CHLOË GRACE MORETZ
OUR FAVOURITE NEW BADASS
Chloë Grace Moretz is a front-row beast on a SoulCycle bike, pedalling at maximum resistance, making every dip, press, lift, crunch, curl and bob the instructor barks out. If they gave out Most Valuable Cyclist awards, Chloë would easily win in today’s 8.30am peloton. A quick towel-off and a bottle of water, and she looks like she could go another 45 minutes. Instead, ‘After riding,’ she says, ‘we juice.’
Wearing black-and-white leggings, a grey T-shirt and brown-framed, rectangular glasses, Chloë can walk down a Santa Monica street and pass relatively unnoticed. With her newly blonde, shoulder-length hair, she draws double takes from fellow pedestrians, but by the time it clicks who she is, she’s gone. The juice bar on 2nd Street doesn’t serve food, and the salad place she likes across the street isn’t open yet. She swears she tries to eat healthy, eschewing bad carbs and going heavy on the veggies, but, ‘If there’s a deep-fried Oreo, I’m gonna get it, because I want it and I’m 19.’
Finally, we duck into FIG at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, where she orders the corned beef hash. ‘The hash in the can is better,’ she says, ‘with that fake meat avour.’ Corned beef hash, deep-fried Oreos, whatever, she’s earned it all, what with the 30 movies she’s appeared in since she was six, or the four movies she lmed last year ( Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, out in April; Brain on Fire and November Criminals, out this year; and last month’s teens-versus-aliens sci- thriller The 5th Wave), or winning the lead in the potential franchise starter The Little Mermaid, or being named the face of Coach – basically having a life so over owing it could force a woman twice her age into a panic room.
But she’s totally chill today, in part because she’s just back from an epic 15-day cross-country road trip with her brother Trevor’s boyfriend, Nick. She told her business manager mom; her co-manager, Trevor; her publicists; and her agents to back off. ‘This is for me,’ she told them. ‘Don’t call me, don’t send me an email about meeting some director.’
She had just wrapped Neighbors 2 and, ‘I had to clear my head,’ she says. ‘I cut my hair off and said, I gotta go. I was tired of living in different hotel rooms and working 15-hour days. I just needed time to myself.’ And with 2016 looking like another monster year and her moving to London to shoot The Little Mermaid, can’t a girl get a minute to herself?
So six months after getting her driver’s license, Chloë hit the road in her Mercedes GLE 450 from Charleston, South Carolina, to California. She and Nick had no itinerary, no hotel reservations, no plans at all, really, but to drive until they were tired, sleep, and then drive some more.The trip was going great – the Smoky Mountains were ‘stunning’, Nashville ‘kind of sucked’ because she couldn’t get into any concert venues because she’s under 21, the Mexican food in Colorado Springs was ‘the bomb’ – until Nick came down with a death u somewhere in Colorado and Chloë had to drive the next 500 miles on her own.
It’s the kind of road trip, she says, that wouldn’t be possible if she had a boyfriend. ‘I had no ties,’ she says. ‘It was me and the road, that’s it. I can’t take relationship pressure. I’ve had that. Like, I’m on set working 14 hours, giving my all and trying to be the best I can be, but then I’m getting no sleep at home because I’m ghting on the phone with you? And then I’m getting two hours’ sleep, and I have to go to the set tired? I can’t do that.’
Her problem meeting guys is that there aren’t ones she likes who are at her particular level of fame and success. ‘ Dating really just consists of understanding, and it’s really hard to understand this world. I’m gone nine months out of the year; I’m kissing guys for a role on set. It’s a very weird world to comprehend. I’m the only girl or boy at my age who’s, you know, releasing three movies a year – who’s really killed it in a lot of ways. It’s dif cult. I don’t want to date older people, because I’m 18 and older people are more serious. Then I kind of realised, I’ll go on dates, why not? And that’s kind of how I am right now. I’m not looking for a while. At least till I’m like 23.’ (She’s reportedly denied dating friend Brooklyn Beckham.)
Rested, t and tanned, Chloë sits back and ponti cates with a worldliness that would be freakish from any other 19-year-old.From her,it just sounds like the wisdom of the seasoned professional she has become. She’s ercely articulate and intelligent, and a voracious reader. She was raised Baptist, in Atlanta, sitting in the second pew at church each Sunday. Her mother, a nurse practitioner, was a decidedly iconoclastic Baptist, with friends in the gay and trans communities, so when two of Chloë’s four brothers came out,the family took it in its stride.It also helped that they had relocated to Los Angeles by then. Her parents’ divorce, according to Chloë, ‘toughened me up a lot. It made me harder on myself.’ By choice, she has no contact with her plastic surgeon father and doesn’t say more about the precipitating event of the divorce other than that it was ‘as heavy as you can get to dismantle a family, for sure. He just left, so it’s like you have to fend for yourself. It was a collective effort to piece it back together. It also made me callous. When you’re betrayed by someone who is a bloodline, you protect yourself at all costs. For a long time, I did that too much. I wasn’t letting anyone in.’
Her rst major lm role, at age seven, was in The Amityville Horror, and she has since worked her way up movie by movie until she began landing starring roles, becoming the ‘face on the billboard,’ as she puts it, in young adult hits such as If I Stay, horror lms such as Let Me In, and arguably her breakthrough, playing Hit Girl in Kick-Ass, a role she was uniquely prepared for by a half decade of gymnastics. (Nine months of jujitsu training with Jackie Chan’s stunt crew No problem.) ‘I’m incredibly self-con dent in my movements. I was just pure muscle at that age 12. I was able to do like 200 pull-ups. It was nuts.’
She retains that physical swagger in The 5th Wave, as a high schooler named Cassie who has to teach herself how to kick serious alien-invader ass to rescue her little brother. She wasn’t always this self-con dent, though. There was a period, from ages 14 to 16, while lming Carrie and new to Instagram, when she was obsessively reading – and believing – criticisms on social media. ‘I felt fat; I felt not pretty. I felt like I didn’t really know who I was. I was confused; I was scared. I had bad acne. I felt incredibly insecure.’ She was, in other words, a typical teenager dealing with typical teenage angst. ‘On Carrie, the other actors who were playing teenagers were in their 20s, and that’s a big difference in terms of experience and maturity,’ says Julianne Moore, who played Carrie’s mother and whom Chloë counts as a mentor. ‘What is striking is how willing she is to encounter it headon. Even if she’s anxious, she’s not someone who will retreat from it; she goes toward it.’
And most teens fretting over a pimple or that their arms look big don’t happen to be the lead in a major movie. Chloë never showed the world any of that stress and she has outgrown some of that adolescent angst. She can separate ‘work Chloë’, who shows up to set on time and knows her lines and goes to premieres,from ‘home Chloë’,who hams it up with her brothers, can name the best place to nd doughnuts at 2.30am, and skateboards. ‘I’m so free now,’ she says. ‘I don’t know what happened, but when I turned 17, this huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I don’t worry about what people say about me. I know who I am, who I want to be, what I want to portray myself as, what I want people to think of me.’
What drew her to the role of Cassie in The 5th Wave was the fact that she ‘starts out a little girl and becomes this badass.’ Sounds like a perfect t.