The filmmakers admired Moretz’s abilities and offered her the role based on her auditions and striking body of work. “Chloë is very much ahead of her time and Carrie is very much behind the time, so the nexus of those two realities made for a very, very unique Carrie,” says producer Kevin Misher.
And yet, unlike Sissy Spacek, who was in her late 20s when she took on the role in the 1976 original feature, Moretz is a bonafide teenager, which allowed her to readily identify with the world Carrie is maneuvering. “I’ve gone through a lot of different stuff,” says Moretz. “I’m actually living it and I remember it all, and I’m here in it while portraying her, so it was really close to home. That’s why it’s so beautiful for me to do it. I felt an attraction to the role.” Casting an age appropriate teenager was also an instinct in contemporizing the movie; audiences today may not accept a Carrie that is, in real life, 26 or over.
Director Kimberly Peirce says it couldn’t have been more helpful having Moretz going through some of the same experiences Carrie did. “When I talked to Chloë, she was being asked out to the prom, literally at the same time that we were shooting our movie,” says Peirce. “Chloe, a confident and successful young actress with a loving family, is naturally very far from our character Carrie White, an underprivileged girl who is mocked at school and repressed at home. We worked to help Chloe understand and inhabit the more difficult sides of life. We were lucky that Chloe was just starting to go through many of the experiences that Carrie was going through.
That youthful innocence and sweetness, and the beginning of her teenage rebellion, forms the spine of Carrie’s character. I am very proud of Chloë’s transformation. You’re going to see Chloë grow up before your eyes on screen.”
Moretz is a big fan of King’s novel, which she calls “beautifully written,” so it was imperative in her mind to make it as emotional as possible. “It is probably the most vulnerable I’ve ever been as an actor,” says Moretz. “So in some ways, it’s kind of terrifying for it to come out, but at the same time, it’ll be kind of an awakening for me because I’ve never been able to show that level of my personal emotions on screen before.”
Peirce has nothing but praise for her leading lady’s work ethic, too: “Chloë’s phenomenal! Not only is she a real pro who knows her craft, she’s a really hard worker. Chloë had a lot of work to do on the ‘wire’ [a harness in which the actor is hoisted above ground] when she’s levitating. Typically, an actor on a wire can stay in character about half as long as usual because it’s so physically exhausting, but Chloë stayed up there, in the harness and acted it perfectly.” She adds, “The other thing about Chloë is that the camera loves her. She has an inherent charisma and energy on screen.
And she knows the lens, knows where to look, and knows how to hold herself, because she knows what the camera is seeing. When I give Chloë a direction, she knows what I want, and she nails it take after take after take.”
Now showing across the Philippines, “Carrie” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.
JULIANNE MOORE SHOCKS AS DEEPLY RELIGIOUS MOTHER OF “CARRIE”
Academy Award®-nominated actress Julianne Moore plays a troubled girl's ultra-religious and controlling mother, in Columbia Pictures' gripping thriller “Carrie.”
A reimagining of the classic horror tale, “Carrie” tells the story of Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz), a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.
Says director Kimberly Peirce, “Having Julianne play Margaret was a dream come true. She’s a brilliant stage and film performer with an extraordinary intelligence, sensuality, and playfulness to her and her work. She deepened the entire film, making it more fun, emotional, and powerful.”
In addition, Peirce adds, “When Julianne came on set a couple of weeks into production, she helped trigger a profound growth in Chloë. Julianne is a brilliant actress, a consummate professional, and one of the most generous actors I have worked with. She’s also a great mother to her own children. She brought all of these qualities to her relationship with Chloe -- they really bonded and became a mother-daughter unit. You feel their connection in every one of their scenes - the emotion, the intensity, and their love and need for one another. Their relationship, both as a love affair and as a duel, forms the heart and soul of the movie. It’s what drives the movie forward from scene one to the climax.”
Chloe Grace Moretz says working with Moore was “one of the most amazing experiences” she’s ever had as an actress. “If I could work with her on every movie I do for the rest of my life, I would. She brought so much to this project and she really made both of our characters even more advanced. What Julianne showed, because Julianne is a mother, is that Margaret is never trying to harm her daughter. Margaret is trying to be the best parent, and she doesn’t know how to because she is so paranoid and terrified of what might happen to her daughter.
She wants to keep her in the house, keep her in the closet, keep her safe, keep her a child.”
Moore credits Peirce coming onto the project and her approach to the material as key factors in clinching her involvement. “It’s such an iconic film and amazing story, so you approach it with some trepidation, but I think Kim Peirce is a wonderful director and this take on the story has a great point of view,” says Moore. “A lot of things Kim did go back to the original book by Stephen King. You have to definitely do your own thing, rather than remake it.”
Although the adolescent story is the same, Moore notes, “so much has changed in the ways teenagers communicate, so I thought the social media element was a compelling way to update it. I also loved that more of Margaret’s shocking and scary back-story from the book was incorporated into this script.”
Though she has portrayed many complex characters over her illustrious career, the versatile actress had never tackled a role quite like this. “Margaret is a miserable person, and quite frankly, she was miserable to play,”
Moore adds, laughing. “At its core,
`Carrie' is about adolescent rebellion; it is certainly extreme in the relationship Carrie has with her mother, but at a certain point in everyone’s life, they grow up and away from who they are as a child. Carrie’s at that moment when she wants to move forward and claim her adolescence but has a parent who’s obstructing that path. In addition to all that, she’s dealing with being at the bottom of the high school social hierarchy.”
Moore was impressed by her onscreen daughter’s ability to channel the ups and downs of adolescence into her performance. “Chloe’s so talented and incredibly hard working and very present,” says Moore, “and she brings a tremendous amount of herself and her ability to the role. I think one of the things that’s so lovely about this is that she is actually an adolescent, so I’m working with somebody who’s in the midst of that change, and that’s kind of unusual.”