Joey King Reveals How Losing Out on ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Role Led to ‘The Act’

Joey King is opening up about auditioning for Quentin Tarantino‘s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and how losing out on the role led to her landing The Act.

The 20-year-old actress spoke to an audience of 1,200 teenagers while delivering the inspiring keynote speech for “Passion Day” at Portola High School on Friday (February 21) in Irvine, Calif.

Joey spoke about her “passion” from her own experience about being in the entertainment business for 16 years – the ups, the downs and everything in between. She told the packed auditorium that she auditioned for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood but when she didn’t get it, she “wallowed in self-pity with peanut butter”. Because she didn’t book the supporting role, Joey was able to successfully audition for and star as the leading role in Hulu’s The Act, for which she was nominated for an Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics Choice Award and SAG Award.

“A few weeks ago, I was at one of these fancy schmancy pre-award show parties and ran into Quentin Tarantino,” she shared. “I went over to him and I said, ‘Hi I don’t know if you remember me…’ and before I could even finish, he cut me off and said, ‘Joey King, boy am I glad I didn’t hire you because look at you now, I am so happy for you.’ Moral of the story? Failure is a huge part of success.” When one door closes, another one opens!

During the Q&A, senior Tanner Hsu asked Joey to his prom! “Hey Joey,” his sign read. “Can you be my queen and I’ll be your king @ prom?” Her first prom-posal! Watch below.

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FYI: Joey is a wearing a DL1961 Premium Denim jumpsuit, Jeffrey Campbell boots, Melinda Maria earrings, and Walters Faith chain rings and gold Kelly Bello ring.

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