Chloe Grace Moretz may have a smaller part in The Equalizer, but as the old saying goes, there are no small parts, only small actors. And Moretz’s teen Russian prostitute is about as important a soul as there is to set up Denzel Washington’s character to become the hero teased in The Equalizer trailer.
We caught up with Moretz for an exclusive interview to talk about the role and how important it was for her to take it. The young actress also dishes about what she learned from her legendary acting partner in Washington with The Equalizer and what it is that this budding superstar looks for in a role as it seems the world of Hollywood is her oyster -- what with stellar turns in Hugo, If I Stay, Kick-Ass and Carrie.
Movie Fanatic: What your character goes through in The Equalizer is a huge real life problem in our world. I was wondering if that was a huge part in why you said yes to what is essentially a smaller role.
Chloe Grace Moretz: Totally. Modern day slavery, sex slavery, you see the lives that these girls are put in at a very young age. It was a tough backstory to create for my character, but one that is unfortunately seen in reality too often. She was a young girl, five or six, and was stolen from Russia and brought to America and grown up into this sex ring that these guys run. It’s a really true problem. It was really special for me playing a character like this. It meant a lot because I could portray someone who I think should be brought to light.
Movie Fanatic: How do you think she is portrayed differently than other screen takes on this type of problem?
Chloe Grace Moretz: Normally this type of character is overly sexualized and I don’t think she’s sexualized at all. You never see her do the things that you know she does. What you see about this character is that she is in a very violent life. You see the young girl with aspirations. There’s something to be said about a filmmaker like Antoine Fuqua that it was ultimately his idea.
Movie Fanatic: Clearly Antoine and Denzel have a great cinematic relationship with their success with Training Day and now their stellar work on The Equalizer. What did you notice as someone in the midst of their brilliance that makes their artistic connection so special?
Chloe Grace Moretz: Honestly, it is a relationship where they talk without even talking. It’s symbiotic in that all their ideas and notes are the same from scene to scene and take to take.
Movie Fanatic: As a young actress watching a veteran like Denzel, one, what did you learn from him, and two, what will you remember most about your time with this living legend?
Chloe Grace Moretz: What impressed me the most was the way he conducted himself on the set. He doesn’t just come to set to hang out. He only comes to set to work and do his job and get it done in the best possible way. I loved watching him and how he conducted himself in that way. It’s a good thing for a younger actor to see like me. And probably the most memorable moment was the scene where we are walking across the bridge at night. It was a memorable night because it was a smaller crew and just me and Denzel walking and talking. I’ll never forget that.
Movie Fanatic: Did you watch the old show to get ready or was everything you needed right on the page?
Chloe Grace Moretz: No, they didn’t want us to watch the old show. When there’s original material that is so different from the original, you don’t want to look to it. It’s a complete reboot. We took the outline and we didn’t use any of what the TV show is.
Movie Fanatic: You had a huge starring role in If I Stay last month and a small supporting role in The Equalizer this month. What do you look for in a role?
Chloe Grace Moretz: It’s not one particular thing. It’s a whole group of them -- the whole plot of the character and whether or not I fall in love with her and who she really is to me. If I feel the need to devote my time and effort into a month to four months of production, I have to really, really love her. If I don’t, there’s just no point. If it’s If I Stay or The Equalizer, it has to be someone that I love.
Movie Fanatic: Lastly, other than seeing Denzel Washington in The Equalizer, do you have a favorite Denzel movie and why?
Chloe Grace Moretz: There are so many amazing movies. I think Training Day is one I really love from him because I love seeing what he and Antoine do together. You can feel that in this movie. You see their seamless relationship from actor to director that you don’t find very often.
Check out Moretz’s favorite Washington movie and watch Training Day online.