Joey King hits back after ex Jacob Elordi calls Kissing Booth movies ‘ridiculous’

Joey King has responded to her former co-star and ex-boyfriend Jacob Elordi’s withering takedown of the Kissing Booth films.

King, 24, and Elordi, 26, both starred in all three of the Netflix-distributed romcoms as their respective careers began to take off.

Adapted from Beth Reekles’ young adult novel, the first film saw protagonist Elle (King) begin a relationship with her best friend’s brooding older brother Noah (Elordi) after they kiss for the first time at a carnival stand.

The actors also dated in real life between 2017 to 2018, splitting before they resumed their roles as love interests for the second and third films.

As part of his GQ Man of the Year cover last month, Elordi shared his unfavourable opinion on the film trilogy, while promoting his new movie Saltburn.

“I didn’t want to make those movies before I made those movies,” he told the magazine. “Those movies are ridiculous. They’re not universal. They’re an escape.”

In a conversation with Variety correspondent Marc Malkin, Bullet Train star King responded to Elordi’s remarks.

“I think it’s unfortunate anyone would feel that way,” King told the journalist in Los Angeles on Saturday (2 December). “I had a great time making those movies no matter what anyone says.”

Jacob Elordi and Joey King in ‘The Kissing Booth’ (Marcos Cruz)
Jacob Elordi and Joey King in ‘The Kissing Booth’ (Marcos Cruz)

Speaking to The Independent in August 2022, King expressed a similar sentiment about her role in the films, despite the franchise being critically panned.

On the review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, The Kissing Booth has a critic score of 15 per cent, while The Kissing Booth 2 is at 27 per cent and The Kissing Booth 3 is at 25 per cent.

Still, King said that she “couldn’t be prouder of those movies”, adding: “I loved them so much and playing that character made me happy. I’ll never regret those movies.”

Joey King and Jacob Elordi (Getty)
Joey King and Jacob Elordi (Getty)

Fellow Kissing Booth actor Taylor Zakhar Perez, who plays fan favourite Marco in the second and third films, also weighed in on Elordi’s frank comment at the GQ Men of the Year event last month.

“I thought it was a shame because, to my knowledge, everybody else had such a wonderful experience,” he said.

“It’s a shame that was his experience on the set. Especially when those movies came out, it was a time when we really needed something like that.

“I know from our fan interactions, getting stopped everywhere I go, what Kissing Booth means to people and what it brought them during such a dark time. I guess the silver lining is he still made people laugh and feel good.”

It is reported that at the same event, Elordi later offered a more balanced view on the project by adding: “I’m incredibly grateful to everybody in it.”