Y&R’s Hunter King Is Looking Forward To Her Next Important Role: Wife
If you loathe Y&R’s Summer Newman for stealing cars, sleeping with her mother’s boyfriend, coming between Kyle and Lola, and being just plain mean to Mariah, then you’ve made her portrayer, Hunter King, very happy. “Summer’s not a villain, and she is not one of the sweeter characters in Genoa City,” the actress observes. “She’s always up to something, always something up her sleeve. There are shows that I watch where I’m like, ‘I hate that person so much but I love it!’ So, if I’m the person that the audience loves to hate, that’s fine by me. As long as they believe it, I’m good. My grandma watches the show and she’ll call me and say, ‘I can’t believe you did that!’ That’s the best compliment of all.”
King is grateful that she could return to Y&R last June after leaving in December 2016 to join the sitcom LIFE IN PIECES. “I love getting to hang out with Camryn [Grimes, Mariah] and Melissa [Ordway, Abby], and having fun on set with Joshua [Morrow, Nick],” she enthuses. “It’s always such a happy time there and I just love being on this show. Everybody’s so sweet and there’s never the same thing happening from one day to the next. It’s always something new. As long as they want me, I’m thrilled to be there. We’re a close-knit group and I love being in Genoa City.”
Since King is still part of the prime-time series, it takes creative juggling to mesh her two schedules. “It can be a little difficult, but I’m happy that Y&R is able to let me make it work,” she smiles. “I love being busy and I love being on two CBS shows. They’re such different shows; one is drama and one is comedy.”
Acting in two mediums has helped King overcome some issues. “I’m more of an insecure person, so working on these shows has helped me build confidence,” she shares. “I was 18, almost 19 when I started on Y&R, but I feel like I grew up on that show and I’ve learned so many different things about myself. One of them is that you can accomplish a lot if you just put your mind to it. Memorizing lines and speaking in front of crowds had always been really scary to me. On Y&R, you memorize 30 pages, act in front of the crew and you have only two takes, so I feel I’ve conquered some fears.”
Although she’s had to “cry at the drop of a hat” in daytime, mastering comedy is no walk in the park, either. “The timing is what’s so terrifying,” King explains. “In drama, it’s about creating an emotion and getting people to feel that emotion from you, whereas comedy is literally just about the timing of your delivery. You don’t know if they want you to improvise or if you’ll get a laugh from the crew. It’s just a whole other beast from soaps but I love that.”
With two current projects to focus on, King says she is in no hurry to star in big-screen movies. “I’m a huge homebody,” she admits. “All of my friends call me a hermit. My sister [Joey King] does movies, and she’s always out of town. She just got back from filming something in Savannah, Georgia, for three months and she goes to Africa soon to film something else. She’s always gone and I just love being home with my family.”
King’s family life will be changing soon with her upcoming wedding to Nico Svoboda, who she met at Y&R. “He was a boom [microphone] operator,” she relays. “We started talking and realized we’re both from the same hometown, and his childhood home and my childhood home were maybe four blocks from each other. We went to two different high schools but we played at the same park. He’s one of the sweetest, most caring people I’ve ever met and nothing bothers him, ever. He puts up with me and my craziness and all of my weird baby voices. And he’s my best friend!”
After two years of dating, Svoboda, who now works across the hall from Y&R as a cameraman for B&B, proposed last August. “I knew it would happen eventually because I talked about it all the time,” laughs King. “I was the chillest girlfriend and was like, ‘So, when do you wanna get married? No pressure, but what day were you thinking of proposing?’ I’d always pull pranks on him like that just to freak him out.”
Still, King was surprised when her boyfriend popped the question. “We had a ‘staycation’ in downtown [Los Angeles],” she says. “We went to Perch [restaurant], which was so pretty, then to the top of U.S. Bank Tower and saw the view. Then we went to the L.A. River and we skateboarded for a while. We got to this bridge and he said, ‘You gotta trust me. We’re going down there,’ which was to the river, and that’s where one of our friends was hiding to take photos.”
Svoboda then embraced his still-unsuspecting girlfriend. “He started singing that song … I think it goes, ‘Will you marry me, baby?’ ” King recalls. “As soon as he got to the chorus, he got down on one knee and said, ‘Will you marry me, baby?’ It was cheesy and so cute. I backed away with my hands over my mouth. I just remember being in shock that it actually happened. I got on top of him and was kissing him while we were rolling on the ground.”
The wedding date and venue are set and King reports, “We’re keeping it pretty simple. The bridesmaids’ dresses are picked out and we know who’s going to marry us. We have most of the big stuff covered but there are so many little details, like we need to get trash can covers and ‘Who’s bringing the toilet paper?’ ”
JUST THE FACTS
Birthday: October 20
Hometown: Simi Valley, CA
Mr. And Mrs.: King is engaged to Nico Svoboda.
Golden Girl: King won Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Younger Actress in two consecutive years, 2014 and 2015.
Pet Project: She recently got a Golden Retriever puppy named Poppin. “I’m really bad at names. When I fostered a kitten, I called her Kitty. The new Mary Poppins movie came out and I was like ‘Oh, Poppin!’ Robert Adamson [Noah] just came over the other day to meet her.”
Popcorn Pleasers: Rom-coms are her movie genre of choice. “I love When Harry Met Sally, My Best Friend’s Wedding and 50 First Dates.”
Ya Gotta have FRIENDS: She finally visited the Central Perk set from her favorite TV show, FRIENDS. “My cousin works at Warner Brothers and we did the FRIENDS tour. I bought so much merchandise; coffee mugs, keychain, sweatshirt, shirt, a pillow and I still don’t have enough!”
Day Brightners: Of her on-screen rival, Sasha Calle (Lola), King says, “She’s so sweet. I love her. She has the best laugh ever. It’s contagious. She and Melissa Ordway [Abby] just light up my heart.”
Did You Know?
King is still in touch with Lachlan Buchanan (ex-Kyle, 2015-16). “We text each other now and then, but he’s always jetting off somewhere,” she reports. “He’s always texting, ‘Miss your face!’ He’s just the cutest thing in the world. He’ll 100 percent be at my wedding.”
She enjoys camping. “I love food, so that’s the only thing that I would need on a camping trip,” she notes. “That’s what I find fun about camping — eating crappy food and s’mores.”