ctress Chloe Grace Moretz. Vera Anderson / Getty Images Portrait
ctress Chloe Grace Moretz. Vera Anderson / Getty Images Portrait

Chloe Grace Moretz on Julianne Moore, doing her own stunts, and battling aliens in The 5th Wave



When alien-invasion action thriller The 5th Wave hits cinemas on Thursday, January 14, it will be the latest in a long line of big-screen adaptations of young-adult novels.

The trend really took off four years ago with the success of The Hunger Games, and has produced hits including the Divergent and Maze Runner series.

Now comes The 5th Wave, based on Rick Yancey's trilogy-opener of the same name.

But in an increasingly crowded YA movie environment, the film's star, Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass, The Equalizer), says it has something new to offer.

“The reason I actually chose this project is that in the past I’d been offered a few different roles in the kind of franchises we’ve seen and I never saw any reason to make them into movies or why those characters needed to be portrayed on screen, so I didn’t do it,” she says.

“But Sony sent this book over and I found it isn’t a traditional YA novel, in the sense that it doesn’t deal with the YA-essential themes of dystopian world, girl plucked out of obscurity to take over and fight for everyone’s rights — and there was no major love triangle.

“Those things weren’t there and I was like, ‘OK, cool. Already you sparked my interest,’ because it’s not what I’ve seen for the past five years now.”

Her character, Cassie, is not just a copy of Katniss Everden, says Moretz.

“Cassie is her own independent, modern-day woman,” she says. “She’s just ordinary, not some overtrained, highly specialised girl.

“It’s a story of perseverance and survival, and she goes from an ordinary girl to one of the most courageous women you’ll ever see on screen, especially at that age.”

Moretz is still only 18 years old but has been widely applauded for the effort she puts into her roles, including performing as many of her stunts as possible.

For her role as a Hit-Girl in 2010's Kick-Ass, for example, when she was just 12, she trained with Jackie Chan's stunt team for three months before filming began.

The challenges presented by The 5th Wave were a little different.

“It was a lot easier to do stunts in this movie,” she says.

“It was kind of the opposite to what I’m used to, because I usually train pretty heavily for the stunts I do in movies.

“When I came to do 5th Wave, they were adamant that they didn’t want me to look trained. They wanted me to look like I was fumbling around with a gun, and that was kind of hard because I’ve trained so much in the past. I had to force myself to fumble with the gun and keep being reminded to stumble and fall now and then and hold the gun in the wrong way.”

The teenager has appeared alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter in Dark Shadows, Joseph Gordon Levitt in 500 Days of Summer and with Ricky Gervais and The Muppets in Muppets Most Wanted.

But she is in no doubt which of her co-stars had the biggest influence on her.

“Among the women, Julianne Moore was the most fulfilling co-star I ever had [Moore starred as the mother of Moretz’s Carrie in the 2013 remake of the classic 1976 horror movie, based on a Stephen King novel],” she says.

“She’s always so there for her scenes, but she’s also such a beautiful human being. She was so helpful, and now she’s one of my closest friends in the industry.

“She’s like a mom to me and we speak on a weekly or monthly basis. I discuss most of my projects with her and run my trials and tribulations through her to get a different point of view.

"In terms of men, Denzel Washington [with whom she appeared in 2014's The Equalizer] did the same. He really took me under his wing and was very helpful."

The 5th Wave is in cinemas from Thursday, January 14

cnewbould@thenational.ae

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