Chloe Grace Moretz Was 'Intimidated' to Take on 'Carrie,' Tried to Never Break Character on Set

Teen actress, best known for her role in "Kick Ass," stars in revamped classic.

Oct. 17, 2013— -- Chloe Grace Moretz, the latest young starlet to don the pink prom dress and the bucket of pig's blood for the new "Carrie" reboot, said she felt "intimidated" to take on the lead role in the revamped quintessential teenage revenge fantasy, which is out in theaters Friday.

"I was intimated on taking on a Stephen King novel," Moretz told "Nightline." "That's what scared me ... trying to take something that was one of his most iconic pieces of work that he's ever written and try and breathe life, even halfway as good, as the words that he has put into a book."

To help her get into the mindset of Carrie White, the high school student who is relentlessly bullied for being different only to discover she has psychological powers, Moretz said she tried to stay in character for the entire time she was on set.

"It was the first movie I ever did in which I wanted to try method [acting]," she said. "You know, trying to really breathe and live in her because she is such a dark character you can't just cut and be like hee-hawing around."

Despite all the latest movie special effects, Moretz said the new "Carrie" was less concerned about supernatural powers than it was about human nature.

"I think it really is the emotional aspect of it," she said. "It's really what you read within Stephen King's novel, you see that in our movie. You see the effects of the mother-daughter relationship more than just the teenagers."

In the film and the book, Carrie isn't just bullied, she is a victim of parental abuse. Carrie is "abused by too much love," Moretz said, from her mother, Margaret White, played by Julianne Moore in the new movie. "They're all going to laugh at you," is one of the film's most iconic lines.

Moretz's real-life mother, Teri Moretz, is a single mom, like Moore's character. While she is far removed from the horribly extreme antics of Margaret White, Teri Moretz can relate to wanting to protect her daughter.

"I'm a momma bear, and there are times that you have to just let go and it's not easy," she said, adding that there were times when it was "difficult" to watch her daughter as a character being abused.

"There are moments that you're like, 'Ooh, I can't watch it,' but it's just so beautifully done," Teri Moretz said. "I saw the original one ... and this one is really beautiful, but it's psychologically disturbing."

Chloe Grace Moretz is no stranger to starring in disturbing and ultraviolent films -- she is best known as the fanboy favorite from "Kick Ass," which she starred in when she was 12 years old. But even as the lead in the new "Carrie" movie, the now 16-year-old actress joked that she still wasn't old enough to see the R-rated film in theaters.

"I'm illegal, I can't even see it," Moretz said, laughing. "I mean, I'm sure my mom will buy me a ticket."

When the original "Carrie" came out in 1976, it redefined horror as a film genre. It wasn't just a box-office smash but garnered an Oscar nomination for then-26-year-old Sissy Spacek and for a young novelist named Stephen King. "Carrie," which is based on his novel, was his first foray into film.

But Moretz didn't seem put off by the notion of following an Oscar-nominated performance.

"If I think of that, it's going to kill me, and I'm never going to be able to achieve what I want to achieve as an actor," she said.

Over the years there have been a few "Carrie" remakes, a little-known sequel and even a Broadway musical. Now Hollywood is taking another stab at the horror classic.

Kim Pierce directs this latest "Carrie" installment, and with her comes lots of indie cred. Her best-known film is 1999's "Boys Don't Cry," for which Hillary Swank won the "Best Actress" Oscar.

Aside from a few modern flourishes in the new "Carrie," including having classmates cyberbully Carrie White using cell phone cameras as weapons and having Carrie research her newfound powers on the Internet, Pierce said she wanted to make a movie that was truer to King's original book.

"I did stay closer to the Stephen King version," she said. "I think because I was in so much love with Carrie as a main character, I wanted to put the audience inside her shoes, pretty much how the novel is told. So very much throughout the entire movie, you are with Carrie."

Pierce said she saw similarities between Carrie White and Brandon Teena, Swank's character in "Boys Don't Cry."

"These were amazing characters that were misfits, who were outcasts, who basically want to get love and acceptance like we all do and were willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get it," Pierce said. "And there's somebody out there who wants to take it away from them, and when that person takes it away, I think we feel brokenhearted. I think we feel indignant, I think we want to see that person, you know, reclaim their space, and we want to see them get revenge."

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