There are people I interview every year or so who seem to be basically the same people every time we talk. They may change their haircuts or make some superficial change to their appearance, but they don’t really change.
With Chloe Grace-Moretz, though, every time we check in, I am struck by how much she’s grown, both in terms of height (she’s got to be at least a foot and a half taller now than when we first met) and in terms of maturity. She has become a very poised and confident young woman these days, and each new film she makes seems to expand both her ability and her ambition.
Since the first time we spoke, she has worked with with Martin Scorsese, Kimberly Pierce, and Tim Burton. She has gone toe-to-toe with Alec Baldwin on “30 Rock” to hilarious effect, and she has tackled difficult emotional material in films like “Let Me In” and “Hick.” Even so, she is still a teenager, and what I find most encouraging about our chats every so often is that even as she puts together this impressive resume and turns in smart, sensitive performances, she still sometimes seems like a goofy, silly teenage girl, and that’s got to be a healthy thing.
For example, our “Dark Shadows” interview last year was a whole lot of silly, and better for it.
This time, Chloe was in full-on junket mode, and I suspect she’s been thinking about Hit Girl a lot lately, and answering questions about her seems to come pretty naturally at the moment. She was unable to attend the Comic-Con panel that I moderated a week earlier for “Kick-Ass 2,” but we did a live satellite feed to include her, since she was stuck in Boston shooting “The Equalizer,” which she co-stars in with Denzel Washington.
By coincidence, they were doing junkets for both “Kick-Ass 2” and “2 Guns” at the same hotel that day, so Chloe knew that Denzel was just one floor down, and she seemed excited to find a chance to run down and say hello. And so even as we did one of our most on-message interviews, focused and professional, she snapped right back into “unaffected teenager” again as soon as she stood up.
Not every young actor makes it through this profession unscathed, and I think there is something particularly difficult about it for young women who make the transition from child to adult with the whole world watching. Chloe is surrounded by family at all times. I’ve gotten to where I recognize her mother just as readily as Chloe herself. I think she’s got a shot at being one of the ones who emerges from adolescence as a whole and normal person, and I’m rooting for her. I remember writing about watching her work back in 2010, and it feels in some ways like it’s been a lifetime since then, and yet she’s still just warming up for the career I feel like she’s got coming.
Should be a blast to watch.
“Kick-Ass 2” opens this Friday.