A decade ago, Teri, Trevor, Chloë and one other brother moved from Atlanta to New York City when Trevor was admitted to a performing-arts high school. “He’d be practicing his monologues at home,” Moretz recalls, “and I became enthralled with it. I’d start memorizing his monologues and spouting them out, and eventually I begged my mom to let me do whatever [job] that meant. So I went on auditions, and it just kind of happened.”
The work came steadily and, from the start, Moretz’s performances were more than cute: In a 2004 episode of The Guardian, she played a traumatized child who could still roll her eyes at the lawyer hero’s patronizing tone. And in the 2005 version of The Amityville Horror, she was relatively unfazed by the creepy goings-on in the haunted house, getting chummy with a young ghost and using her tomboy chops to walk along the roof of a house supported only by a couple of wires.
Over the course of the following four years, Moretz racked up a dozen feature-film roles, many in horror and supernatural flicks like Room 6, Wicked Little Things, Hallowed Ground and The Eye. Regular gigs on the TV shows Desperate Housewives and Dirty Sexy Money followed, along with voice roles in children’s animation like Bolt and My Friends Tigger & Pooh: The Hundred Acre Wood Haunt. But Moretz could still hold her own in a dive bar (in The Poker House) or throw her lot in with a Mexican death cult (in Not Forgotten).
Trevor became her acting coach — without, he maintains, any resentment of her success. “None whatsoever. I was into musical theater and loved it for a bit of time, but I have more of a control issue,” he says. “So I looked into the behind-the-camera side of it and found that’s something I took better to. I love what I do. There’s not a day where I go, ‘My God, it could be me on a poster.’ ”
Both siblings consistently speak of “our” plans or what “we” decided (along with their mother) for Chloë’s career. “It’s a symbiotic relationship where we all have the same ideas and the same feelings about everything — we don’t even have to speak about it,” Chloë says, insistent that she feels neither exploited nor dominant. “I always have someone looking out for my best interests, not just [imagining] a price tag on my forehead. We’re thick as thieves [and would be] whether I was an actor or just a normal kid doing gymnastics in high school. We all pick on each other and make fun of each other.”
“If anything,” Trevor suggests, “it makes Chloë almost more of a target. She has her face in Times Square so it’s like, ‘That’s cute!’ And she’s like, ‘How dare you!’ ” His sister laughs. “Definitely,” she says. “I probably get picked on more now to keep my feet on the ground.”