Chloe Grace Moretz wants to be everything kind of actor

Tom Long
The Detroit News

Toronto –

Chloe Grace Moretz has suffered a wardrobe malfunction.

An interview has been postponed, a flurry of assistants has come to the rescue, and safety pins have been judiciously applied.

So judiciously that when the interview commences, in an upscale hotel room at September’s Toronto International Film Festival, there is no indication of sartorial distress, just a glowing 17-year-old movie star brimming with confidence and energy.

Chloe Grace on her choice of roles:

“Just as I can’t really get dressed in the morning without trying on 10 different outfits I can’t really choose my roles. My mind’s all over the place — sometimes I want to be comedic, sometimes I want to be dramatic, sometimes I want to be a lead, sometimes I want to be supporting,” she says.

Moretz has three films at the festival, and they show the range of her decisions. She’s in a Hollywood thriller, “The Equalizer,” playing a sympathetic underage hooker alongside Denzel Washington. But then she stars with Keira Knightley and Sam Rockwell in the comedic “Laggies,” about coming of age when you’re older. And in a whole other spectrum there’s “Clouds of Sils Maria,” also starring Juliet Binoche and Kristen Stewart, an art house film about tensions between actors.

“I’ve just kind of been weaving my way through, trying to figure out exactly what kind of actor I want to be,” Moretz says. “I think what I’ve found is there isn’t an exact actor I want to be. I like being everything.”

Being everything at the age of 17 might seem like a tall order, but so far Moretz seems up to the task. She was 7 when she scored her first TV role (“The Guardian”), 8 when she did her first feature (“The Amityville Horror,” which she wasn’t allowed to see at the time). Work was steady in the following years, but she first caught the eyes of critics in the romantic comedy “(500) Days of Summer” when she was 12. She then gained a mass following at 13 playing the cute, foul-mouthed killer Hit Girl in “Kick-Ass.”

Since then, she’s worked with Martin Scorsese and Ben Kingsley (“Hugo”), Julianne Moore (“Carrie”), Tim Burton and Johnny Depp (“Dark Shadows”), Denzel and many more. Has she ever felt intimidated?

“I’m always intimidated the first time because you never know what someone’s going to be like. You walk into a room and you go, ‘This is it, make or break; they’re either really good people or they’re just not into me,’ ” she says.

“I, thank God, have been fortunate enough to have none of my ideas of people shattered. I’ve been lucky to meet them and to fall in love with them even more. It’s like, ‘Oh my God, that’s why you are who you are — because you’re also a good person,’ ” Moretz says.

Her constant work schedule has, however, precluded her from having a “normal” life, and she’s aware of that.

“It has been a hindrance in certain senses. I’ve never been to a normal high school to do a class. I don’t really know what that means to have a relationship with your friends where you see them nearly every day,” she says. “My best friends, I see them every other month.

“But I’ve learned a lot from being on set. I’ve learned how to discipline myself; it’s the sort of self-discipline you don’t learn for a long time as a normal person because you’re used to your teachers and your parents disciplining you until you go to college and figure it out yourself. But for me, I just learned this inherent self-discipline from the time I was 5 or 6 years old that I fell in love with,” Moretz says.

“The way I look at it is even though, yes I have lost out on things that people call normal, I’m happier because I’ve found a passion that I actually enjoy,” she says “There’s pros and cons, but in my mind the pros outweigh the cons.”

And now comes the tough part — transitioning from child star to adult.

“You look at the track record, and it’s been hard,” Moretz admits. “But I think I am kind of lucky in that I broke in a movie, ‘Kick-Ass,’ where I wasn’t playing a little girl innocent. I was shoved into the minds of Americans in a less childish way. People don’t expect me to be a little girl that much.”

No matter what, Moretz is committed to the job. And more importantly, she enjoys it.

“It’s the same reason you do soccer — ’cause it’s fun. I kind of loved crying, faking these roles, doing all these weird things. And I always just really enjoyed meeting all the new people,” she says. “As I grew up it kind of just wove itself into the fiber of my being.”

‘The Equalizer’

Opens Friday

Rated R for strong bloody violence and language throughout, including some sexual references

Running time: 131 minutes

Chloe Grace Moretz

Born Feb. 10, 1997, in Atlanta

Has four older brothers

One brother, Trevor Duke-Moretz, serves as her acting coach, and along with her mother, serves as her manager

Lead roles include “Let Me In” (2010), “Carrie” (2013) and “If I Stay” (2014)

Coming up: “Dark Places” with Charlize Theron, alien-invasion film “The Fifth Wave”