Over red-velvet cupcakes and bottles of Coke in a charming café in the Chelsea section of London, not far from where Moretz has been spending her days working with “Marty,” I utter another proper noun in a little game of word association: “Disney.”
“Totally—I get it,” she says. Moretz measures what she says next, neatly straddling a line that is both diplomatic and profoundly confident. “It’s a different route. They’re both equally awesome routes. I mean, if you want to go that way, go that way, you know? I’m doing it slower; I’m taking the stairs, not the elevator. A lot of actresses take the elevator straight up to stardom, but I’m slowly building up the career and the résumé that I want as an actor, because it pleases me to make these films that are different and are more—for me, as an actor—more challenging, and that will stretch my emotional boundaries....”
Have I mentioned that she was born in 1997?
To begin to understand the phenomenon that is Chloë Grace Moretz, first you must disabuse yourself of an obvious presumption: that this frighteningly precocious girl must surely be the product of overbearing stage parents. In fact, her father, McCoy, is a Los Angeles plastic surgeon, and her mother, Teri, is a nurse-practitioner. (Both are native Southerners; the family moved from Atlanta to L.A. when Chloë’s career started to take off.) Chloë has four older brothers: Brandon, 29, who manages Dad’s practice; Collin, 21, and Ethan, 18, who are still in school; and Trevor, 24, the only other sibling in the industry (he’s had roles in Youth in Revolt and Totally Baked. At the moment Mom and Dad are back in L.A., and Trevor and Chloë are sharing a duplex in the same gated apartment complex they lived in when she was last working in London, two years ago, shooting Kick-Ass.
When I showed up at the apartment earlier, it was Chloë who answered the door and offered me a drink, while Trevor got ready for his role as chaperone. Chloë was perfectly put together, wearing a jersey knit skirt and top and a camel cashmere sweater. (“It’s Sandro,” she told me. “One of my new favorite brands.”) Tall, thin Trevor (in a nondescript jacket and jeans) towers over Chloë, though he’s anything but domineering: When we couldn’t find three seats together at the café, Trevor sat by himself, out of earshot, biding his time while Chloë and I talked.
“From the time I was a little pip-squeak,” she tells me, “Trevor has always been a complete film fanatic. He would go, ‘Mommy, I want to direct a film like The Wizard of Oz.’ I’d watch all these films with him from when I was two or three, like Gone With the Wind and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They may have gone straight over my head, but I picked up the point of them.”