Aja Naomi King is perched on the edge of her chair in her suite at Le Bristol, wrapped in a fluffy white robe, beaming from ear to ear. “This is my very first Paris Fashion Week,” she announces, thrilled to be in the city of lights. ”Does this happen to real people? Who gets to do that? Fly to Paris, and bring their parents, see a fashion show, and stay in this amazing hotel?”
In town to take in her very first Miu Miu show, the trip is King’s second time in Paris, and she has clearly been making the most of it. A stack of polaroids sitting on a side table details her trip thus far--a view of Notre Dame, a charming Parisian city street, a glistening chandelier. There was only one thing to do left. “I want to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower, because I didn’t do that last time I was here. We went to the Eiffel Tower, but not to the top.”
Born in Los Angeles, the actress and star of last year's The Birth of a Nation, has been acting in some capacity since the age of three. “I’ve been performing, according to my mother, everywhere I go since I was a child, much to her chagrin,” King shared. “To the point where she would pull me aside and say, ‘You are not on stage!’”
Clearly King did not get the message. After starring in her high school’s play and heading up the school’s choir, she enrolled in UC Santa Barbara for undergrad, and then Yale School of Drama. After moving to New York, and performing in “off-off-off-off-off-off-off Broadway shows," King filmed the pilot for How to Get Away with Murder, which, entering its fourth season, sees her acting alongside Viola Davis. "“I still remember the day I found out that she [Davis] was going to be the lead, and I immediately thought, oh well, we’re getting picked up. Viola Davis! She’s so incredible. Heretofore I will forever call her Oscar Winner Viola Davis. She’s so wonderful." Up next, King will star alongside Nicole Kidman and Bryan Cranston in Untouchable, a comedy due out in 2018.
King takes a moment to peer in the mirror. Her hair has been perfectly straightened, and her skin glowing. Right on time, her Miu Miu look arrives: a sweet pale pink short-sleeved blouse, a matching pink skirt, and glittery heels. “So Miu Miu, right?” King said, to the nodding approval of her glam team and parents.
“They haven’t let me in on anything,” the actress said, when asked if she has any insider information on the show she's about to see. “But, I would assume with the amount of time they’ve spent getting ready it is going to be quite spectacular. You really see the extent of people’s artistry [at a fashion show]. You get to see what happens when someone allows their imagination to run wild.” She pauses. "They spent six months putting this show together, and it’s only going to be 12 minutes long. That’s insane!”
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