When it was announced that Chloe Moretz is Carrie in the remake, the talented young actress knew she had some big shoes to fill. Sissy Spacek is iconic as the title character from Stephen King’s first book. The 1970s film is a horror standard, but she felt that she and everyone involved in Carrie, circa 2013, were trying to create something even more faithful to King’s novel.
“It's an interesting story because it's always relevant. The first one was made in a time period that was incredibly shocking and incredibly relevant for that time period. I mean, those movies weren't made at that time period,” Moretz told Movie Fanatic.
“Now, it's such a genre. It's such a breeding ground for young adults. It's all they watch nowadays! So it's such a different era for Carrie to be coming out in because now, instead of the shock factor that the first Carrie had, they're going, 'Can you shock us like we were first shocked?' And you're going, ‘Well, I can't shock you because it's not the first.’”
This effort, in the end, is about a classic book. “It is, technically, a retelling of a Stephen King novel,” she admitted. “So even before that movie, there was the book.”
Why the early 1970s book has always hit such a nerve, Moretz said, is because its themes are universal. Teenagers will still be going through the same emotional and physical upheaval until the end of time. Her co-star told us a similar thing in our Julianne Moore interview.
“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 naive girl,” Moretz said. “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 at me.’ It's an interesting kind of character to play.”
There is also something in this story of Carrie that Moretz identified with immediately. She shares an educational background with Carrie, that is right until our movie starts.
“I related to her naivete. 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 different way than them,” Moretz said. “I live in a very sheltered bubble. Carrie was that and she doesn't know that world of teenagers. It's the one place where I don't feel comfortable either.”
One thing that is congruent between the two films is that blood-soaked prom scene. “The first time we did it, it took two and a half hours to put all the blood on,” she said and laughed. As an actress who reveres classic movies and the Hollywood lore that the original Brian De Palma film created, she was clearly honored to have herself soaked in fake pig’s blood!
“I think that's the moment when I went, ‘All right. I'm actually doing Carrie. I am Carrie, covered in blood!’”
We wondered if Moretz felt any pressure to carry on the Spacek legacy. “I was just the actor who had to stand there and get it dumped on me,” Moretz said. The true stress, she said, was on the crew who had to make something work without having the luxury of doing it dozens of times. “They had two takes!”
Her director also informed her that they would never try to recreate a master moment of the movies. “I think what it was on her side was not to copy camera angles, not to copy exact looks and not to copy exact blood stuff,” Moretz said.
“I said, ‘I'm never going to do that iconic thing that Sissy did because it's just too obvious.' That's the iconic Sissy Spacek! We both agreed on that.”