Chloë Grace Moretz Interview For ‘Carrie’
‘Carrie’ is a reimagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz), a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother (Julianne Moore), who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom. Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, ‘Carrie’ is directed by Kimberly Peirce with a screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Co-starring the likes of Judy Greer, Portia Doubleday, Alex Russell, Gabriella Wilde and Ansel Elgort, ‘Carrie’ is set for an October 18th release in the US and a November 29th bow in the UK.
What was it like for you playing a character so vulnerable? And how did you and Kimberley decide what this take of Carrie was going to be as opposed to maybe the Stephen King novel or the Brian De Palma film?
Chloë Grace Moretz: The role of Carrie is an incredibly emotional role. It’s probably the most vulnerable I’ve ever been as an actor, so in some ways it’s kind of terrifying for people to see it (laughs), but at the same time it’s very exciting and kind of an awakening for me because it’s something I’ve never done before. When we discussed the take we didn’t go, “Oh, well, we’re going to do this. We’re not going to do this.” I think what it was on Kimberley’s side was not to copy camera angles, not to copy exact looks, not to copy exact blood stuff, not to copy that one picture in front.
My big thing was, “I’m never going to be doing this. I’m never going to do that iconic thing that she did because it’s just too obvious. I’m going to keep my hands above my waist at all times.” I was like, “If they are here, they’re going to be like this. I’m not going to do that symbol because everyone knows, that’s the iconic Sissy Spacek.” And we both agreed on that. And we just wanted to kind of keep it…. just her mannerisms that she put into the role, to try and keep it away from that. We were able to put our own spin on it, just because we wanted it to be original. And I didn’t want to watch the movie or anything. So what we really did was, we had the book there on set every day, and we compared a page in the script to a page in the book and really, that was our big thing.
Did you have any connection to the original film before you got involved?
Chloë Grace Moretz: Yeah, I had seen it. It’s a funny story actually because I saw the first film when I was filming ‘Let Me In’ with Kodi Smit-McPhee. We watched it together for the first time. We were both like 12 or something. After it was done, my mum was like, “I actually don’t know if this is the most appropriate movie to be watching,” (laughs). But yeah, I fell in love with the story then. I think De Palma made such a brilliant movie and he really did adapt King’s book very well. I think it was definitely a lot less linear to the book as our movie is, but De Palma really took his own kind of instinct and ran with it and did such a beautiful piece of work.
What were the main things with Carrie that you related to?
Chloë Grace Moretz: The naiveté, I think, was my main thing. I have been home-schooled since I was nine years-old, and in the scheme of what my friends are accustomed to in everyday life, and what I’m accustomed to in everyday life, I live a very – in a different way than them – I live in a very sheltered bubble. I’m always with my brother, my mum. I always have my little group around me, and I don’t interact with tonnes of other kids my age all the time. And I kind of live in my little area. They interact with hundreds of kids every day, and they deal with way more drama and way more hate and way more love than I do in that sense of people that aren’t your family. So I think what I really kind of attach to with Carrie was that she doesn’t know that world of teenagers. It’s the one place where I don’t feel comfortable in because when I’m with a bunch of teenagers, I don’t know what I’m doing. And I’m like, “This is not my safe zone. I don’t know what I’m talking about.” So yeah, I think that’s where I really was able to connect with Carrie.
I think people will relate to Carrie because everyone’s dealt with things that Carrie’s dealt with, and you will always have a heart for Carrie because she, at the end of the day, is just a naïve girl and everyone’s had those moments where things just go right over their head. And you’re going, “I know you’re all laughing at me, but I don’t know why you’re laughing me at.” She’s a very interesting kind of character to play.
This film deals in mother-daughter relationships. I can imagine it differs a lot from our own….?
Chloë Grace Moretz: (Laughs) Thankfully, yes! My mum and I’s relationship – well, my mom doesn’t throw me in a closet, doesn’t hit me with Bibles – it would be a little bit interesting if she did. But my mum is… she’s honestly one of the most amazing moms. I think what she and Margaret have in common is that they love their child very, very, very much. And I think that’s what was so cool about Julianne’s take on the character, because Julianne brought such a sense of love and endearment to the character, so no matter how hard she’s hitting Carrie – she hits her and then she goes to the closet and braids her hair and says, “I love you,” and you can see in Margaret’s eyes that she wants nothing but a good and safe environment for her daughter because she knows what could happen. Because she knows she’s kept her daughter living under a rock and she knows that they’re going to laugh at her. At the end of the day she’s also twisted in the fact that she’s also thinking that, “If they do laugh at her, at least she’ll come back to me and I can be her saviour.”
She kind of wants that but doesn’t want that, because she always wants to be her God. So, that’s Margaret. My mum is the type of mum that she’ll give me enough room to mess up. She’s like, “But the minute you do, that’s when I’ll reel everything back in. But I’m going to give you enough space and enough time to make your own decisions, and to form your own ideas and solutions to problems that happen in everyday life.”
Margaret is never trying to harm her daughter because she wants to abuse her, Margaret is trying to be the best parent and she doesn’t know how to be because she is so paranoid and so terrified of what might happen to her daughter, so she wants to keep her in the house, she wants to keep her in the closet keep her safe, keep her a child.
What was your reaction when you first saw yourself covered in blood in the prom dress?
Chloë Grace Moretz: I actually cracked up because it was really funny. I mean, honestly, the first time we did it, it took two and a half hours to put all the blood on. So I kind of saw Carrie be made in front of my eyes, and we had this bust of my face that was a total cast of the … because on ‘Dark Shadows,’ I was a werewolf and we had a cast of my face from that movie. They bought the cast for ‘Carrie’ and they just had my face like laying there all day. So the strategic blood drips that was a very strategic thing they mapped out in pre-production. So, it was all transfers. It was kind of like I wish it was a bit more shocking because I saw each transfer go on and I was like sticky and tired. But I think that’s the moment when I knew I was doing ‘Carrie.’ I think that was a real moment when I went, “All right. I’m actually doing ‘Carrie.’ I am Carrie, covered in blood,” (laughs).
Are you prepared to see a lot of Carrie’s with your particular look on Halloween night?
Chloë Grace Moretz: I hope so! I tell you what. Jordan Samuel, the make-up artist, was like, “People are going to love this. One side’s like a dead demon and a monster, and the other’s beautiful.” And I’m like, “OK, Jordan, chill out.” (Laughs) No, but hopefully people will really like this Carrie and they’ll really be interested in her look. It’s so different than the first one, I think. I think that she is such a different style of Carrie. I think also what it is that we have the modern facilities to be able to do that, to be able to keep the same consistent blood throughout the entire movie until she washes it off. Keep the exact same blood spatters and just kind of keep it so linear. Unlike with the first movie, they didn’t have the ability. You see the blood drop and then cut. It’s like a different splatter and everything. But, you know, it’s that time period. In this time period, you sort of have people looking for, “Oh, the blood went from her left cheek to her right cheek. Oh my God.” So we had to make it so strategic that I hope people really like that.
I can imagine it was difficult to not touch your face because of the uncomfortableness?
Chloë Grace Moretz: Yeah. There were huge problems with that because I would start peeling it off my skin. It was like little transfers, like tattoo transfers. You put them on your body with the water and everything, all over. So we’d do a base of that and then we’d go over it. We would just get these bottles of blood, different colors of blood, and they’d drip them on my body and rub it in with fake smoke and mud – disgusting!
It was funny because my entire car, everything looked like I lived in ‘Dexter’: white, clear plastic everywhere with like blue tape. I was like, “This is really disgusting looking. This is so creepy.” Blood everywhere. My trailer was covered in blood, but my car was the funniest because in between takes, it was so cold outside, I would run to my car and try and warm up, but then the blood would get hot and then it would cake onto my skin and get all tacky. If I put my hand on there and left it for a minute and pulled it off, it would just rip my skin off because it was so sticky. So I had to like stop myself from wanting to just peel it off as it got warm and just covered you in a cakiness of sticky, maple syrup, I guess.
It’s such an iconic scene. Was there pressure on the crew and on you to recreate it, but not completely?
Chloë Grace Moretz: Well, I think they were more terrified than I was because at the end of the day, I was just the actor who had to stand there and get it dumped on me. But they did something like 50 or 60 or 70 blood tests with one girl dropping the blood like every day, five times a day to try and figure out what height, what air pressure. Do they drop it from a real bucket or do they use the compressed thing. What gives you the best splatter? Different types of blood. So for them, yeah.
They had two takes. We had the first take one night and then a whole other night to do it, but one take. So that’s all they had for that entire blood drop. So for them, they were going, “If we don’t get this right, we’re done.” And there were two setups each night. So if we don’t get that first setup right, we can’t do it again. So you’re screwed. It was being able to, for me, just being able to walk on set and be like super chill and like, “Cool. Whatever happens, happens. I’m good, guys. Don’t worry about me,” because they were all so stressed out, being like, “OL, well, the camera’s here and the camera’s here. And we have this drop in. And if it misses your head, then we don’t know what we’re going to do because it’s like a four hour turn around.” I’m like, ‘OK, guys. Calm down.”
My only thing was, “I don’t want to see anyone counting like, one, two, three. I don’t want to hear anything happening. I just want to be completely in the moment, smiling, happy. I just won Prom Queen.” Just whatever happens, happens. And then for me what was hard was knowing that after the blood hits, they have to keep going on with the scene. So we didn’t just go, “Oh, blood hits. Cut. We’re done.” It was like the blood hits and then follow it through for five minutes and do the entire scene until Tommy gets hit in the head, which is really long. I mean, that’s a really long time period. There’s a lot. But it was so funny because after that first blood drop, Ansel Elgort and I looked at each other and we just started cracking up. And we hugged each other and everyone goes, “No!,” because our blood got all over each other. And then he just slipped and fell right on the ground. Then I was slipping and it was ridiculous, but it was cute (laughs).
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