Chloë Grace Moretz has appeared in dozens of movies, television shows, music videos, and theater productions, which means that not only has she accomplished more by the age of 20 than many adults do in their entire careers, but, unfortunately, she’s also had to bear more than her fair share of what many consider to be Hollywood’s rampant sexism. In her cover interview for this week’s “Power of Young Hollywood” issue of Variety, the actress opened up about some of the most harrowing instances of misogyny she’s faced on set.
“This guy that was my love interest was like, ‘I’d never date you in a real life,’ and I was like, ‘What?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, you’re too big for me’ — as in my size,” Moretz recalled. “It was one of the only actors that ever made me cry on set. I went bawling to my brother, and he was like, ‘What happened?’ And I was like, ‘He told me I was too big.’ And my brother was like, ‘What just happened?’ My brother was so angry.” Moretz said the body-shaming incident occurred when she was 15 and her unnamed male costar was “23, 24, or 25.” She added, “I had to pick it up and go back on set and pretend he was a love interest, and it was really hard…It just makes you realize that there are some really bad people out there, and for some reason, he felt the need to say that to me. You have to kind of forgive and not forget, really, but it was just like, wow. It was jarring. I look back on it and I was 15, which is really, really dark.”
Moretz also talked about another male costar who attempted to sabotage her by spreading false rumors about her around a film set. “I’ve had a younger male lead ostracize me and bring up fake issues just to try and put me in my place, and make things up to the director: things that are crazy, things that I would never do, unprofessional things that would make no sense,” she said. “I’ve had an actor do that to me. It’s crazy. They have this inferiority issue, and I’m like, ‘You are completely equal to me, you are no different than me. I just happen to be the lead in this movie, and I don’t know why, just because you are kind of the smaller character, that you’re pushing me into a corner to try and put me down.'”
The Suspiria star said these are just a few examples of the sexism she deals with “every day.” “You’ve got to stick to your guns. I always say, get me in the room and make me audition and I’ll try and win it, and at least I’ll know then that I did my best and I gave my all. But if you just look at me and you say no, then I don’t know what to tell you,” she said. “But, you know, when one door closes, another one opens and that’s the way it is so don’t fight it. I never try and push myself on someone who doesn’t want me for the role.” That said, Moretz noted that women have made significant progress in recent years in landing positions both in front of and behind the camera. “I’ve seen a massive shift just in terms of how many female filmmakers have been working recently,” she said. “We’re making big steps, but it’s a long way. We’re nowhere near the top. We’re just catching up. We have a long way to go.”
Moretz has previously spoken out against what she views as the industry’s inherent sexism. Most recently, when promotional materials at the Cannes Film Festival for her upcoming film Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs were accused of fat-shaming, Moretz tweeted that she was “appalled and angry” about the posters, which portrayed two different-sized Snow Whites and called the thinner one more beautiful. “This wasn’t approved by me or my team,” Moretz continued. “Pls know I have let the producers of the film know. I lent my voice to a beautiful script that I hope you will all see in its entirety. The actual story is powerful for young women and resonated with me. I am sorry for the offense that was beyond my creative control.”