Chloe Grace Moretz has carved out a nice place for herself in Hollywood as a child and teen actor who can handle (very) grown-up material, but everyone has to grow up sometime. With the remake of “Carrie,” she takes on the most iconic high school wallflower in film history, but going forward she’s looking to leave teenagers behind. Which is convenient, because they terrify her.
This might be the quietest character you’ve ever played.
It’s the most vulnerable I’ve ever been, for sure. This is the most opposite of who Chloe is in a character, but at the same time it’s almost closer to my inner self. I’m incredibly naïve compared to my friends. She’s definitely the most innocent I’ve ever played. But at the same time it was almost easier to jump into than playing, like, a bitch because I’m not very good at doing that. It’s harder for me to play a fake, stuck-up girl than it is for me to play vulnerable.
Why do you think you’ve maintained that level of naivete compared to your friends?
I think it’s because I literally have lived a more naive life and the fact that they have to deal with, like, boys and everything. They deal with 10 times as much as I do [in high school]. You’re dealing with things that are way above your head, and you learn quickly and you move quickly. And me, I’ve been home-schooled since I was 9, so it’s like I haven’t been interacting with copious amounts of teenagers since I was 9 years old.
You got off lucky.
I think so too. I don’t like teenagers. They’re really scary. They’re unpredictable because they’re just, like, dumb. They don’t even know what they’re doing, and they just bumble around and make stupid mistakes and they’re like, “Oh, I didn’t mean to do that. I regret that.” I’ve never regretted anything in my life because I cognizantly make every decision. I’ve messed up, but I’ve never regretted anything.
Is this the first time you’ve played a character who’s actually older than you?
Kind of. I mean, she’s 17. I think before I played a character who was 16 when I was 15. But I think the oldest character I’ve played so far was 20. That’s a real jump.
You’ve really made a name for yourself appearing in more mature movies. Is there a transition you have to make now that you’re getting older and other actresses your age are catching up?
I think the transition is all age, all look, it’s all saying, “Can you play the adult characters?” and not being overly sexualized and not doing all that stuff. It really is going, “I want to play the adult characters but I’m not going to do what a 20-year-old does.”
You still have a lot of years of playing a teenagers ahead of you. We have 25-year-olds playing teenagers.
That’s the thing, I never understand that because as an actor, when I’m 20 I’m going to stay at 20. At 25, the last thing I’d want to do is go backwards. Why would I want to play a character that’s younger than me? The 20- to 25-year-old market is very hard. You have Jennifer Lawrence. You have Michelle Williams even playing that age. There’s Mia Wasikowska. There’s so many brilliant actresses up there that you’re going, “Where does it end?” Where’s the niche that you can just crawl into?
So what’s your niche?
I think it’s just realism, to be honest. I think my strong suit is being able to show realism within some of the most unrealistic characters. That’s what I like to do.