From Hit Girl to It Girl


"You are watching a star being born," says "Kick-Ass" director Matthew Vaughn about Chloe Moretz in the voice-over commentary to the DVD and Blu-ray disc release of the movie, which is out today.


And he's absolutely right. Once she appears on screen as Mindy, a.k.a. Hit-Girl, the 11-year-old costumed vigilante superhero, even Nicolas Cage, who plays her superhero father Big Daddy, can't keep up. Her first scene is one of the great character debuts on film.

Not everyone is so enthusiastic. Various people have complained that it was inappropriate for a child to disembowel people or say four letter words, even in an over the top movie fantasy. They probably won't be mollified by her new film in which she will be upping the ante with her new film "Let Me In" (opens October 1),  Matt Reeve's remake of the Swedish director Tomas Alfredson's cult favorite horror movie "Let the Right One In" (2008), in which she plays a 500 year-old vampire who is forever 13-years-old. Nor are some purist fans of the original movie pleased, denouncing the still unseen Hollywood version as unnecessary or as a travesty.

And then there are the legions of creeps and weirdos who are themselves vampires drawing their life from spurious contact with celebrities or who get off on the anonymity of the internet to spew their nastiness at strangers. Hence this plaintive tweet on Moretz's twitter feed  a couple of days ago: "Listen everyone I'm very sorry I can't reply to everyone but please do not send crude and horrible threats to me I am 13 please just stop."

She has since stopped twittering "until further notice."

Meanwhile, her extraordinary, prolific career continues. I spoke to her on the phone over the weekend in London where she was making "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," Martin Scorsese's 3-D adaptation of Brian Selznick's children's book. (Scorsese, as you recall, directed "Taxi Driver," which transformed then 14-year-old star Jodie Foster's career in more ways than one).

CM: Hi!

PK: Hi, how are you doing?

CM: I'm good, how are you?

PK: Pretty good. Thanks for giving me a call. They're having you work on weekends? That doesn't seem fair.

CM:  It's all good, you know, just hanging out.

PK: The DVD of "Kick-Ass" is coming out, as you probably know, in a few days. You might remember that when it first came out there were some people that were disturbed by the depiction of an 11-year-old killing people


and probably even more so by her using foul language. Do you think that's still a controversy, and what is your response to that?

CM: Well, I mean, it's just a character. You know, as I've said before, it's just a character, and I loved the role so much that I did it, and I mean, it was, you know, totally different than who Chloe is, but it's just a character!

PK: So you don't think it's going to be a bad influence on 11-year-olds and spike a rash -

CM: Well, you know, the film is rated R - it's not made for 11-year-olds. It's made for people of the age to be able to see the film.

PK: You've been able to see the film, too, even though you're not old enough to see it.

CM: Yes, I have seen the film.

PK: Are there any parts of it you find especially gratifying or disturbing in some way?

CM: No! It's a really fun movie to watch. It was really well-made, and everyone did an amazing job in it, and, you know, I think it's a great film.

PK: I thought that, actually, Hit-Girl was kind of an inspiring, empowering image for women in general. I understand you were wanted to make an action movie after seeing a billboard of Angelina Jolie in "Wanted." Can you talk about that?

CM: Yeah! I'd always wanted to do a really fun action film with an Angelina Jolie-type character. And it was around when "Wanted" came out, and the billboards were everywhere, and everyone was talking about how amazing she is and of course, you know, she's just so amazing and such an amazing actress. So basically, we got the script for "Kick-Ass" around that time, after I told my mom, you know, I really want that type character. And then we got the script, and she was like, you know, it's exactly what you've been looking for. And then it just kinda happened. You know, I tried out for it, and Matthew thought I was, you know, the one, and, you know, we went for it.

PK: Have you actually seen "Wanted"? I mean, that's an R-rated movie too.

CM: No, I haven't been able to see "Wanted." I only saw "Kick-Ass" because it was my film.

PK: The people who are upset by Hit-Girl probably won't be any happier with Abby, your character in "Let Me In." Can you talk about that?

CM: Mhm. Well, you know, it's, you know, just like Hit-Girl, it's a character, and it's far far far far far far away from who Chloe is, obviously. You know I'm not a vampire or an assassin or anything. So yeah, I mean, you know, I just say put all the controversy aside and just go see the film, and see if you like it, you know, don't judge it.

PK: What do you think is the reason for the appeal of vampires? There are so many vampire movies and TV shows and so forth that are coming out.

CM: Well, they're so special, you know, and there's nothing like them. I mean, they're these beautiful things, and at the same time they have these dark secrets. And I think that's why they appeal to people so much, is that they are so different, and the way they live is so different from any human. They're just such beautiful beings.

PK: This film is kind of the darker side of vampires, though. It doesn't look like such an appealing lifestyle, at least in the original movie that I've seen.

CM: Yeah. I mean, I've always said that after you see this film, you won't want to be a vampire like most people want to be vampires. It's deeper, it's darker, and it's grittier than any other vampire film you've ever seen before in your life.

PK: So are you one of the people whose been following the Twilight series? Are you into that Team Edward or Team Jacob thing at all?

CM: Well my favorite vampire-type thing is "Vampire Diaries." 

"Vampire Diaries" is for sure my number one thing.

PK: I've also read that Justin Bieber is your twitter pal now? Is that true?

CM: Yeah, we tweet back and forth now and then. He's a cool guy.

PK: You're working with another cool guy, Martin Scorsese in London. How is that shooting going?

CM: It's really amazing. I'm actually in London right now and it's great, you know, it's going really well. And Marty's such an amazing director, it's really such a privilege to be able to work with him.

PK: This is a different character; I guess you don't kill anybody in this movie.

CM: No, definitely not. This is a very wholesome film.

PK: What is the storyline? What is your character?

CM: Well the story's about a young boy and his father dies and he goes on this crazy adventure. It's set in the 1930s, and he goes on this crazy adventure through a Parisian train station. We meet, and we go on this crazy adventure together. And I play a girl named Isabelle.

PK: And what is Isabelle's function in the story?

CM: Well Isabelle's a fun kind of - she's a fun, witty, bookish type girl. So she really loves loves loves books. And um, well yeah, we go on this adventure together. I can't really say much about it, but we go on this crazy adventure together.

PK: So she's a closer character to yourself than Hit-Girl or Abby the vampire.

CM: Yeah, there you go. Me and Isabelle are much closer than me and Hit-Girl.

PK: It must be interesting for you that Martin Scorsese directed the film that made Jodie Foster a star and now, you're already a star, but he's directing you. Do you have any role models among actresses who started their careers young and went on to have great careers?

CM: Natalie Portman's my number one kind of idol-type person. Because, you know, she's so smart and she's so well-rounded but at the same time she's such a phenomenal actress. And she's really who I aspire to be as an actress.

PK: Did you see her film "The Professional"? That was a similar film to your performance as Hit-Girl.

CM: I wasn't allowed to see "Leon: the Professional," but I saw parts of it, and the parts that I did see were really inspiring.

PK: Do you plan to do a movie with her? Have you been in touch with her like you have been with Justin Bieber?

CM: I wish! I haven't even met her yet. But what I did do is um, you know her new film "Black Swan," with Darren Aronofsky, he's directing it. I actually went and I saw the ending of the movie be scored, which was pretty amazing, it was the first time I've ever seen a movie be scored. But I got to see some lost footage of her, so I was like freaking out, and he was like I'll have to tell Natalie that you love her. And I was like ‘OMYGOSH' I was like pleeeeeease!

PK: I also understand that your favorite movie is "Breakfast at Tiffany's"? That wouldn't be my first guess.

CM: It is, that's my very favorite movie, is "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "Funny Face" and "Roman Holiday." Obviously I definitely love Audrey Hepburn.

PK: Do you plan to be in a movie that's sorta like an Audrey Hepburn movie at some point?

CM: I would love to. I've always wanted to play Holly Golightly.

PK: Can you go back to when you first decided to become an actor? I guess you were like four years old or something like that. What inspired you to do that and what was your family background with that, how supportive were they about that decision?

CM: Well my brother got accepted into a professional performing arts high school, and that made me want to become an actor because he loved it so much. And I would run his lines with me, and I guess I just got bitten by the acting bug. And I just went for it, and my family's very supportive, and yeah!

PK: Some people are concerned that when somebody is young like you and is working a lot as an actor that you don't keep up with your school work or you lose out on being a child actually. Is that a problem for you?

CM: Definitely not. I have so many friends and I do school 24/7. Actually school in our family comes first. School comes first before anything else.

PK: What are the favorite things for you to study?

CM: My favorite thing is history.

PK: "Romeo and Juliet," s that going to be in your schedule at some point?

CM: I would so love to do "Romeo and Juliet." I would actually love to do Juliet at her real age, you know? Which is 14.

PK: Have you seen the Zeffirelli version where the actress actually is 15 or 14 years old in the movie?

CM: Yeah, the real version of "Romeo and Juliet" is when she is 14. So I've always wanted to actually recreate it with the real ages of both people.

PK: I was looking at your upcoming schedule, and it looks like there's about six movies - "Old St. Louis,"  "The Rut"...

CM: Well at the moment, "Old St. Louis," we had scheduling conflicts. I would have absolutely loved to work with Vince Vaughn and David O'Russell but we were offered the role and we tried to work it out but we just had scheduling conflicts and I'd love to work with them again.

PK: "The Fields," "Mixtape," "Devil in the Deep Blue Sea,"  - some of these are on IMDB, which is not always accurate.

CM: But yeah all of those are right. I just filmed "The Fields" with Amy Mann; it was her first feature film. I did that right before I came here, doing "The Invention of Hugo Cabret." And I also am doing a film called "The Rut"  with Karyn Kusama, which is going to be very, very cool, and I can't wait.

PK: It sounds sort of like you're playing a person who's searching for her father -a little bit like the Hit-Girl role in some way.

CM: In some way, I guess, in some way "The Rut" is kind of like "Kick-Ass," but no, she's definitely not a crazy assassin.

PK: Is there going to be a sequel to "Kick-Ass"?

CM: I would love to do a sequel to "Kick-Ass." So we don't know yet. The director of "Kick-Ass" is right now doing "X-Men," so maybe after that, who knows?

PK: Would it be difficult to take on the character when she's like three years older or four years older?

CM: I think it would be really fun for me to portray Hit-Girl in a different light, you know, more mature and more knowing than she used to be.


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