The Verge: Chloë Moretz

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In her role as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's little sister in (500) Days of Summer, the joke was that Chloë Moretz is wise beyond her years. We'd all better get used to it. The 13-year-old actress has lined up a series of challenging, mature parts over the next several months: She'll first be seen as the ultraviolent Hit Girl in Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass, then star as a child vampire in Let Me In (a remake of the recent Swedish sleeper Let the Right One In). In between, a more G-rated audience might catch Moretz in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, though the actress herself is no pushover.

As Moretz prepares for the release of the already controversial Kick-Ass, she talked to Movieline about her suddenly high-gear career.

You so often get cast as these young characters who are mature for their age. Do you feel that way in real life?

In real life, when I'm around my friends and family, I'm basically like a three-year-old. [Laughs] When I'm on set, I'm "Actor Chloë," but when they say, "Cut," I turn into a three-year-old.

So what do you think it is about you that casting directors see this confidence and wisdom?

My brother's my acting coach, and the way he coaches me, I'm very confident with the roles I do. Every time I go up for a project, I'm very confident, so maybe that's it? I don't know. Still, every time I go in, I always have butterflies in my stomach. I think that's a good thing, because it keeps you on your toes, it keeps you fresh.

What was your reaction when you first read the script for Kick-Ass?

The month before, I'd said, "I really want an action-hero-type role," and then the script for Kick-Ass came out and my mom read it and said, "Chloë, it's exactly what you wanted. It's an action hero, take-charge role." So I read it -- and I don't really read scripts when I go out for roles because if you're emotionally attached and you don't get it, you get sad -- and I was like, "Oh my gosh, I have to be Hit Girl."

Was it easy to convince the producers?

Well, then I was skateboarding in Santa Monica and my manager called and she was like, "Oh hey, Matthew Vaughn's at the Four Seasons. Can you go over there and meet him and have lunch with him?" And I was like, "Oh my gosh," I was freaking out. I was just skateboarding on the Santa Monica pier, so we had to make it all the way across town to get to the Four Seasons. We got there and I had my brother's sweatshirt on and I went up and met Matthew and we talked for a while, just about the role. Then he started talking about how Hit Girl is actually a girly girl, so I got up and I unzipped my sweatshirt and I was like, "Well, this is me," and I was wearing, like, this pink little top with tight white jeans and boots. And he was like, "Oh my gosh! That's Hit Girl!"

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It's already a controversial film because you're a minor who uses some intense curse words and deals out a lot of graphic violence. Did you have any reservations about taking the part?

I knew it was a controversial role, but it was a role I wanted to do because it was challenging -- it was a challenge for me because I had to think about the choreography while I was thinking about the acting. I don't really think about what happens after. I do the role and I stand behind it completely and it's what I want to do.

You wanted to do an action role, but how much action did they actually let you do on set?

I basically did all my action, except for, like, running up the wall and doing a crazy flip.

Sometimes in situations like that, they'll give you a stunt double and it'll be some 30-year-old guy in a little girl's wig. Did anything like that happen here?

It did! I had three stunt doubles. Isn't that crazy? One was a 12-year-old boy, my age, and he had to wear this purple wig and purple costume. He's an amazing, amazing gymnast. I had another stunt double who was the coordinator and did all the crazy flips, and then I had _another_one who was actually a girl, and she was an amazing gymnast too. It was really cool, and I loved them all.

Was the action difficult to pull off?

The most challenging thing would have to be remembering the steps while keeping your face normal -- not counting it out like, "One, two, three, four." I guess it was just hard altogether, physically and mentally. I had to give myself over to the character.

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