Role as a prostitute in 'The Equalizer' life-changing for Chloe Grace Moretz | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Role as a prostitute in 'The Equalizer' life-changing for Chloe Grace Moretz

Actor Chloe Grace Moretz looks on at a press conference for "The Equalizer" at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Moretz says playing a troubled prostitute in the Denzel Washington thriller "The Equalizer" was a life-changing experience. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Hannah Yoon
September 23, 2014 - 11:30 AM

TORONTO - Chloe Grace Moretz says playing a troubled prostitute in the Denzel Washington thriller "The Equalizer" was a life-changing experience.

She isn't talking about the career lessons gleaned from working with her Oscar-winning co-star — though those were much appreciated. A foundation she visited that rescues child sex workers made the biggest impact.

"The girls I met, they kind of changed me a lot," Moretz said in an interview at the recent Toronto International Film Festival. "It made me really appreciate my life and really opened me up as an actress. And I think I really went places that I haven't gone before. I think I'll remember it as definitely a monumental moment for me."

Inspired by an 80s TV show of the same name, "The Equalizer" features Washington as Robert McCall, a former CIA agent who is spurred back into action when his sense of justice is reawakened by Moretz's character, Elina.

Seventeen-year-old Moretz ("If I Stay," "Carrie") said she drew on the experiences of the former sex workers she spoke with at the foundation Children of the Night.

"They graciously shared all their stories with me and it was beautiful," she said. "They had this kind of fire and they had this kind of tenacity that I kind of fell in love with and I really wanted to show that within Elina."

Among the ideas she brought to her character was one of the coping mechanisms used by one of the girls she met.

"This one girl told me that when things were happening and when she was doing her job and stuff she would sing Chris Brown songs in her head, and Rihanna, and I found it really interesting how music is such an export for emotions," Moretz explained. "I really wanted to put that into Elina. And so every time she's in the diner I made sure she was listening to music."

In the film, Elina considers the diner a sanctuary. It is also where she meets McCall.

Moretz explained that director Antoine Fuqua let her and Washington play off each other during shooting.

"He would let us actors do our thing. He would let the takes roll on and on and on. He would leave the set very clear so it was just us," she said. "It was really personal."

Indeed, many of the subtle details that enhance the characters in "The Equalizer" weren't part of the film's original script, but came instead from the actors' imagination.

"I think this is the film's success," Marton Csokas, the film's formidable antagonist, said in a separate interview at the fest. "That's put down to the people who describe those roles but also Antoine, because if a director doesn't let the actors do at least their part and enable them to bring themselves, their work to the role, then they really should cast somebody else."

Csokas plays Teddy, a Russian mob boss who goes up against Washington's character.

Known for playing Lord Celeborn in the "Lord of the Rings" films, Csokas wanted to bring a degree of complexity to the character.

"It's important to figure out how people think and then accordingly how they behave and how they speak," said Csokas, adding that a line in the film's script which describes his character as "a sociopath with a business card" triggered hours of research.

"There are some great books about sociopaths and they are very interesting. Not just in relation to this film but life in general," he said.

"It's wonderful when you find something like that, good groundwork. And then the imagination of course. So I just played a lot with what sounded good, what didn't sound so good, tried to come up with different ways of doing things that hopefully were not cliched."

"The Equalizer" opens Friday.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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