KICK-ASS directed by Matthew Vaughn, written by Jane Goldman and Vaughn based on the comic book by Mark Millar and John S. Romita Jr., with Aaron Johnson, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Nicolas Cage. A Maple Pictures release. 114 minutes. Opens Friday (April 16). For venues and times, see Movies.
Chloë Grace Moretz is about to blow up.[rssbreak]
Not literally, of course. But the veteran child actor, who broke out as Joseph Gordon-Levitt's worldly younger sister in (500) Days Of Summer, is about to have her profile raised rather dramatically thanks to her performance as Hit Girl, the homicidal dynamo of Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass.
The online marketing campaign has already turned her into a minor icon among the fanboy set. And Moretz, now 13, isn't entirely sure she's happy with that.
"It's scary, you know?" she says in the safe space of the Park Hyatt. "For the first time in my life I have to have an alias. It's kind of terrifying - there are people waiting for me outside my hotel, and they're old men who are, like, 50 years old and they're, like [breathing], ‘Can I have your autograph? Can I take a picture with you?' And when they take a picture with me, they touch my back - they, like, put their hand around me."
The more intrusive fans are likely to back off once they actually see the movie. As the formidable Hit Girl - trained since childhood (by Nicolas Cage's Big Daddy) to be a merciless crime fighter - she slashes, stabs and kicks her way through Kick-Ass, doing most of the stunt work herself.
"Practically all of it is me," Moretz says, "except for the running up the wall - that was a person who ran up the wall actually, without wires. I was sitting there thinking, ‘Are you kidding me? Is this fake?' It's breathtaking."
That said, all the other stuff Hit Girl does in the film - including leaping around with butterfly knives and being thrown against several walls by thugs and henchmen - really is Moretz, with precious little between herself and a series of hard surfaces.
"I had no padding," she explains, "because I didn't like it. In the leather [costume] you can barely move anyway. With padding, it just becomes too bulky, and you look bad."
The strategy has some drawbacks. Moretz rolls up her sleeve to show me an oblong mark on her forearm, maybe an inch long.
"That's a scar from Kick-Ass right there," she says. "I fell on the edge of a chair, and it kinda broke. I was begging them not to get the medic, but of course they were all like, ‘No, let's check it out.' And it was just fine, it was just a cut. I've gotten way worse in real life. My dog bit me once."
Moretz has already wrapped her next picture, an English-language remake of the Swedish horror drama Let The Right One In. She's sworn to secrecy about it.
"There are amazing actors in it," she says, "there's an amazing director, amazing people involved. You'll be very happy with the finished product. When I turn into a vampire, I can honestly say you will be terrified."
Chloe Grace Moretz on getting a little bruised for the Kick-Ass shoot:
Moretz on building a father-daughter relationship with Nicolas Cage: