Oscar Spotlight: Chloe Moretz Interview For Martin Scorsese’s ‘Hugo’
Throughout his extraordinary career, Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese has brought his unique vision and dazzling gifts to life in a series of unforgettable films. With ‘Hugo,’ the legendary storyteller invites you to join him on a thrilling journey to a magical world with his first-ever 3D film, based on Brian Selznick’s award-winning, imaginative New York Times best-seller, ‘The Invention of Hugo Cabret. ‘Hugo’ is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home. ‘Hugo’ stars Asa Butterfield, Chloe Moretz, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Christopher Lee, Helen McCrory, Richard Griffiths, Frances de la Tour, Emily Mortimer and Michael Stuhlbarg. ‘Hugo’ tops the Oscar nominations list, garnering eleven overall. The 84th Annual Academy Awards takes place this Sunday.
I can imagine Isabelle being a really interesting character to play? She’s always willing for adventure, and she’s pretty spontaneous.
Chloe Moretz: Definitely. Isabelle was a really interesting character to play, not only because of the British accent I had to do, but also because she’s very a naïve, young, adventurous, spontaneous, type girl. She’s also very book smart, she loves big words, loves books. She was definitely a lot of fun to play, I learnt a lot from playing her. I think before Isabelle meets Hugo, she has a pretty dull life in the scheme of things (laughs). She kind of just stays in, reads books, goes to school – a pretty normal, everyday life. Her adventures she goes through are through her books, through all the things she reads and she falls in love with. So when she meets Hugo, and he asks her, in the book store, if she wants to go on an adventure, she is of course ecstatic.
There’s this great friendship between Hugo and Isabelle in this movie. What do you think it is about that dynamic that works?
Chloe Moretz: Hugo and Isabelle, they need each other. I think that’s a part of the whole moral of the movie: everyone needs love, everyone needs to be loved. Love and be loved in return. Hugo and Isabelle, they’re like brother and sister, they’re like best friends, they’re in it together, they’re partners in crime. And that’s what Isabelle always needed, someone her age that would love her and need her. That’s also what Hugo needed, someone to bring into the folds of his life, have someone he can talk to. They need each other on a best friend, brother and sister level. Figuring out life together.
Working with Martin Scorsese on this film, how did you find that whole experience, and what did you take from it?
Chloe Moretz: With Martin Scorsese, he creates such a great mood on set. It’s the feeling he gives off when he directs, he makes everyone feel equal, no matter who you are, no matter how big you are, no matter how famous you are, no matter how iconic you are. With him you just feel equal. And Martin, he treats the kids, Asa and I, just as well as he treated Sir Ben Kingsley and Sir Christopher Lee. He treated us all as if we were little actors, on a little set, doing a little movie, with a little director. It was special working with Martin Scorsese. When I read the script, I thought that this is kind of Martin’s homage to filmmaking, it’s kind of his thanks to the people who started it. He tells so many stories, and he’s been around for so long that he’s known so many people….it’s actually kind of baffling (laughs), how much he does know about this film business. I grew so much as an actor on this film working with Martin Scorsese. Also I grew in my knowledge of film history immensely. It was a magical experience working with him, and a magical movie with all of these awesome, amazing actors. I really wouldn’t give anything in the world to take it back.
How was it for you as actor working with the 3D cameras?
Chloe Moretz: As an actor, it’s pretty much the same except you have to be very very natural with it. There is no overacting, you cannot overact with this camera because it shows everything. All you can do is react, so you really have to be the most natural you have been before in a movie. That was really something, it was cool to do. I think it really enhanced it as well, it really draws you in as a watcher and a listener. When you’re watching the movie and as you see it in 3D, it’s not gimmicky, it really just draws you in. When the station inspector is yelling, you really feel it, you feel the reverberation of that voice in your chest. You feel like that child that is being reprimanded again by your parents (laughs).
‘Hugo’ says a lot about the power of movies to inspire people. Can you remember the first time you sat in the cinema, or watched a film, and was really inspired?
Chloe Moretz: Oh yeah, definitely. My mum has always been pretty obsessed with Audrey Hepburn, and as am I, so one of the first films I saw that really inspired me to be an actor and be someone else would be ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.‘ I saw Audrey Hepburn, and I just saw how she lit up the screen. She makes you smile when you see her and her little face. She just lights up the screen. And I think when I saw that I realised that that’s what I’d like to do. I wanted to make people smile, I wanted to make people dream and imagine that they’re in that time and that feeling. So for me, I guess that’s one of the things that really inspired me to be an actress.
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