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Sonic Youth With Chloë Grace Moretz

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She may be just 21, but CHLOË GRACE MORETZ’s intelligence and outspokenness transcends her years. As she helps to raise awareness of modern-day gay conversion camps with her new film, the actress gets vocal on sexuality, dropping out of blockbusters and why you won’t see her kissing on the street. 

It’s morning at a coffee shop in North Hollywood and Chloë Grace Moretz is telling me about her upcoming break in Provincetown, Massachusetts, with her four older brothers, to celebrate her mother Teri’s 60th birthday (Moretz describes the family’s special bond as “symbiotic”). It’s the actress’ second trip to the gay vacation spot in a month, after visiting for the first time two weeks ago to show her new film, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, at the Provincetown Film Festival. “I’m fully obsessed with it,” she reports. “I have two gay brothers in my family and we love being surrounded by gay people and gay things. We were trying to figure out where to take our mom and we were like, she would love this. She loves biking, she loves lobster, she loves Massachusetts, and it’s so gay that she’ll just f***ing die.

At 21 years old, Moretz, who’s been working since the age of five, is self-possessed, quick-witted and willfully unfiltered. “I’ve done interviews for 15 years so I’m used to them,” she says. She certainly looks the part: a black blazer with fur cuffs; a ruffled, navy-and-red, polka-dot mini wrap dress; white Working Girl Reebok sneakers. “And my Prada,” she adds, referring to the Cahier shoulder bag sitting on the table, gifted to her by the fashion house. “She’s a pretty girl.

By her own admission, Moretz hates taking breaks (the famously prolific actor has worked on two dozen movies since her breakout in 2010’s Kick-Ass). “I’m horrible at vacations,” she says. “I work the entire time. I try not to, but I definitely have an issue with it. I get about four days of sleeping as much as I want and then once I’m caught up, I’m like, I’ve got to do something.

“I’m horrible at VACATIONS, I work the entire time. I get about four days of sleeping as much as I WANT and then I’m like, I’ve got to do SOMETHING”

Recently, however, she bit the bullet and took a year and a half off to – as she puts it – reconfigure her career. “I wanted to reconnect to my job and what I love about acting. I dropped out of some really big movies,” Moretz admits, alluding to projects that included the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid. Surprisingly, she says, “I loved it. Just reading and writing and working and listening and watching. Just soaking up anything I could.” She spent two weeks alone in Tulum, Mexico, on a whim. She lived in a shack on the beach in Santa Barbara for a month. She did ritualistic things like having Sunday dinners at the Laurel Canyon home that she shares with her brother Trevor and their mother, who lives in the guest house; Trevor is the reason Moretz became an actor, helping to raise her and now co-managing her with Teri [Moretz’s father has been out of the picture since she was young]. Moretz asked her mother about growing up as a woman in the South and talked to Trevor and her other brother Colin about growing up gay. “I was like, ‘I never actually asked you what it was like to come out. And you came out under a very religious upbringing, because our family was very Christian Baptist. What did that mean? Were you afraid? What was your process?’

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Chloe Grace Moretz Says Her Louis C.K. Film ‘I Love You, Daddy’ Shouldn’t Be Released

“I don’t think it’s time for them to have a voice right now,” the actress said about her co-star, who was accused by five women of sexual misconduct in November.

Chloe Grace Moretz believes that I Love You, Daddy, the film she starred in alongside Louis C.K., should not be released.
I don’t think it should be. I think it should just kind of go away, honestly,” she told The New York Times about the film’s release in a story published on Friday (Aug. 10).

The New York premiere of I Love You, Daddy was canceled just hours before the event was set to begin in November. The New York Times published an story later that day that included testimonials from five women that accused C.K. of sexual misconduct. The film’s distributor, The Orchard, announced that they would not move forward with the release of the film. Moretz is currently on the big screen in the gay-conversion-therapy film The Miseducation of Cameron Post.

I don’t think it’s time for them to have a voice right now,” the actress said, seemingly referring to men like CK who’ve been accused of sexual misconduct. “Of course, it’s devastating to put time into a project and have it disappear.

But at the same time, this movement is so powerful and so progressive that I’m just happy to be in communication with everyone and to see the big change in the face of the industry, which I think is very, very real,” she said.

I Love You, Daddy tells the story of a successful TV writer-producer (C.K.) who tries to stop his 17-year-old daughter (Moretz) from starting a romantic relationship with a 68-year-old filmmaker (John Malkovich). C.K. starred in, wrote, directed and produced the film.


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Chloë Grace Moretz on Fashion, Feminism, and the Future of Her Career

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I’m trying not to spill cold brew on the rainbow of expensive garments currently hanging like fresh fruits from an iron rack at a loft in Downtown Los Angeles when Chloë Grace Moretz arrives for her photo shoot, right on time, wearing a sundress spattered with cherries. A week ago, Harper’s Bazaar deemed that red cherry prints were “taking over” summer 2018. “It’s impossible not to turn heads,” the reporter wrote of the playful pattern, so cartoonishly sweet in its likeness that it almost seems like a cheeky parody of warm-weather womenswear. Unlike classic florals or polka dots, cherries say—with a wink—I know this looks like a costume. In 1931, Ethel Merman sang, “Life is just a bowl of cherries. Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious.” That’s what the image of a barefaced, stone fruit–clad Moretz seems to say this morning.

Whether or not Merman’s words factored in as the 21-year-old film star got dressed for our interview, it turns out that not taking life too seriously is reflective of Moretz’s style in general. “It’s been fun to play with the role of femininity as a young woman,” she tells me after we take our seats, clutching twin iced coffees, at a long reclaimed-wood table in the back of the studio. Raised in Georgia by a single mom (her “feminist icon”) and four older brothers, Moretz classifies her style growing up as “incredibly tomboy.” Between surviving breast cancer and raising five kids, Moretz’s mother didn’t have much time to teach her daughter about fashion, but she did instill in her a rare confidence, which radiates off Moretz’s skin, effortlessly, like sunlight. “My mother is just a badass,” Moretz says. “After my father left my family, I saw her pick up the slack in a lot of different ways. She first and foremost never made me feel different than my brothers. It was just kind of like, Cool, you want that? Go fight for it. And that’s always what I did.

I don’t want to be beholden to anyone’s gender construct.

Moretz made use of that confidence as the spunky child star we remember from films like 500 Days of Summer and Kick-Ass, and she continues to use it as she makes the formidable transition to ingénue. In her newest film, The Miseducation of Cameron Post (set for release August 3), Moretz plays a lesbian teenager in a conservative town in the ’90s who’s sent to gay conversion camp. Offscreen, Moretz grew up surrounded by a strong LGBTQ+ presence that included two gay brothers. Unlike in Cameron Post’s world, being gay was so accepted in Moretz’s family that it’s still hard for her to grasp what is so controversial about loving who you naturally love. “I want to get to a place where coming out isn’t a thing,” she tells me. “Take the person for who they are, not their gender.

In Cameron Post, Moretz’s angsty, low-femme aesthetic consists of track pants, hoodies, jean jackets, and a pair of enviable feathered eyebrows. Like her character, Moretz also experimented with a more masculine presentation as a teen, replacing the lip gloss and ruffled dresses that defined her tweenhood in the late 2000s with iconoclastic suits and band tees. “I don’t want to be beholden to anyone’s gender construct,” she says.

Since entering her 20s, the actress has started using fashion to explore a wide spectrum of identities (feminine, masculine, minimalist, maximalist). She does this more as a means of “daily self-expression,” she says, less connected to her truest self and more to her mood or rebellious nature. “I love going on the red carpet and looking like a princess. I also love wearing a power suit and slicking my hair back. For me, it’s like, who am I today?” Challenging the public’s expectations is another motivator for Moretz: “If I’m doing a movie like [Cameron Post], I like throwing it on its head and doing super-feminine looks on the carpet—Barbie-doll hair; over exaggerated, almost drag-like looks sometimes. Why not push both boundaries? I feel comfortable in both skins, and I like messing with what people expect.

But neither the Barbie hair nor the power suit is the laid-back version of Moretz you’ll find at home, or at the studio today, sitting before me. Her carefully curated public persona is a form of what Moretz calls self-preservation. “Especially having grown up in [show business], people know a lot about me. So I have to wear a sort of mask not to be completely terrified of going in front of a hundred cameras,” she says. The fact that her appearance is a big part of her job is still scary to Moretz. “So I do compartmentalize,” she explains. “The Chloë Grace Moretz that people see on a carpet is a different person, and I think that’s okay. … When I’m at home, I rarely ever get dressed in a proper outfit. I enjoy a lack of vanity, a lack of presentation.

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Chloë Grace Moretz’s New Film Takes On Gay Conversion Therapy

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Gay conversion therapy does not work. It is bigoted, abusive, cruel. And according to a UCLA study, nearly 700,000 LGBTQ people in the United States have been through it.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post, the Sundance Jury Prize-winning film from Appropriate Behavior director Desiree Akhavan, tackles the horrors of conversion therapy. The early ’90s-set movie (an heir to But I’m a Cheerleader) follows the titular character, Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz), after she’s caught hooking up with her secret girlfriend in the backseat of a car. She’s sent to an evangelical program called God’s Promise, where unlucky teens are taught that sports can encourage “gender confusion,” masturbation is a sin, and listening to the Breeders is, tragically, forbidden. Numerous scenes, including one where “SSA” (same-sex attraction) is compared to cannibalism, were inspired by interviews with survivors.

Cameron Post, which also stars Sasha Lane and The Revenant’s Forrest Goodluck, is both ominous and darkly funny, a clever flip on pop culture’s unending ’90s nostalgia. And Moretz is very, very good in it. It’s new territory for the 21-year-old actress, who selected the script after taking a year and a half-long break from acting. She spoke to PAPER about the film, the importance of getting queer people behind the camera, her name’s essential umlaut, and the Kim Kardashian story that just won’t die.

Why was this story important to you? What drew you to this film?
A few different reasons. Prior to this film, I took about a year and a half break, and I really wanted to make sure that the products that I would be partaking in really had a reason for me, and they hit me in the place where I felt I couldn’t not do them. And so, this movie really just checked all the boxes for me. First of all, I think it was the most beautiful adequate depiction of being a young gay person and meeting other gay people like you for the very first time, and what that feels like, and what that looks like. And have two gay brothers in my family, I’ve always been an inherent advocate for the LGBTQ community. It was the most naturalistic approach, and it really lit a fire under me. I couldn’t not do this movie.

What did your brothers think of it?
They loved it. My brother Trevor was with me every day on set. He’s wonderful.

This is such a delicate story that has to be told by queer people for queer people through a queer lens.

Desiree Akhavan identifies as bisexual, and there are a lot of queer people involved in the movie. How do you think that affects the gaze of the film, as opposed to movies about queer people that are made by straight people? There have been a lot of those.
There’s a lot of them currently. That’s actually a really wonderful question you ask, and something I’ve been thinking pretty hard about in this press cycle. What I really want to get across is that this is a story about gay conversion therapy, and this is such a delicate story that has to be told by queer people for queer people through a queer lens. I think what you’ll see is really — you’ve seen the movie, so I think what comes across in this movie very forwardly is a sense that it’s not — it doesn’t focus on the dark practices within the film. It doesn’t focus on just the sadness. When you’re actually going through these revelations of your sexuality and who you are and what you are, you’re not sitting there wallowing in sadness every day; you’re trying to find a light at the end of the tunnel. You’re trying to find your silver lining.

You can feel that in the film because there is so much latent darkness. But there are some beautiful highs and there are some really stunning comedic moments to help these kids get through the life that they are stuck in at this conversion therapy camp. I think being shot through a queer lens, being written through a queer lens, being edited through a queer lens, that’s the only way this movie needs to be handled. And that’s the only way queer movies going forward should be handled. I think it’s unfair in a lot of ways for directors and writers to be making a queer movie when they honestly don’t have a hold or a bearing on what it’s like to be a queer person.

I loved the sex scenes. They were shot beautifully, they don’t feel exploitative. What do you think of the finished product?
That’s something that I talk about a lot actually because it’s an exact depiction of — it’s the perfect example of the female gaze. It’s shot by a woman. Our DP was Ashley Connor, obviously there’s our director, Desiree Akhavan. And what I think is so interesting about them is the fact that they’re observational. They’re not voyeuristic. They don’t do close-ups on the breasts or the nipple. You don’t get an ass shot. It’s not about that. It focuses on the progression of the story, and the progression and the confidence building within her, within her own sexuality, and how beautiful that is and how tender it is to find that moment in your life when you connect with who you are, and that revelation that comes from that. And I think that they are really beautiful sex scenes. I think that they’re incredibly progressive to the story and it goes with the characters.

The 4 Non-Blondes sing-along scene is great. What was that like to film?
It was wonderful. We had a really wild time. It was actually pretty crazy because that was the day when we woke up, and everyone realized in America that President Trump was elected, and Hillary Clinton had to concede. So that was a really shocking day, and it happened to fall on the day when we had to do that scene. And so we really funneled all of the sadness and energy that was flowing from that. We pushed it into that scene. And that’s why I think it comes across so organically. It was a lot, but definitely I think also a fun ’90s moment in the movie.

On a lighter note, how do you feel about the umlaut in your name? Do you like it? I love umlauts.
I love umlauts! They’re unique and they really stand out. And when I was a little girl, they always kind of made me different, and I enjoyed that. And technically, they’re correct because without the accent over the “e,” we would pronounce it “Clo,” because the “E” follows the “O.”

And finally: are you so sick of talking about Kim Kardashian?
Yes. I’m so sick of it.


Categories Interviews

Chloë Grace Moretz Is Doing Just Fine Without Brooklyn Beckham

They say breaking up is hard to do, but that does not appear to be the case for Chloë Grace Moretz.
Moretz appeared on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live on July 30 to play along with the late-night talk show’s antics and questions—one of which happened to be about her ex-boyfriend, the photographer-model-scion and recent college dropout Brooklyn Beckham. Moretz confirmed on air that she and Beckham are officially no longer dating, but she is doing just fine without him. “‘I’m okay. I’m single. I’m 21, I’m single, I’m good,” she told Andy Cohen.

The on-again, off-again couple had their fair share of breakups and long-distance trials and tribulations during their four-year relationship, and even spent a full year apart from late 2016 to late 2017 before getting back together. At the time, Moretz opened up about the year she spent away from Beckham to Stellar, an Australian magazine: “I felt like things were falling apart, like my head and heart weren’t in the same place. Things started to change when I realized I have the power within to change them.

But once the two were officially back together by the end of 2017, things seemed to be going well, and Beckham even brought Moretz to a Spice Girls drag show for her 21st birthday, in February 2018. The couple called it quits for good in April 2018, after Beckham was spotted sharing a kiss with the model Lexi Wood. As of June, Beckham was reportedly dating the YouTube personality Lexy Panterra, but now he’s been reportedly linked to Abi Manzoni, a model who may also run a cannabis business in California, while Moretz remains happily single.

According to the actress, the two are still pals, with no bad blood between them right now, and besides, with two highly anticipated films on the horizon—the gay-teen conversion therapy drama The Miseducation of Cameron Post and Luca Guadagnino’s take on the Italian horror classic Suspiria—the young superstar is too busy to stay hung up on an ex anyway.