Despite growing up under the blinding spotlight of the industry, actress Chloë Grace Moretz has avoided the pitfalls of fame while landing a lead role in Prime Video's buzzy new series The Peripheral.
It seems almost unfathomable that Chloë Grace Moretz is only 25. Despite getting her start on-screen at the age of 6 and boasting a breakout role by 12, the Atlantaborn starlet has always opted for rather adult roles for such a young star—Scorsese films over the usual saccharine, teen queen flicks her peers might have chosen. A thoughtful path devoid of tabloid drama, which seems to be more and more rare for child actors. Polished, professional, poised and precocious are often used to describe Moretz and her astounding ascent. Hailing from a family with four older brothers, her admirable grit, perseverance and wise-beyond-her-years insight start to make more sense.
“I have been working for 20 years now and I would say that it’s an understatement to say that it shaped me,” she muses. “Acting and being an actor has been the most formative experience of my life. It’s also been an active form of therapy for me. As I have gone through major life experiences, I always could convey my emotions into these vessels, which are the projects I have been able to be a part of. I feel so blessed to be able to have those opportunities.”
This fall, Moretz steps back into the spotlight as the lead of Prime Video’s new sci-fi thriller series, The Peripheral. Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy serve as executive producers, along with Athena Wickham, Steve Hoban and Vincenzo Natali. Based on the book The Peripheral by William Gibson, the narrative centers on Moretz’s character, Flynne Fisher. The framework is familiar: a young woman trying to hold together her family. A post-apocalyptic America where technology has altered society. A secret portal to an alternate reality.
She shares that the timing for this project was once again kismet. “The Peripheral came at a particular time in my life when so many of Flynne’s ideals and characteristics matched where I was. There were so many similarities that I was able to pull myself into the character in a super-cathartic way, and I really cherished the ability to do that.”
“I have always been a big fan of William Gibson, even before I got the call from Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. When I heard they wanted to turn The Peripheral into a series, I was really excited about playing Flynne Fisher,” says Moretz. “Flynne is such a strong and empowered female character, and I found many similarities between her and myself. Having the chance to bring such a multifaceted character from the pages of a book to the TV screen was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I felt so lucky to be a part of it, and I still do.”
Moretz shares that she felt an instant connection to the character, identifying with her intellectual curiosity and insight. “Flynne is a self-proclaimed explorer, and the way she explores is through Sims (simulations),” she says. “I think she applies her explorative nature to so many aspects of her life. She is someone who can really pull back the layers of what is being laid out in front of her and really get to the truth while also solving whatever puzzle she is faced with. I feel like we are similar in that way. I also think we both try to find wonderment in those kinds of hard situations,” she says. “Flynne doesn’t get stuck thinking from one perspective or looking at something from a certain angle. She looks at it from every angle and every perspective. I admire that about her and try to do it myself!”
Exploring virtual realms is something Moretz enjoys outside of her professional work as well as a self-professed gamer. “That is another thing Flynne and I have in common. I am very much also a gamer! I love the escape that gaming can be. I just recently started tweeting about gaming and so many people thought my Twitter was hacked because I was talking about it so much. While I have just started talking about it, this isn’t a new hobby, so I was surprised by the response,” she says. “I have been a gamer my whole life! Lately, I have been playing Modern Warfare 2 beta. It just came out recently, and I have been playing with my friend Jack Reynor, who plays my brother in The Peripheral. He is in Ireland and I am in L.A., which is very much like a Flynne and Burton Fisher experience, playing the same game from different places, coordinating attacks together. It is super fun.”
Clearly cerebral and a brilliant deep thinker, Moretz maintains mindfulness to ensure she doesn’t get too lost in her craft—or those pitfalls of fame. “I am a very physical person, and, for me, training my mind and my body and connecting the two, and grounding myself, are super important to me. Whether that’s going on a walk; doing judo training; or just meditating in my room, focusing on manifesting where I want my life to be. The way I ground myself tends to be very physical, and that allows me to keep my feet on the ground because I tend to float away if I don’t focus on what’s in front of me. I tend to get lost in my own head.”
Seemingly sage way beyond her years, Moretz offers her own insights into how the right role at the right time has helped shape her journey. Up next, she will star in an animated movie with Netflix called Nimona—but she isn’t afraid to pause for a moment and step out of the spotlight as needed. “This year, I really focused on myself, deciding on my next step, and resting after the year it took to shoot The Peripheral,” she says. “Right now, I’m really in the head space of quality over quantity, and I want to be a part of projects with wonderful directors and a great cast, in any size role. I have been really honing in on what’s important to me, and I am excited to see where this year takes me.”
“I think that art mimics life in a lot of ways. Whenever I need to pour myself into something, the right project finds its way to me at the perfect time. It’s always been like that during my career. It makes me able to connect to the character in a beautifully personal way and helps me express emotions that I might not be able to in my real, normal, everyday life. I take what I learn from these projects and use it to leapfrog into another facet of myself emotionally and broaden my perspective on life,” Moretz explains. “There are a lot of aspects in my life that tend to shape and change along with the decisions of my career because it is art. I think there really is some sort of divine intervention or cosmic alignment that happens with each project when it’s time to be made.” An astute and perspicuous perspective from someone who has clearly learned to navigate the industry.
“It has definitely grounded me throughout my career. I have tried to always choose projects and roles and work with people that inspire me. I think that the beauty of art and cinema is that you can convey massive ideals and make them palatable in an interesting, exciting and expansive way. It is a singular medium that can reach such a large amount of people. For me, that has really shaped decisions in my career both on and off the screen, especially off-screen. I am very outspoken about what I believe in and I would never change the decisions I’ve made, professionally or politically, about what I have chosen to stand up for. I will continue to be true to myself, and as my views and opinions change, I will continue to speak out.”
Photography by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF TRUNK ARCHIVE; Styling: Sandra Amador and Tom Eerebout Hair: Gregory Russell with The Wall Group Makeup: Mai Quynh with The Wall Group for Armani Beauty Manicure: Christina Aviles Aude with Star Touch Agency for Peacci