Interview: Kick-Ass star Chloë Grace Moretz on the remake of Brian De Palma's Carrie
'I had Julianne Moore and I had Kimberly Peirce... It was like a bunch of sisters in one room'
Chloë Grace Moretz steps into the shoes of Sissy Spacek in a remake of horror classic Carrie. Stephen Applebaum chats to the Kick-Ass star about taking on such a daunting role
If the first thought you had on hearing that Brian De Palma's iconic horror movie, Carrie, was being remade was, 'Please, don't do it,' you weren't alone. Even the movie's star, Chloë Grace Moretz, admits that this news initially made her spine tingle for all the wrong reasons. ‘I went in for a meeting with MGM,’ recalls the chatty 16-year-old, ‘and they were like, “Oh, we just bought the property of Carrie”, and I was like, “Woah! What are you going to do with that?” Because you're thinking that it's going to be a total hack job; something that's just gory and will ruin the original idea of the movie and novel.’
However, the studio had an ace up its sleeve: Kimberly Peirce, the filmmaker behind Boys Don't Cry (an Oscar-winning drama about another tormented young woman) had signed up to direct. ‘I was like, “Well, right off the bat you already took a huge risk in catching one of the pickiest directors out there." For her to like the script and the character enough to come and do it appealed to me,’ explains Moretz, adding that she ‘fought tooth and nail’ for the role that made Sissy Spacek a star.
When Carrie isn't being tormented at home by her Christian fundamentalist mother (Julianne Moore), she's being treated cruelly in high school by her peers. Home tutored from age nine, Moretz's only experience of high school has been in movies such as Kick-Ass 2. Nevertheless, she knows what it feels like to be bullied.
‘I think I experience it more in a way because it’s people outside school. I get it on the internet, I get it from random people I don’t know, I get it from people that just don’t understand why I’m in this business, or they think I’m doing it to become famous. So they think because I have succeeded in it, I must have done things to try and get ahead. They’re always trying to judge you in some way. They’re always trying to bring you down in some way.’
Carrie, of course, gets her revenge at the prom, with a deadly display of telekinesis. But not before the horror of experiencing her first period in the changing room showers, and the mob humiliation heaped on her by other girls has been broadcast in a way not possible in De Palma's day. The details of Carrie's journey made Moretz thankful she was surrounded by members of her own sex during the shoot.
‘Carrie is a very female movie,’ she says. ‘When you mention the word "period" to a guy, they're like, “Huh? That's not real.” So you have to have a safe environment on set. I had Julianne Moore and I had Kimberly Peirce, so it was incredibly maternal. When you're going to these vulnerable places that Carrie is going to, it's nice to have that so that there's nothing weird. It was like a bunch of sisters in one room.’
Carrie is on general release from Fri 29 Nov.