WITH A TWIST: Moretz favors roles with an edge, such as her part as a butt-kicking superhero opposite Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Kick-Ass 2.
Daniel Smith/Universal Pictures

Kick-Ass 2, meanwhile, saw Hit-Girl embroiled in high-school torments of her own, which puts Moretz in the peculiar position of starring in two high-school movies without having ever attended one; she’s been home-schooled since fourth grade. She doesn’t see playing an average teen as too great a leap, though. “Everyone has experienced a mod­icum of being bullied or pressured or being uncertain about what you’re doing,” she says. “That’s the main crux of both stories, and that’s how I am myself. At one point in life, you have to figure out who you are and what are your emotions and what are your ideas. That’s what anyone’s doing; I’m able to do it through acting.”

Moretz looks set to handle the arrival of adulthood with aplomb and to manage the tricky evolution from child actor to grown-up star. “Some don’t make it,” Peirce notes. “But Chloë is truly charismatic. She was already complicating what’s expected of a child actor.”

There’s also the support of Team Moretz. Chloë, Trevor and Teri have started working as producers in the development of new projects — watch for major roles spanning horror, drama, comedy and animation — and Chloë has plans behind the camera too. “My dream one day is to have Trev and I co-directing and producing a project,” she says.

She’s learning how to navigate the waters of celebrity, as well, already scoring a brand-ambassador position with Aéropostale and being named the “Face of the Future” by Max Mara. Her Twitter page, which has more than 654,000 followers, offers a mix of pictures of clothes, sunsets, baby animals, excited responses to pop songs and reality shows, and exchanges with friends. It’s on here that she seems most like the 16-year-old she is.

But like any smart teenager, Moretz is keeping her options open. She wants to go to college and she’d like to travel. But she’s not ready quite yet. “I’ve always said the moment I find it to be work is the moment I’ll stop doing it,” she says of her movie career. “And I’ve never found it to be work. It is like a roller coaster, but it’s not one you want to get off of.”

And with that, it’s off to home-schooling. “Yay!” she says, unconvincingly. “Chemistry, geometry, world history!” She yawns and pokes a fork at her untouched chocolate cake. “Can we get this to go?” There’ll be time for that later. 

London-based BEN WALTERS has written books about Orson Welles, The Big Lebowski and The Office, and he covers movies for BBC Radio, The Guardian and Sight & Sound. He is also Time Out London’s cabaret editor.