Open Letter to the Parents of Chloe Moretz

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To the father of the child, Mr., McCoy Lee Moretz, I thank you for being present. To the mother of said child, Ms. Teri Duke-Moretz, your appearance is likewise appreciated. We need to talk about Chloe.

To you, she is your joy. She is your youngest child and only daughter. She is undoubtedly still looking up to her four older brothers: Brandon, Trevor, Colin, and Ethan. She has a great smile. And she has credited you with providing her a “very Christian” upbringing.

But to the world, she is someone else. She is someone who appeared in two very violent films in the year 2010. She was only thirteen years old at the time. She is someone else who will appear in two more films that promise to be even more violent than their predecessors in 2013. By the time the last giddy, name-plated, high school sophomore swipes a gift card at the cash register for admittance into these films, she will be all of sixteen years of age. To the world, she is Chloe Grace Moretz, child actress. Or, if we distinguish her in the more simplified terms of recognition and acceptance, she is “Hit Girl” from the movie “Kick Ass”.

The late Chicago film critic Roger Ebert brought up two observant gripes with your daughter’s participation with the insanely popular (it grossed $66 million dollars above its $30 million dollar budget) “Kick Ass” film that put your daughter on the map. The first being that her father, portrayed as “Big Daddy” by Nicholas Gage, trained Hitgirl to kill viciously, and accompanied her on excursions to kill those who had wronged him in the past. In any other world, this rates as child-abuse/neglect of the highest order. In dark theaters across the United States of America? It rates as cheer and laugh fodder. The second point that Mr. Ebert illuminated, was that there was a scene towards the end of the film where the antagonist, Frank D’Amico, beats this child to within an inch of her life as payback for all of his many henchman who gruesomely lost their lives to her. And none of us find it the lest bit unsettling. I do, Mr. and Mrs. Moretz. Because I have witnessed a darker progression for Chloe with her next film.

That same year, your daughter Chloe became a vampire. Not a “tall, pale-faced male with a Romanian accent and a cape vampire”….but an “isolated, homeless, barefooted, waiting to lure grown men by crying for help and then dismembering them vampire”. Although the film “Let Me In” received far less criticism for her portrayal than “Kick Ass” did, I started to become concerned with her psyche. Jack Nicholson spoke prophetically when he raised concerns about Academy Award Winner Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker in the film “The Dark Knight” before his untimely passing. Nicholson stated that he was very concerned when Ledger told him he was “method acting” to get into character by refusing to sleep for days on end. Ledger told Nicholson that liked feeling “off-balance and unpredictable” in the same fashion that The Joker is against his nemesis, Batman. Jack Nicholson stated that he had issues with “removing” himself from the character of The Joker, and warned Ledger that method acting the role of a psychopath could lead to serious personal difficulties. Ledger died of an overdose on sleeping pills shortly after in a failed attempt to recoup some of his lost rest during filming.

When your daughter describes her process to getting into character for a film, I feel that it comes from the same place as a method actor. She attempts to relive it. “I always try to find something in my own life that connects me to the character. The more I live, the more I find things that I can use in my acting”, she states. Chloe is set to star in “Kick Ass 2″ this summer. She will tackle the role of “Carrie” in the remake of the Stephen King novel and film this Halloween. And sadly, she has been offered and has happily accepted the role of a sixteen year old prostitute in the film adaptation of the television series “The Equalizer” which will feature Denzil Washington. Your daughter before the age of eighteen, may have tried to “connect” to and “live” the realities of: a bloodthirsty, vigilante murderer that spews profanity with no regard to her age; a bloodthirsty vampire who enlists the help of another child to help her feed; an abused teenager who uses telekinesis to murder other teenagers for revenge; and an underage prostitute. What can only be left to our collective imaginations, is what does a young professional actress actually do to prepare for roles that are so negative? And more importantly, how does that impact her mentally for the foreseeable future?

My plea to you, Mr. and Mrs. Moretz, is that you encourage your youngest child to step outside of the current roles that she is enjoying. Start looking for at least “one” script that might be uplifting to young people of her age range. Maybe a film that speaks out against bullying and the rapid teenage suicide rate that follows it. She once shared that she likes to play dark, troubled roles because her upbringing was so good that it is more challenging to step into a world that she never lived in personally. I applaud her effort and her desire to become one of the finest young actresses of her generation. But Chloe, your daughter, has to diversify the type of roles that she reads for. Because as the grim photo that this open letter leads with at the top (she certainly appears to relish the power of pointing the gun at someone), she may “enjoy the roles” of dark, troubled spirits in her movies….but the question becomes eventually, are the roles really “enjoying her”.

Published in: on June 10, 2013 at 5:22 am  Comments (30)  
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30 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post Jonathan! Way to be proactive about the matter.

  2. You are an absolute ignorant about movies, acting and especially about Chloë.
    She is an actress. Since she was 6 years old. She is fighting for ten years developing her talent.
    Her talent is prodigy is not a normal actress she’s the best of her age.
    She can play all that roles perfectly. She is ready because her experience is huge.
    Her parents know perfectly the way to educate Chloë. Do you know the result??? She shows in her work, interviews and social network an absolute intelligence, professionality and the most important: immense happiness.

    I hope she never read this article full of ignorance or envy.

    • Absolutely agree, dude, Nobody can tell it better. :D

  3. You gave us all something to think about with all the violence that is already in our world that at such a young age that she is being portrayed in such a way that some young people might want to be just like her movie roles. I applaud her parents with her upbringing but think about what she is doing in the movies and as you stated about preparing for her roles.

  4. I thought that was great our teens do not have much for role models anymore our society has turned a cheek to what our children watch…then we wonder why they are shooting up schools..etc. What happened to ratings when they were actually enforced? Great article Jonathan.

  5. I have no idea what the point of this post is. I’m not sure but I’d guess Moretz isn’t shooting people, dabbling in prostitution, or dressing up as a ninja-style assassin in real life in order to prepare for those roles. Vampirism is probably unlikely as well.

    The author seems to be confusing acting with reality. Have you ever watched something being filmed? The realism seen in the finished, on-screen product is in complete juxtaposition from going on set with dozens of people, cameras, and lights.

    ” The first being that her father, portrayed as “Big Daddy” by Nicholas Gage, trained Hitgirl to kill viciously, and accompanied her on excursions to kill those who had wronged him in the past. In any other world, this rates as child-abuse/neglect of the highest order. ”

    It’s…..a movie. Nobody is actually training Moretz to kill people. There is no child abuse or neglect here. Just an oddball story based on a graphic comic book.

    Will Smith isn’t actually fighting alien invaders, Christian Bale isn’t really dressing in a cape to stop crime, and Linda Blair isn’t demonically possessed or ruined for life as a result of her role in the Exorcist.

    • i respect your opinion sir. if you do some research….you will find “my point”. chloe said herself recently that she was “so shooken up” by what it took to get into the mentality of the new “carrie” movie she has coming out….that she cannot allow herself to watch the “ending” of her own movie. that in itself…is proving that these dark roles are starting to take a toll on her psychologically at a young age. i know the difference between reality and acting sir. and all i am asking of her parents is that they encourage her to do a few “lighter” roles before she becomes an adult, so that she can enjoy her childhood and not deal with issues that may remain longstanding if she continues to play movies where she is strictly “a child functioning in an adult’s world as an adult”.

      • I think you’re taking her comments too seriously. I like her, but you’ve got to take some of the things she says with a grain of salt.

        I’ve never seen anything that suggests she’s psychologically impacted by her work. In fact, in response to critics who complained about what her character did and said in Kick-Ass she used to say “it’s just a movie, it’s not real life.” She’ll go to Carrie’s premiere and watch the film.

        She has, in fact, done lighter roles (Hugo, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jack & the Beanstalk) and she has voice work for an animated film coming up. I wouldn’t mind seeing her do more of it, but I don’t see where she’s been hurt by the roles she’s taken.

      • “Light roles” as you say doesn’t make money. And she’s advanced for her age. Her parents gave her a good education, away from drugs and bad behaviour. May be you’ve good intentions but you’re overreacting.

  6. You’re a moron and roger ebert’s rant about kick-ass were almost as retarded as your article. She is an actress doing something she loves. Kick-Ass was her breakout role. Get your head out of your ass for a second

    • hey “CAPTAIN OBVIOUS”. yeah….i’m a moron. with a college degree in mass communications from an accredited four-year university. and i took time to make a thought-out argument to make my point in a 984 word article. and your comeback is fourth-grade level playground insults???? (WHO)…..is the moron, again??? just for clarity?

      • You have no idea about Chloë, her family, and you made a huge lack of respect for their parents.
        Shame of you.

  7. This was deep. You made some great points and I understand where you’re coming from. A lot of adult actors speak of being traumatized by their more darker roles all the time. Kerry Washington spoke very openly about it after doing Django Unchained, for example. So it definitely is reasonable to assume that it would take it’s toll on a young star.

    In fact, there are some articles that speak about the mentality of child actors who did Horror movies back in the day being impacted and that being the gateway to a lot of them getting sick and dying at a young age. And Dakota Fanning struggled with the age appropriate roles issue when she first came out.

    If she is admitting that some of the roles are getting to her, then her parents definitely need to encourage her to take on lighter ones. She is probably not taking these roles because she genuinely wants to but because society only seems to embrace young actors in more inappropriate roles. You see it happen to Disney/Nickelodeon stars all the time. They go from wholesome to some extreme and their popularity sky rockets.Sadly, we live in a society where sex and violence sells. And children grow up way before their time. And people overlook it because “it’s just entertainment” or “some kind of phase.” They don’t give any thought to the bigger picture.

    So props to you for taking a stand and speaking out. It’s an issue that a lot of children are impacted by, not just in movies but music and everyday life as well.

  8. It’s amazing how the carnal mind and unaware conscious spews insults in the direction of the individual with enough courage and awareness to plea for the spiritual, emotional, and mental well being of a young girl he has never met. Nobody plays a role. Characters, lifestyles, belief systems, and other worldly influences are being channelled all the time under the banner of talent and/or entertainment. You can’t just stand in front of a camera and recite lines. To be effective, to be convincing, one must become. Who is Chloe Moretz becoming, what is Chloe Moretz becoming?

    • Oh please. Quit begging the question. If you think her roles in films are impacting her negatively, make your case with some examples.

      Anyone who has followed her closely knows she’s well-adjusted, intelligent, driven, and pretty normal. There is no reason to suggest otherwise.

  9. Hey moron thanks for deleting my comment. I see that you just keep the ones up that you agree with or you can comment on to make yourself look good. You can’t keep the ones that you like the fool that you are. Love that you pretend that you have a college degree. It is obvious from your article that you don’t even have the education to be the PR person that you pretend to be on Twitter.

    • yes sir. i deleted your first comment. because i thought it was trash. this one isn’t much better….but let’s go for it. first of all, “YOU ARE WELCOME, FOR ME DELETING YOUR COMMON.” oh….my mistake, you were using IRONY and being FACETIOUS when you said that. those are excellent literary skills. now, when you want to present an intelligent argument to the points that i made? feel free to join us. i can verify year, month, day, and time that i graduated from college. so that’s neither here nor there. if you want to debate with me….stick to the issue, and keep your juvenile emotions out of it. can you handle that? we will see. and “yeah”, since it’s (my) website, if i find that you can’t manage that….none of the people who agree or disagree with what i wrote will ever hear from you again.

  10. You made a very clear point and defended your argument but I have to disagree with you since I am a Chole fan. As well as a Johnny Depp & Tim Burton fan, two other dark role actors. That being said, I have to mention the early career roles and choices if Lindsey Lohan and Amanda Bynes. Both all American Disney/Nickelodeon teenage positive girls. Now their lives are in a downward out of control spiral. The movie roles these young actors and actresses choose don’t, in my opinion, affect their personal lives. I think it all starts from having a sound family structure. As long as Chole doesn’t fall victim to the pitfalls of Hollywood and her parents keep her grounded, she will grow into a very successful adult actress.

  11. You should do your research before you write an article about an actress that you obviously know nothing about. Claiming that “her parents should start looking for at least “one” script that might be uplifting to young people of her age range.” Chloe is already in a project called GirlRising. So her parents didn’t need your ‘advice’ to already have her be in a film like that.

  12. She’s Happy!!! No reason to shoot herself.

  13. NONSENSE!

  14. That is wrong dude :)
    Chloe Moretz is the best actress ever !
    I’m her biggest fan !

  15. Hi Jonathan. An interesting post from you. I’ve read all the comments too and am not surprised at the different reactions.

    I do think that it is a valid point that starlin makes: when an actor is on set, there is absolutely nothing real about the situation, what with the director shouting commands, the cameras, unrealistic set (out of shot), etc.

    However, an actor does have to get into the mindset of the role they are playing. And I do agree that an actor of a young age is more susceptible to such new experiences than an adult.

    I tell you, I gasped (and laughed a lot) when Chloë uttered the c-word in Kick-Ass because I had previously read that her family was very religious, and I was amazed that they had agreed to her doing the role. When she described the shape of the Batman-like light signal, I laughed more than I’ve laughed since I watched Dumb & Dumber. It really is an extraordinarily funny film.

    There is no way that such experiences won’t affect young actors such as Chloë. But will those effects be negative? Who’s to say. I think she looks like a very well-adjusted young lady who is enjoying life and the amazing opportunities that have come her way. She probably has a bright future ahead of her, doing something that she loves while the 99% rest of us slave away in our mundane jobs just to pay the bills.

    When she complains that she can’t bare to watch the ending of Carrie, I am 100% sure that this is only propaganda. When she watches that film, like any actor, she will not be absorbing the final product; she will be remembering, scene for scene, the sets, the failed takes, the positions of the cameras, etc.

    I think I do disagree with you on your main point; that Chloë needs more uplifting roles to balance out her potentially damaged psyche. But I do also remember quite clearly that after watching Kick-Ass I thought a lot about young Chloë and her parents, and what an effect the Hollywood life would have on a young girl. So if I had such feelings, I see now that I wasn’t alone.

    But take another example of a young actress, namely Saoirse Ronan. She seems to be an absolutely adorable person and also seems to have both feet on the ground. And she hasn’t run into a school with guns yet – after playing a hit-woman in Hanna (2011).

    Regardless of any of our opinions, we all have the right to express our own. I just think that presenting yours as an open letter to Chloë’s parents was a little bit pompous. It would have been better if you’d simply offered your opinion and asked for feedback.

    By the way, Let Me In (2010) is a superb movie, by the way. It is the best horror I have seen since Alien (1979). And the original Swedish version of the film, Let The Right One In (2008) is even better. An outstanding film.

  16. Another MK-Ultra child abuse programming victim used to popularise paedophilia?

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  18. She’s a brilliant actress who has the capability and presents of mind to tackle darker and more adult themed roles. Her mother is brilliant for teaching her daughter about harsh realities in a safe context and if you love something and want to protect it, make it lethally dangerous. Having her trained as an assassin was shear genius, She’s not likely to be abused anytime soon. Also, she has done roles aimed at her age range (ie. Hugo, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Jack and the Beanstalk…). She has a rich and diverse career and this “Open Letter” is too slanted to reflect in a real way the social ramifications performances and personal circumstances.

  19. […] – KICK A** 2 – RATED R – UNIVERSAL PICTURES I wrote a scathing opinion piece about Chloe Moretz’s penchant for starring in dark, violent roles as a young actress. I got plenty of vitriol for […]

  20. My comment comes much later than your original post but I’ve just come across it. You need not worry. As Chloe has said in many interviews she is quite aware of the difference between life and acting.

    Her mother Teri is quite involved in her life and career and provides guidance. Her brothers provide a very protective environment.

    Chloe herself is mature beyond her years and has demonstrated that repeatedly. Having experience with high IQ children and young adults, I believe she is Mensa-level intellectually, and exhibits considerable emotional intel as well. She has said that even when she turns 18 she will not be doing inappropriate scenes.

    In her role in The Equalizer, she has stressed that although her character is a prostitute, no one should see the film thinking that they will see any “prostituting”.

    Chloe Grace Moretz is the Katherine Hepburn, Meryl Streep or Jodie Foster of her times. That is, she is an artist and not a Hollywood celeb.


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