It's hard to believe Chloë Moretz is just 16. Greeting me in a suite at Claridge's in Mayfair, London, the Atlanta-born actress is fiercely confident and well poised, unfazed to the point of insouciance.
That she seems a little old before her time shouldn't come as a surprise. She has, after all, been in the industry since she was five, appearing in no less than 30 films, including The Amityville Horror, (500) Days of Summer, Let Me In, Martin Scorsese's Hugo, and Tim Burton's Dark Shadows.
But it was with the adaptation of Mark Millar's comic-book caper Kick-Ass that she truly made her mark, playing the purple-wigged vigilante Hit-Girl, who splatters villains with relish and notoriously drops the "C-word" in one of her earliest scenes.
She was 11 when she filmed it, and unsurprisingly, the movie sent shockwaves through the media: the Daily Mail argued it had a "perniciously sexualized view of children", while The New Yorker claimed it was "violence's answer to kiddie porn".
Now Moretz is here to talk to me about the sequel, Kick-Ass 2, which picks up the story a few years later with Hit-Girl (real name: Mindy) starting high school and struggling to fit in.
If you thought the action might be tamer this time around, however, think again: there has already been a brouhaha surrounding Moretz’s new co-star Jim Carrey, who publicly disassociated himself from the film due to its "level of violence". And indeed Kick-Ass 2 is violent, perhaps even more so than its predecessor: throats are slit, torsos are impaled, limbs are sliced off, and one poor guy has his testicles chewed on by a dog.
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But while Hit-Girl's potty mouth and thirst for brutality will offend some viewers, there's one thing we should all be able to agree on: Moretz herself is a pretty good role model.
One of the film's themes is the idea that Hit Girl missed out on her childhood. Can you relate to this at all?
"I don’t think that I’ve missed out on my childhood in any way. I’ve actually had a more interesting childhood because I've been able to travel the world and actually see the things I’ve learned in my history books firsthand.
What I do have in common with Hit-Girl though is that I'm constantly trying to juggle two worlds. She tries to juggle her 'Hit-Girl' side and her 'Mindy' side. And I try to juggle my 'Chloë Grace Moretz' side and my 'just Chloë' side. I'm trying to figure out who each one is."
"Yeah, with Julianne, she is the nicest lady but at the same time, she is the most fearsome actress you’ll ever see. She's the type of actress I look up to in a mentor-type way and she’s someone whose career I will try to emulate.
She’s a person that shows that you can be a normal woman with a calm home and family who loves you, but at the same time be a brilliant actress who makes two or three movies a year.
She said: 'My mom always said, basically what she said was when you're 21, you're over 18, you can make that decision yourself but wait.
'It meant a lot to me because it's not even like she said "you're beautiful enough now" It was just you have to learn to love yourself first on your own before you can actually understand anything in life I feel.'
Gabby said positive words and encouragement are essential for young girls to give them the strength to withstand the journey to success.
She said: 'I looked up to one of mine, my mom, and a former Olympic gold medalist. They just inspire the next generation to do better.'
When it comes to overcoming negativity she said 'You've got to rid of the storm'.
She added: 'The best advice I have ever been given is from my mom. She always told me to just go out there and fight.