Hulu’s The Princess is one of the new original films that the Disney-owned streamer has debuted for the summer. In it, a princess played by Joey King goes on a mission to show who she is to her family and her kingdom – by any means necessary.
Director Le-Van Kiet was tasked with leading the vision of the film, which very much feels like a narrative equivalent to Pixar’s “Brave” with Merida breaking all the princess stereotypes, including the main stereotype that traces to “The Princess”: breaking the patriarchy norms that make women secondary.
To do that, Kiet filled the entire movie with bone-breaking action done by the film’s main heroine – the princess. Joey King, 22, had not performed in a role before that required any fight training, but she took it seriously and trained for months before filming like many other actors who wanted to perform the stunts themselves do.
“Kiet, Veronica, and the entire stunt team really pushed me to be the best student,” King said in the film’s virtual press conference. “I was nervous, but I’d definitely do another martial arts movie after this experience.”
Veronica Ngo is a seasoned martial artist and actress, and quite famous back in Vietnam having done many martial arts films. She was even impressed with King’s ability. “I was impressed to see Joey be a badass! She really kept up with our training for every fight sequence and it showed,” Ngo said.
Even with so much fighting done by the principal actors, stunt doubles were still used in a few of the more elaborate fight scenes that were choreographed to perfection in the film. “People don’t know how dangerous it can be to do all this with so many moving pieces,” Kiet said.
The Princess very much has a lot of moving pieces, both with its story and fight choreography, but it all comes together to make an action-packed modern princess movie that hasn’t been seen in a very long time, if at all. It’s what happens if Merida took direction from “The Kingsman” director Matthew Vaughn, and then some. With Joey King’s dramatic acting and impressive martial arts skills, ‘happily ever after’ for The Princess means a very fun time watching Hulu.