'If I Stay's' Chloe Grace Moretz growing into stardom

Chloe Grace Moretz arrives at the Teen Choice Awards 2014 in Los Angeles, California August 10,...

Chloe Grace Moretz arrives at the Teen Choice Awards 2014 in Los Angeles, California August 10, 2014. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:02 PM ET

Chloe Grace Moretz is rapidly becoming a bona fide movie star.

She's in six movies this year alone. Moretz, 17, was in Toronto earlier this summer to promote her new movie, If I Stay, and she'll be back in Toronto in September to plug The Equalizer, with Denzel Washington, at TIFF.

If I Stay stars Moretz as Mia Hall, an accomplished young cellist who loves music, her family and her boyfriend. Then a car accident changes everything. Mia slips into a coma, and as she hovers between life and death she has to determine whether or not she can go on in the vastly changed landscape of her life.

Moretz is refreshingly frank about what her newfound celebrity means in real life terms.

"It's kind of shocking sometimes," she says about becoming famous.

"Honestly, it was shocking and confusing, and it still is."

She continues, "Slowly but surely, every big thing I go to, to present awards, every time a bigger and bigger crowd starts to know me. I have a million followers on Twitter. Something happened, I don't know what, but it just started. People started to notice me, to want pictures with me, to know who I was dating.

"It's kind of mind-boggling."

Describing herself as 'a little girl from Georgia' and a bit of an introvert, Moretz says, "I'm a good actor, but I'm not that special." As the baby of five kids, with four older brothers, she says there was plenty of talent in the house. "They were good at football or at singing or something else, you know what I mean? I do what I do, but don't call me special. I don't save any lives here!"

Moretz — who is often pictured with one of her big brothers escorting her — has been acting since she was a little girl. When her older brother Trevor was accepted into New York's Professional Performing Arts high school, Moretz and her mother moved to New York from Cartersville, Ga., to accompany him. Trevor's school work piqued Chloe's interest in acting; she started at age seven and made her film debut in 2005 in Heart of the Beholder. She was seen the same year in a remake of The Amityville Horror and has since appeared in Kick-Ass 1 and 2, Let Me In, Texas Killing Fields, Hick, Hugo, Dark Shadows, Carrie, Muppets Most Wanted and Clouds of Sils Maria (with Kristen Stewart).

Moretz is just a teenager, but her career already spans a decade.

The best thing about an actor, she says, "Is just the gratification of people liking my work. That's what makes me happy, when I see people genuinely enjoying my work. And when I can genuinely enjoy it." Moretz recently performed on stage in The Library, a play directed by Steven Soderbergh, "and it was the most amazing, gratifying thing I've ever done… it's interesting doing stage, cause it's everything you get out of acting, but you get it faster." The immediacy of a live audience was new to Moretz. "Instead of waiting for the movie to come out, you work all night long and all of a sudden, they're right in front of you… and you walk out to sign the playbills and they still have tears in their eyes from watching you! It's just a beautiful thing to experience."

At 17, the actress already knows what comes with the territory of celebrity.

"You never say, 'I want to be a role model.' Nobody signs on to do that, but in this job, you sort of do," she says. "You sign up to be put on a pedestal for young girls to look up to, whether you want to be looked to or not. Rihanna can say she doesn't want to be a role model, but young kids are going to look up to you whether you want them to look up to you or not."

Like her character in If I Stay, says Moretz, she's a loyal friend. "I have my best girlfriends. I've had the same girlfriends for the last five years of my life. I try to tell them to be strong, to stand up for themselves, to not let guys push them around… So I try," she says. "But at the end of the day, we're all human.

"I hope I'm an okay role model."

If I Stay opens Friday.

 

Twitter: @LizBraunSun

liz.braun@sunmedia.ca


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