Written By: Jayme Face
Allison King loves New York and we love her! You’ve seen her in Baby Driver and on January 19th you can see her in 12 Strong.
upfrontNY: Baby Driver just came out on DVD, can you tell us a bit about it and the role that you play?
Allison King: Just in case you’ve been living under a rock over the summer, Baby Driver is this beautiful mashup of genres – a heist meets bank heist movie living in a glossy, fun, musical world. I play a postal service employee who sadly gets caught up in the fray.
upfrontNY: Your most recent project is 12 Strong; Can you tell us about that and your role Marcha Spencer?
Allison King: 12 Strong is a film based on the non-fiction book Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton. It follows a group of Special Forces into Taliban controlled territory in the weeks just after September 11th. I play the wife of one of the soldiers played by Michael Shannon. What I loved most about this character was her ferocity. In the book, it says they always have a fight before he leaves and then again when he comes back and then everything is back to normal. This told me they had this fierce, kind of hard and gem-like love. And it was fun to really throw down with Michael in that way.
upfrontNY: What did you do to prepare for a role like this?
Allison King: I just read the book and used my imagination. Everything I needed was there in Doug’s really excellent account. But then I spent most of my time getting back to that time, what it felt like, where we were emotionally and mentally. I watched “102 Minutes that Changed America” a bunch of times. I liked that one most because it’s really mostly personal cell phone video, which made it all the more harrowing. One of my favorite podcasts, Last Podcast of the Left, did a deep dive and I spent a lot of time listening to that as well.
upfrontNY: This is the second time you’ve teamed up with Michael Shannon, what was it like to work with him the second time around?
Allison King: Well, I only had scenes with Adam Driver in Midnight Special, so I met Michael for the first time on 12 Strong. I love working with actors who’ve come up in the theater. It’s so clear right away. There’s this deep sense of ensemble and space and intimacy right off the bat. He was so incredibly kind and generous. I’d love to work with him again.
upfrontNY: Even though you had been interested in performing from a young age in college you studied International Relations and French; what inspired you to go in that direction?
Allison King: I was an incredibly shy person and the very idea of being on stage was something I had to warm up to… and is still something I struggle with to be honest. I studied French because I wanted to study abroad and I studied International Relations because a lot of my credits from France transferred and I found it interesting. It wasn’t until I started working a full-time job that I felt I had the ovaries to really study acting. And then it was like finding my home that I’d been missing without knowing it.
upfrontNY: I also saw you are a writer, do you have any current projects and what genre do you like writing best?
Allison King: I don’t know… yes, I write and yes, I have a screenplay and a non-fiction book of personal stories I like to bash around with. Someday maybe it’ll all see the light of day.
upfrontNY: You are involved in several charities can you tell us more about them?
Allison King: Right now, my husband and I are doing some serious Christmas shopping for our adopted family through Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. Someone recently told me Hanukkah was about bringing light into darkness – meaning candles in winter, but also God(dess) into a dark world. So rather than giving gifts to each other, giving to our adopted family feels the closest to bringing light that I can imagine. And that’s something I can celebrate.
upfrontNY: You spent some time studying in New York what is something that you loved about the city?
Allison King: Oh, I loved living in New York. It’s a great city to be young in. It’s very hard to name only one thing… I think honestly, my favorite thing was the walking. I used to walk everywhere. I’d leave my apartment on a Saturday morning, get coffee and just wander. The city would provide a complete adventure. I’d inevitably run into friends or meet up, or go to Central Park or the library. I mean, the city endlessly unfolds itself to you. Other cities, you have to go out of your way to find the gems. It’s a lot more work. And the pizza.