Movie News & Reviews

August 20, 2014

Moretz would love 'If I Stay' to have broad appeal

Dying is easy. Falling in love is hard. At least that's what Chloë Grace Moretz says about her role in "If I Stay."

The film, based on Gayle Forman's novel, tells the tale of Mia, a teenager who deeply loves her family, music and Adam (Jamie Blackley). Her biggest problem is how to tell Adam they might be separated if she gets accepted into Juilliard.

Everything changes when a car accident leaves her in a coma and she has to decide whether to fight to stay alive.

There are times when the 17-year-old Moretz must play a ghostlike version of Mia going through an invisible existence inside the hospital walls. Then there's the Mia who falls in love.

"It was much harder to play the Mia who is in love. Faking falling in love is much more difficult," Moretz says. "Dealing with loss is easier because from the time we are little kids, we know what it's like to lose a favorite toy, what it's like to hurt our arm.

"I was 16 when I shot this movie, and I am not certain I know what real love is."

Moretz is certain that while on the surface this is a story of young people, it will resonate with anyone — of any age — who has fallen in love.

She wasn't alone in her quest to authentically portray love.

Both she and her co-star Blackley wanted the relationship between Mia and Adam to feel as realistic as possible, something that was was made easier when they became close friends while shooting the movie.

Mia's story is told in flashbacks. All of the details in the book helped Moretz decide how to play the character.

"I hadn't read the book. It certainly can be a good and bad thing to read the book first. You can end up trying to be so loyal to the book you loose your presence in the work. I ended up reading the book and the script simultaneously," Moretz says. "I fell in love with the book, and it made me want to do the book justice with the movie.

"It gave be a backstory that I would have had to fabricate. In every project I do, I always have to have an in-depth backstory. I have to know what has happened to help create the character."

One large task for Moretz was taking months of cello lessons for the role. She wanted to tap into the passion a musician reveals when performing.

Some of the scenes are of her playing, but it was a little computer magic that helped make her appear like the virtuoso she's not.

Moretz cautiously talks about the choice the character makes in the book and the film. The actress says she would have probably made a different choice, but she still isn't 100% certain.

That may be the only thing the youthful veteran actor may not be sure about when it comes to her love of acting.

Moretz will next be seen in "The Equalizer," a big-screen version of the TV series starring Denzel Washington.


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