Chloe Grace Moretz claims to have an issue with science fiction. It’s not really a problem, though. The 25-year-old former child actress has experience in the genre thanks to her roles as a young vampire in Let Me In, a possessed adolescent in Carrie, and a post-apocalyptic survivor in Mother/Android. But if you want her to support your supernatural project in 2022, it has to be something exceptional.
She says, snuggled up on a luxurious sofa in a spotless London hotel room, “I think one of the drawbacks of sci-fi is that it can be extremely clinical, and it can feel incredibly remote and really chilly.”
She will put her feet up on the table during our interview, make us laugh with impressions from The Devil Wears Prada, and insist on making numerous, breathless recommendations for video games as we try to leave. But she never wavers in her attention. “I feel like a lot of science fiction doesn’t really rely on familial bonds and it doesn’t seem warm, so that was something I really grabbed onto with The Peripheral,” the author said.
In Chlo Grace Moretz’s latest endeavour, a risk-taking new Prime Video series that debuted its first two episodes last week, the actor portrays the outspoken young woman Flynne Fisher as she attempts to come to terms with a changing world and an alternate reality that only she has the ability to comprehend.
The Peripheral is Chlo Grace Moretz’s first step into TV streaming and, well, her first significant endeavour in a while. It was created by Westworld producers Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan and is an adaptation of William Gibson’s 2014 novel. Her career as a child actor took off some 20 years ago, encompassing every imaginable genre and winning over directors like Martin Scorsese and Tim Burton, to name a couple. However, since 2016, she has slowed down a bit and reconsidered her project selection process in an effort to make each one truly matter.
Although there is still no word on a real Kick-Ass revival, we aren’t ruling out the return of Moretz’s Hit-Girl just yet, and neither is she. She has also had voice roles in the revivals of Snow White, The Addams Family, and Tom & Jerry, as well as the “proudest role” of her career in the heartfelt indie hit The Miseducation of Cameron Post in 2018. But The Peripheral is what has really struck a chord with Moretz.
In the episode, Flynne’s relationship with her brother Burton (Midsommar’s Jack Reynor) greatly influences her course because she uses his avatar to explore the various worlds and eras she is juggling. They are related by blood but also, in this case, by technology. It’s a
She claims, “I simply genuinely fell in love with Flynne and Burton.” Obviously, a bleak future exists in this. The key thing is that no matter how far we travel across the bleak future of London in 2100, we always return to Flynne and Burton’s warmth and familiarity.
How would you describe Flynne, the character you play in “The Peripheral”?
She’s a major victory! Typically, sci-fi has stereotypical female characters. I was able to create a much more complex female character in this that really spoke to what I love to do when I’m writing for the screen: a character that thrives in the subtext and does so when she isn’t required to carry the entire discussion.
Did the book inspire you in any way?
This is such solid primary information from [author] William Gibson. The book is incredibly detailed, deep, and nuanced. Additionally, Flynne is portrayed in a very distinct manner, which truly establishes the tone for the novel.
What have you learned in your 20 years of acting?
“What I’ve learnt keeps evolving, and I’m still discovering a lot about who I am. I’ve learnt how to use my voice and what that looks like on the set as well as when you’re in a scenario where people are listening to you and your comments are taken seriously.
What advice would you give yourself as a child?
“I’d advise my younger self to put less faith in the opinions of others and to start listening to her own instincts. Trust your gut; your heart will guide you to the right course of action.
You publicly changed your career path in 2016 by speaking at the Democratic National Convention.
“[Politics and my career] coexisted for me; at the time, I was fully engaged in Hillary’s campaign. It caused me to think deeply about what I was doing, why I was doing it, the projects I was working on, and the things I wanted to share with the world.
So you have higher standards for the parts you played?
“When you’re a child actor, it’s really about working as much as you can and making hay while the sun shines. As I got older, I understood that I desired to peel back. If that means I won’t have to create any movies that year, I’d rather not.
Has that increased your enjoyment of acting?
The great part of this job is that it should evolve as you do. This year, despite reading a tonne of screenplays and attending a tonne of meetings, I was unable to connect with any projects. And this is the first time since the epidemic years that I have genuinely chosen to stay home instead of going to work. That was really unsettling and triggered a lot of concerns in my body, but it’s crucial for me to take a step back and believe that I’ve been sowing the seeds correctly, and that I’m now able to enjoy the benefits of my labours. And I must simply have faith in myself. It’s been my “screw it” age, I’ve been saying!
What else has lately changed for you?
For the first time in my life, I stopped training between early 2018 and 2016. I felt completely disconnected from my physically, which is a really important aspect of who I am. I’ve really stepped it up again over the past couple of years. After performing The Peripheral, I’d rush home and start practising Muay Thai, which I currently practise five days a week almost consistently. I’ve been practising judo, mixed martial arts, and Muay Thai. My life has been drastically altered, especially by judo. I am much more grounded and stable now.
You play video games, too, don’t you?
“I am! The term of intense gaming is called sweating. I was playing Call Of Duty: Vanguard yesterday with a friend of mine, Andrew. He’s my best friend from childhood. And we’ve gotten so close because he and I just game for hours on end. And Karina, his girlfriend, is like, ‘So what did you and Andrew talk about today?’ She’s so jealous that he and I are closer friends right now!”
When did you first get into gaming?
“I was really young back then. My four brothers used to be able to completely dominate me when we played football because I have four brothers. Never would I be successful. But when we played, that was the one time I could level the playing field and slightly stomp on them. I became quite competitive. I would [return home and play] after working on set. It was enjoyable and exciting.
Online servers seem to be highly controlled by men, right?
Except for Final Fantasy, every one of my internet personas is a male. BacallMonroe is her full name. Because you receive less hate, all of my other names are violent male gamer names.
What factors do you believe make a video game suitable for film and television?
“I believe it is improper for filmmakers to only focus on beauty. The set design or costumes may occasionally be flawless, in my opinion, but the interesting thing about a game is that it actually depends on the players. And I think that many of these television programmes that adapt video games don’t at all depend on their viewers. All they have are elaborate set pieces and action scenes. You enjoy playing games because they let you construct your own path and feel more engaged.
‘The Peripheral’ is available on Prime Video right now.