Chloe Moretz Connects the Dots
For Fans Of: Drew Barrymore, Jodie Foster, Natalie Portman
This spring, a purple-haired Chloe Moretz will flip, somersault and knife-fight her way across the big screen as Hit-Girl in Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass. But the then 11-year-old actress’s acrobatics (for which she attended almost a month of circus school in Toronto and lessons with one of Jackie Chan’s trainers) are no match for the tiny vigilante’s vocabulary. In one scene, Moretz’ character asks her on-screen father, played by Nicholas Cage, “Can I get a puppy? A cuddly fluffy one.” He falls silent, incredulous, until she spurts, “I’m just fucking with you, Daddy. I’d like a Benchmade model 42 butterfly knife.”
Hit-Girl may have an R-rated, carnage-driven persona, but Moretz has a history of bringing to life characters that would be difficult for an adult, much less a tween. She gave compelling dating advice to Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in (500) Days of Summer, channeled a spiteful child-ghost in The Amityville Horror and played a nine-year-old suffering from a brain tumor in The Eye. Her deadpan comedic timing and restrained earnestness carry her beyond the realm of baby stars aping grown-ups for effect; the girl can really act.
Her secret, she says, is connecting the dots between herself and her characters. “Even though Hit-Girl is this crazy vigilante, she’s also a 12-year-old,” Moretz explains. “She loves purple, she loves wearing costumes. She doesn’t know any better. I connected to her by realizing she’s just a kid, like me.”
Still, Moretz insists that, off-screen, she can’t access Hit-Girl whenever she’d like. “I’m stronger and a little more physically fit from the role,” she says, “but if I was in a restaurant that got robbed, I would scream and cry and call 911.”