Sworn again – Chloë Grace Moretz on reusing the C-word – and reprising her kick-ass role as Hit Girl
As a sweary pre-teen heroine in ‘Kick-Ass’, Chloë Grace Moretz shocked – and stole the film. Now she’s back as Hit Girl in ‘Kick-Ass 2’, and upstaging her co-stars again. But, insists the 16-year-old, behind the potty mouth is a polite Southern Belle
Chloë Grace Moretz with director Jeff Wadlow on the set of Kick-Ass 2
Belle of the ballbreakers: Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Chloë Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass 2
When is a superhero not a superhero? When he’s still at school? Nope. See last year’s Spiderman. When he has no superpowers? No. that would be Batman. When he’s deconstructed? No. See, well, everything.
How about when he has been completely upstaged by a potty-mouthed little girl?
Enter Kick-Ass 2, a sequel to the 2010 vigilante fantasy. Fan buzz is loud and Formula-One waspy. Few of the franchise’s devotees, however, are all that concerned about what Aaron Johnson’s Kick-Ass or Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s Red Mist/Black Death might be up to nowadays. Instead, all eyes are firmly trained on Chloë Grace Moretz’s Hit Girl, last seen as a combat-ready pre-pubescent, butterfly knife to hand and C-word perennially on her lips.
Kick Ass 2 trailer
The original shocked many cultural commentators, including the late Roger Ebert. Writing in 2010, he questioned the wisdom of arming a little tyke to the teeth. “In one scene,” he noted in his review, “she faces a hallway jammed with heavily armed gangsters and shoots, stabs and kicks them all to death, while flying through the air with such power, it’s enough to make Jackie Chan take out an AARP membership.”
As I catch up with Moretz in London, she’s just turned 16-and-a-quarter. And finally, she thinks she knows what all the kerfuffle was about.
“When I watch it now I understand the fuss about it a bit more. At the time I was wondering ‘Hey, why are people freaking out about this?’ I thought I was grown up back then. Now I see it and think ‘Oh, that’s why’. Now I get it. Now I’m thinking, ‘Whoa, what’s this girl doing?’”
Moretz spent months training with Jackie Chan’s stunt and choreography team for the first instalment. But this time around, having spent “two months in buckets of blood” on the incoming reboot of Carrie, she had to rely on muscle memory to do the work.
“I had no time for training,” she confesses. “I finished Carrie one week and started Kick-Ass the next. But I had done so much work for the first film it wasn’t too bad. It was a lot easier.”
The two projects, though very different in tone, forced the infinitely jolly Moretz to think like a loner.
“I had to think about where Hit Girl was at just as much as I did with Carrie,” she tells me. “On the first film she has her dad, but in this film she’s basically alone. Sure, she’s adopted by Marcus (Morris Chestnut) but he’s a cop. He’s the polar opposite of what a vigilante wants in a father figure because he’s the guy that wants to arrest you. That’s the big decision she has to make. She loves Marcus but he’s a threat to her way of life.”
Did Hit Girl pick up many injuries practising her ‘way of life’?
“Oh sure. When you’re rolling around on top of a moving truck you’re always going to get bruises. But you get used to getting injured on a Kick-Ass set. You expect it.”