Thirteen year-old Chloë Moretz is causing quite a stir in the new superhero movie Kick-Ass, playing Hit-Girl, a fierce, high-powered, homicidal eleven year-old girl who uses the C-word and has been trained by her gun-happy father (Nicolas Cage). The movie has garnered many positive reviews, although Roger Ebert called it “morally reprehensible” and the Christian Science Monitor asked, “Are toddlers toting Uzis next?” Moretz takes the whole thing in stride. To her, it’s just a movie, nothing more.
When ADD caught up with her at the recent Kick-Ass junket in NYC, she was locqacious, precocious and even a little dramatic when emphasizing people’s strong reactions to the film. She clearly loves the spotlight, and this role will certainly take her career to the next level. (For more from Moretz, check out my Movies.com interview with the three young Kick-Ass stars.)
How did you react when you read the script?
From the moment I read the script I really wanted to be Hit-Girl. Cutting people apart is fake. That’s a prosthetic leg. That’s fake blood. It’s made of corn syrup; you could eat the blood. It was a lot of fun.
Who are your role models?
Natalie Portman, Audrey Hepburn, Meryl Streep, people like that. They’re people who help the world. They do more than just entertain. They go out there and try to be somebody more than an actor.
What did your parents think of this role, and what did you watch as research?
I watched a couple of films as research: Interview With The Vampire and Kill Bill. I was allowed to see Kill Bill because it is so fake. They cut off an arm, and it’s obviously a fake prosthetic arm because it falls and looks plastic and shiny. The blood squirts, stops squirting, and then starts squirting again. I really researched the role, and my mom read the script before I did. She knew it was a role that was challenging and unique and something that would really change an acting career.
Do you think many of your friends will see this film?
It’s an R-rated movie. I advise all my friends not to see it.
Is it weird to tell your friends that it was really fun to make, but they can’t watch it?
Not really, because they’ve seen a lot of the other stuff that I’ve done — Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and Big Momma’s House 2, movies like that. There’s a lot of stuff that they can see that I’ve done, which is really cool. I like doing movies that are challenging, and whatever connects to me I do.
What was it like to work with Nicolas Cage?
Nicolas Cage is amazing. Just shaking his hand I was starstruck. I have never been able to work with an Oscar winner before.
Was he very protective of you?
Yeah. He’s an amazing actor, and he brought something to the character that I was able to feed off of as an actor.
There’s been some controversy over the language that your character uses in the film. What do you say to people who complain about the violence and the language that your character uses?
It’s a film. It’s for your entertainment. When you see it in context, it’s not that shocking. Some people go, “Ohhhhhh!” Other people go, “That’s kind of cool.” There are maybe other people who are disgusted by it.
Were there deleted scenes that didn’t make it but will be on the DVD?
There’s this one scene where Nick gives me my Hit-Girl belt because he built it. He gives it to me, and I think it’s so cool. As Mindy I’m always wearing it because I love it so much because he made it for me. There’s one scene that will be in the director’s cut. We start talking about what we’re going to do, and he goes, “And we’re not going to fail.” And he goes, “Harmonize it now!” Then he starts belting it: “We’re not going to fail!” That was one of the takes.
Did you know he was going to do that?
No! I wasn’t told. I almost cracked up, but I stayed in character.
What kind of direction did you get from director Matthew Vaughn about playing this character?
He really let me just run with it. My brother/acting coach and I talked about the role and decided what we wanted to do. Everything comes naturally, so when you see me in the scenes and I’m punching people, the reason it looks realistic is because I’m so into it. I become Hit-Girl. I become this girl who just wants to fight back. She’s so naïve but doesn’t even know it, which is why it’s so cool.
How hard was it to do those violent scenes with Mark Strong at the end?
It’s a movie! It’s not real life. It was fun because I was in character, and I like it because it’s the only time you see Hit-Girl become a damsel in distress.
What else is coming up?
I have Let Me In on October 1. I also have a film called The Fields, [directed] by Michael Mann’s daughter Amy Mann. It’s her first feature film. The Martin Scorsese project [The Invention of Hugo Cabret] starts in June, with Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield and Sacha Baron Cohen.