Chloe Grace Moretz is the latest young actress to speak out about facing sexism in Hollywood. For this week’s Power of Young Hollywood issue, the 20-year-old “Kick-Ass” star tells Variety that she was once fat-shamed by one of her male co-stars on the set of a movie.
“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 shares with Variety in an interview for her cover story for our annual Young Hollywood issue.
“It was one of the only actors that ever made me cry on set,” she recalls, opting not to reveal the identity of the actor, only saying that he was “23, 24 or 25” and she was 15 years old at the time.
“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,” says Moretz, who is extremely close with her four older brothers. “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.”
The fat-shaming incident is only one of many times Moretz has found herself in a sexist situation with one of her male co-stars. On another project, a different male love interest made up lies about Moretz to try to boost his own reputation in the eyes of film’s director, Moretz shares — again not identifying the actor in question.
“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,” Moretz says. “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. Little snips that just put you down.”
When asked if she’s aware of any projects where she was paid less than her male co-star, Moretz does not offer a specific story, but rather speaks on the larger issue of gender inequality in Hollywood. “Even if you’re being paid equally, it’s the little things, especially if the male lead is bigger than you — you aren’t listened to as much and you take a back seat.”
Despite her 50 credits, Moretz admits she still has to fight to get parts. In fact, as a former child star, Moretz says she sometimes has to work harder to prove herself. “Now it’s, ‘Oh, you’re too known, your face is in too many things.’ And I’m like, well, if I were unknown, then I would not be known enough,” she scoffs of the uphill battle she constantly fights in the industry.
Recently, Moretz was not considered for a role simply because of the color of her hair. “I was told I was too blond and they couldn’t cast two blond girls in the same movie,” she says of a recent project for which she was not offered an audition. “I was like, ‘Okay, because I’m blond and there’s another blond in the movie, you can’t cast two?’ That’s such a masculine way of looking at things.”
“I deal with it every day,” she adds. “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. 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.”
Though she’s experienced challenging situations, Moretz remains optimistic of the entertainment industry’s trickling progress.
“I’ve seen a massive shift just in terms of how many female filmmakers have been working recently,” she says, noting Desiree Ahkavan, who directed her in the upcoming film “The Miseducation of Cameron Post.” “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.”