Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel — about a teen girl trapped in limbo while in a coma trying to decide whether to live or die — Moretz has been a tireless campaigner and social media omnipresence. She'll even go so far as to point out how much better the book sells than a certain other tearjerker recently turned into a film.
You tweeted recently about how much better "If I Stay" sells than "the Fault in Our Stars."
That was from USA Today! For every 10 books we sell, they only 8.3 sell books.
Do you feel any sort of rivalry with that book and film and yours?
Not quite really a rivalry, but more like I think it's interesting that we're all making movies like this, for young teens and kids that they're actually enjoying. And what I think is so, so cool about it is that we're really mobilizing youth to be interested in reading, when really I don't think in many generations have we had a group of kids — a generation — that is so interested in reading the latest novel, because it's never been that way.
Why do you think that is?
I mean, you look at 1980 to 1990, and that is a time period when you had all this technology coming through in the forefront, all this brand-new technology. And then now, this generation — my generation — we've grown up with technology, so it's not special to us. It's kind of just whatever. Like, I've had an iPhone since I was 11, most kids younger than me have had iPhones since they were 7 years old. They don't really care about technology because it's just their life. There's not an enthrallment. So I think they're looking for something that might be a bit more naturalistic, something that makes them feel and emote because I think that our generation of electronics is kind of counteracting that.
And lately it's been books that are more reality-based and less about sparkly vampires.
Yeah, definitely. The more reality there is in these novels and movies, the better it is, which is shocking because it used to be the more camp, the more laughs, the more stylized the better. That was the genre that we lived in, I think, from the '80s on, at least. The '70s, I think, were a bit more naturalistic than the '80s and '90s in terms of cinema.
Has shooting this movie changed your opinion at all of hospitals?
Umm, I think it made me hate them more. A, because there are some really mean people that work in this hospital [in the movie], and it's a hospital that I would never want my family to be put into. And because I filmed it inside of an insane asylum, so … yeah. It was kind of horrible.
It doesn't look like an insane asylum, at least.
Yeah, exactly, because they made it look real pretty. (laughs)
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter: @nedrick