Fourteen-year-old Chloe Moretz: Such a sweet and innocent face. Such dark and twisted roles. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“The best roles are in dark movies,” Moretz, who blew audiences away in 2010 with her edgy roles in “Kick-Ass” and “Let Me In,” tells PopcornBiz. “It's roles that aren't you, because if I'm playing Chloe all the time it would be like everyday life and that's boring for me. Then it's like it's not acting, you know? You're just being yourself. I know it's weird to say, but it's fun playing someone that's not me.”
The actress’ latest trek into the shadows is as a neglected teen living a dangerous existence alongside a remote stretch of southeast Texas used for decades as a dumping ground for murdered bodies in “Texas Killing Fields" (opening in limited release this week). To research for the role, she met with some of the real-life girls who grew up on the edge of genuine darkness.
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“I was actually very scared and surprised to realize that it was real,” says Moretz. “I was like, 'Oh, that's a little too close for comfort.' We went to the safe house in the middle of Louisiana, and I met all these women who, when they were girls as presents their family would give them meth and pills and stuff as like that as a reward for when they were doing something good. So it just hit me so hard. And after that day I'd say it definitely grew me up a lot.”
Despite the occasionally disturbing revelation through work, the actress says she keeps her professional and personal lives apart. “I can separate it, so when I go home I'm a different person, and that way I don't get a big head,” she says, though she tries to act as mature as she can on the job. “When I'm in work mode I don't act like a little kid…People expect you to be more well rounded and able to discuss things more seriously matter, because if you're always joking around with it you can't get to the point and get it done. It's your job at the end of the day, so it's like ‘Do your job.’ I guess what I give off is a more adult personality, so they feel fine to treat me as if I'm just another actor, which I love. I hate when people treat me like a little kid – I'm like, 'Stop. Please. You don't have to baby me.'”
Moretz says her recent stint shooting alongside Johnny Depp and Tim Burton on the film adaptation of the 60s vampire-themed soap opera “Dark Shadows” was, for a girl who labels herself “a weird bird,” a dream come true. “I'm walking into a movie with Helena Bonham Carter, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tim Burton – all in the same movie together!” she exclaims with disbelief. “And so I was like, 'Is this really happening to me? Or have I died and gone to heaven? Is this what's happening?' It's a very weird, weird, weird character. In the beginning you'll be like, 'Why is she doing that?' But then you'll realize at the end that it makes sense.”
“Tim is just crazy – like, you can do anything and it's not out of the realm of possibility,” she says admiringly of her director. “And he takes into account what other people say but he goes to his actors 'If you don't like this, you don't have to have it. You tell me and I will rewrite it. I'll do whatever you need to make this comfortable for you because I need you to be able to be in your best shape and form and feeling to be able to give me what I need for my movie.' So he's just so collaborative and he doesn't pigeonhole you.”
Depp, too, she says, is “one of the people who can just think of something crazy in his head and somehow he's able to portray it in the most natural sense, which is so weird and you don't know why when you're watching the movie why you're crying for this weird character. But you're like, 'I love you, Edward Scissorhands, and I want to marry you. I want to hug your scissor hands.'”
"Texas Killing Fields" opens in limited release Friday, October 14th