Chloë Grace Moretz on Love, Female Power, and Those Eyebrows

In the first big feature film Chloë Grace Moretz has put out in two years, The Miseducation of Cameron Post (in theaters Aug 3), the 21-year-old actress plays a lesbian high schooler, living in a small town in the ’90s, whose conservative family sends her to gay conversion camp. Shot for under a million dollars over 23 days by an unknown director, Cameron Post was the smallest and riskiest movie Moretz had signed onto in years. Her agents didn’t want her to do it. “Everyone told me not to,” she says, as we sit across from one another, iced coffees in hand, on the set of a photo shoot in Downtown Los Angeles. But coming off a sequence of big-budget pictures like The 5th Wave and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, Moretz says she hit a point where she was unhappy with the state of her career. She felt like she was failing her own potential as an actor. So in a rare professional move, she pulled out of the massive studio projects she was attached to at the time, stepped away from Hollywood, read dozens of scripts, and fell in love with Cameron Post. “It could have very easily gone in the wrong direction,” Moretz admits. “The movie could have been super offensive to a lot of people. But I trusted Desi [Ed. Note: Desiree Akhavan, the director], and … I fought for her.” Moretz’s decision to do the film got it funded, and it went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance earlier this year, the festival’s highest honor. 

Taking risks both in life and in career doesn’t scare Moretz. But living inauthentically does. It’s why the Georgia native and her family have stayed thick as thieves, a tight-knit group that includes her four older brothers and her mom, who raised all five kids on her own after their father left when Moretz was a tween. “A badass,” Moretz calls her mother with reverence. One of Moretz’s siblings, Trevor, works as her manager, and when powerful Hollywood forces aim to take advantage of the former child star, he’s there as her advocate. “Trevor and I were the only ones who were like, ‘We should do Cameron Post,’” she says. 

It’s this commitment to honoring her truest self that has preserved every idiosyncrasy in Moretz that the entertainment industry might have beaten out of someone less self-possessed. From her participation in politics and feminist activism to her enviably bold eyebrows (which she never plucked, despite the trends) to her sometimes controversial career moves, Moretz refuses to be a follower. This beyond-her-years wisdom made our interview particularly inspiring. Read on to learn Moretz’s take on dating, feminism, confidence, and why she doesn’t feel like your typical Gen Z kid.