days because girls can’t escape it, people can’t escape it.”
On how playing the “bad girl” wasn’t easy: “It was so much harder. A lot of people say they like it and I understand what they mean because I like to challenge myself as an actress, you know something that I love to do and broaden my horizons, I love doing that, but at the same time this was one of the hardest things that I had to do because the film was so improvised. It was so difficult for me to do. All the bully interactions between Jessica and I were all improv. I’d sit down with my director [Amy S. Weber] and she’d tell me where she’d want the scene to go, and what she’d want the audience to feel, but being all improv, it made my job so much harder. I really felt so awful that I would go home after work and be depressed for the whole night because I would just feel so bad about how I was treating Jessica [the character].”
On working with the cast: “I loved working with the cast. They were so great and Lexi was amazing. Almost after every single take of the bullying scenes, I would run up to her, hug her and say ‘I’m so sorry’, and she would laugh and tell me it’s OK, it’s a movie, it’s fake and she knows that. We would go back to the hotel, we’d play cards or just sit and talk with our moms. It was really nice. She made my job that much easiest because she was so great.”
On what the audience should take away from the film: “We really hope that it will spark a dialogue and get people to take about this more. Always talk to the victims but talk to the bullies and open up their eyes, find out why they are behaving the way that they are, and really spark that conversation. A lot of times people don’t want to talk about it. It’s uncomfortable, it’s hard and nobody really wants to be put in that situation but we’re hoping that this movie really inspires people to sit down and talk with their kids, or talk with their students.”
You can see King gracing your television screens on The Young and the Restless as Summer Newman Travers but be sure to check her out in “A Girl Like Her,” which will be released in select theaters March 27.
Watch the trailer for “A Girl Like Her” below and share your thoughts in the comments.
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