Julianne Moore (left) and Chloe Grace Moretz in “Carrie”
Chloe Grace Moretz stars in the title role in “Carrie,” director Kimberly Peirce’s reimagining of Stephen King’s iconic first published novel — originally turned into the Oscar nominated Brian DePalma film, starring Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie.
Moretz was in Chicago the other day to talk about the new “Carrie” (opening Friday) and how she tackled the remake of such a horror classic.
Q: Starting with a lighter note, what was it like to have that yucky red goo — that was supposed to be pigs’ blood — dumped on you in that climactic prom scene in the high school gym? Plus how many takes were there?
A: It was only two takes on two different days — lucky for me. But remember, I had to spend a month and a half in the ‘blood’ shooting all the rest of the final scenes in the film! So the bucket dumps were only two days, but the blood was a month and a half. It was the worst — so sticky. No one would touch me! I’d got up to my mother, after a particularly intense scene and say, ‘Mom,hug me,’ and she’d go, ‘Uh, uh. No. Get away!’
Q: Clearly the special effects available today allowed for much more visual wizardry than they could do in the original film. How do you think about that?
A: The sci-fi element of this — the telekinesis element — was definitely much more fleshed out because of the what they now can do in our industry with the CG aspects today. I think it makes for a richer, deeper film.
Q: Of course, another change is that you are the actual age of the character as opposed to Sissy Spacek, who was in her late 20s when she played the teenage Carrie White in the 1970s. Does being a teenager give you and advantage for this role?
A: It gives me a leg up in that I don’t have to remember what it was to be that age. I am able to be it. I am living who I am, as the character, at this moment. I think that was a big advantage.
Q: A key element in “Carrie” is the difficult relationship between Carrie and her mother, Margaret. How did that work between you and Julianne Moore, who plays your mom in the film?
A: First of all, Margaret is a very scary mother. I think that sadly it’s very real in the world at large. I have met a lot of girls who have been abused because of religious extremism. A lot of their demeanor and physicality is caused by that. It was something I tried to incorporate in how I carried myself as Carrie — so to speak. I
What’s ironic is that Julianne has a fantastic relationship with her kids. She has a daughter who is like 13, and I’m 16, and have a very close relationship with my mom. So Julianne could understand that kind of relationship. She just took the closeness and twisted it and made it overbearing and obsessive and dysfunctional, which she needed to do.
Q: Whlle you were filming, did you purposely keep your distance from the ‘mean girls’ — the actresses who were bullying you in the film — even when you were not shooting and off the set?
A: I didn’t get particularly close to the girls, mainly because we had a big age difference. They are much older than me — like 24 or 25. But yes, I also didn’t want to be jokey on the set. Didn’t want to be buddy-buddy, because that could have interfered with what we were trying to do.
However, afterward, I’ve become good friends with [co-star] Gabriella Wilde.
Q: Were you able to relate to Carrie White in any personal way?
A: Yes. Personally, I’m not in my element around other teenagers. I self-isolate myself from kids my age, because I don’t have a lot in common with them. I’m more comfortable with older people. I have never gone to a real high school, so that kind of environment is alien to me anyway — so that helped with this role. I find it kind of scary talking to teenagers. I don’t know what to say. I’m good when it comes to talking to adults!