Chloe is on the cover of March’s issue of Teen Vogue. Outtakes, cover and interview below:
Chloë Grace Moretz and I have arranged to meet next to the famous gilded Prometheus statue in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, which, in full midweek swing, is a bustling hive of camera-toting tourists, shoppers, and harried businessmen and -women. Perhaps, in hindsight, not the best place to ask an internationally celebrated actress to meet me. I begin fretting: Is there a chance I’ll miss her? Worse yet, is there a chance that everyone in the crowd won’t miss her and I’ll lose her to a swarm of fans?
My answer comes swiftly enough, though, as Chloë strides toward me. Expertly weaving through the crowd in movie-star-mandatory oversize black sunglasses, she crushes me in a bear hug. (Note: We’ve never met.) We decide to spend the afternoon taking in New York from a bird’seye view at the observation deck of Rockefeller Center. The elevator that takes us to the Top of the Rock catapults (there’s no other way to put it, really) passengers up 67 flights in less than a minute, a dizzying—but steady—climb as rapid as Chloë’s ascent to the top tier of Hollywood. The Georgia native made her big-screen debut at age six in The Amityville Horror and has worked with the biggest stars in Hollywood, opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in (500) Days of Summer, Jude Law in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows, and Alec Baldwin in a recurring role on 30 Rock (which she’d just finished shooting, hence the convenient— albeit absurdly busy—meeting spot).
And, of course, one can’t forget her turn as foul-mouthed gunslinger Mindy Macready in Kick-Ass. She was only eleven when she filmed it—and now, at fifteen (Teen Vogue and Aéropostale will be hosting her upcoming sweet sixteen bash in NYC), returns to headline the franchise’s sequel, Kick-Ass 2, which finished filming in London (also the location for her photo shoot with Teen Vogue). “I look back at that movie,” says Chloë, “and I think, Wow, I see why it’s so inappropriate.” She laughs. “You know, I could be in high school right now, like any other normal fifteen-year-old girl. I’m proud to say that I made a different life for myself. I’m a businesswoman.” As we step onto the Top of the Rock observation deck, though, she transforms from a teen superstar to just another tourist. “Oh my God, I have to Instagram this,” she says, iPhone pointing toward Central Park, all of New York City at her feet. Chloë adds, “Los Angeles is fun and I’ve lived there for ten years, but there’s something about New York. I’m pretty much New York in every way.”
In addition to the upcoming summer blockbuster Kick-Ass 2, Chloë’s tackling a cinematic classic as the leading lady in the latest remake of Carrie, out this fall. “Carrie is the epitome of a girl who’s been broken down by others,” she explains. Nabbing the title role in the horror flick, based on the novel by Stephen King, was not seamless, according to Chloë. “When I was auditioning for Carrie, I was told, ‘Well, look, you’re too young, you’re too pretty, you’re too accomplished.’ ” After reading the book three times and doing extensive research on the part, she was determined to prove them wrong. “I love showing people I can do something that they might think I will never be able to do. Playing someone who’s happy-go-lucky and has a good life and a nice family—it’s boring for me,” she says. “Because that’s my life. I have a good family. My mom loves me. I like being challenged, playing characters that are a little messed up.”
Fashion has afforded her a similar opportunity to switch up her perspective. She’s made best-dressed lists, wowed on the red carpet in Miu Miu, and was named last year’s Women in Film Max Mara Face of the Future. On a day-to-day basis, Chloë prefers a low-key style. “Cashmere sweaters, jeans, nothing crazy. I want to be comfortable,” she says. Indeed, as we stroll the observation deck, the actress sports a casual-chic look: a perfectly distressed moto jacket, a slouchy graphic-print T-shirt, a black skirt, and biker boots.
When it comes to the red carpet, though, Chloë likes to turn up the drama just a touch. “Oh, McQueen. I love McQueen so much,” she says. “Jonathan Saunders, Miu Miu, Prada, and definitely Kenzo—I love what they’re doing lately.” But she’s quick to point out designer looks are the exception, not the norm. “My work [as a brand ambassador] with Aéropostale has been so fun for that reason—I love that a girl could see a paparazzi picture of me going to a movie and buy what I’m wearing,” she says. “I’m not running around in Givenchy or Louis Vuitton. My mom doesn’t let me buy expensive brands.”
Another typical teen issue she’s facing? “I don’t know when I’m going to learn how to drive,” she says with a little sigh. “It would be nice to turn sixteen and be able to drive. I want to be more independent.” But with a schedule that involves flying between London and New York for shoots and then back to Los Angeles, all in the span of a week, it’s been hard for Chloë to find time to learn. “My mom has to be my chauffeur—but she barely has time for that, because she’s a nurse,” says Chloë. “She’s sick of driving me.” One of Chloë’s four brothers, Trevor (who frequently travels with her), is her acting coach. “Growing up with older brothers, you’re picked on, made fun of. But they are my protectors—I always have bodyguards, basically,” she says. “If a guy wants to drive me somewhere, it’s this whole thing: ‘What’s his name?’ ‘Have I met him?’ Or just ‘You’re not going to be in a car with that guy!’ ”
Not that Chloë has a second to think about boys—not in the slightest. Her exhaustive list of priorities includes work (“I would love to direct or produce”), friends (“It took me a while to find a group of friends that I feel completely safe with. I would rather have five close friends than a hundred casual ones”), charity work (“Kidney cancer is a cause close to my heart—my mom is a survivor of the disease, and a lot of people don’t hear about kidney cancer”), and—let’s not forget she’s fifteen—school (“I travel with a suitcase of books. It weighs a million pounds!”). Despite her superpacked life, education is still a priority for Chloë, who’s home-schooled. “It’s really important to me,” she says. “I want to be able to say, ‘I’m not just an actress.’ I need to be able to say, ‘I can quit this business and go live my own life and be whoever I want to be.’ Going to college will help prevent me from being restrained or put into a box.” Columbia University is her dream, she reluctantly admits, but she’s trying not to worry too much about it. “A lot of my friends are juniors, but they’re already like, ‘What am I going to do—am I going to be a doctor, a lawyer, or an accountant?’ ” she says. “I’m the one who has to say to them, ‘Just calm down and breathe.’ ” It would be all too easy, she explains, for her to fall down the rabbit hole of stress as well—which, in her case, is on a slightly different scale than most teens. “I could ask myself, What movie am I going to do next? Am I going to get a campaign? Am I going to be a nobody? Am I going to disappear in a couple years? … No.” Her clear blue-green eyes on the New York City skyline, which is now dipping into dusk, she continues: “I’ve been told a hundred times that I would fail. I’ve learned not to listen too much to others. My philosophy is if something makes you happy, do it. If it doesn’t make you happy, stop. You have to be spontaneous. Don’t play the best friend in the film version of your life. Be the leading lady.”