There are a whole bunch of young actors out there today who pretty much bank their popularity on their successes as a Disney or Nickelodeon princess, and will probably either slink into obscurity at some point or end up as wasted talent like Lindsday Lohan. You know the ones I’m talking about.
But I don’t want to talk about those (at least, not today). I want to talk about the ones that are going places, who are devoted to their chosen craft and pick movies based on the characters they’ll be playing, and not the size of the paycheck. These young ones give me hope that the next generation of actors will have their own versions of Sigourney Weaver, Robert De Niro, Tony Leung and Ed Norton – ensuring that good movies will still prevail and not die out.
I’ve singled out three that immediately come to my mind, but this is by no means a complete list. Anyway, my three favorites, in no particular order:
The first time I heard of Ellen Page was when I got told by my editor that I was going to conduct a phone interview with her for a movie called Hard Candy – a film that blew me away with its intensity.
Despite how much I loved the film, I figured she’d probably be some young actress, so I prepped my questions from the same template I used for the Amanda Bynes interview and expected another PR-filtered set of no-brainer responses.
I was dead wrong.
She wasn’t going to talk about how exciting it was to be on a movie set or anything ditzy like that. She would go on and talk the misconception that adults have of children being unable to handle certain issues, not judging characters as being psychotic or not, her respect for other teen actresses who might be taking more conventional teen rom-com routes with their careers, the smart reasons for appearing in a Brett Ratner movie… and basically made my stupid list of questions feel all the more stupid.
I felt completely out-smarted by this intelligent yet humble actress. You know those adults who get their asses kicked on that Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader show? I was one of them for 10 excruciating minutes.
Anytime I think about this interview I would kick myself for not being better prepared and well… being a better interviewer. I could’ve said: “Hey could you just talk non-stop for 10 minutes?” and it would’ve been a better interview.
Since Hard Candy, she’s gone on to do great movies like Juno, Whip It, and of course, Inception – and she’s been amazing in all of them. All this, and she’s still only 25.
When prepping my mag’s cover story for Order of the Phoenix, I wrote a sidebar comparing the Harry Potter kids and their counterparts in the US… and how the Brits are so grounded and scandal-free while the US kids usually end up splashed over the tabloids like Lindsay Lohan. After talking to Radcliffe on the phone, I realized just how true this is.
I mean, he’s one of the richest kids in the world, headlining a hugely successful movie and book franchise, and he’s thanking me and telling me that he’s grateful for the interview. How ridiculously grounded is that? And if you watch the special features of the Harry Potter movies, especially Deathly Hallows Pt 2, you’ll see a portrait of what must be one of the most well-behaved kids in the world.
I remember when I was a teen… I wasn’t even famous or anything, but I was angry, egotistical and felt way too self-entitled anyway. How did this guy deal with that power and fame in such a level-headed manner? He seems so incorruptible by power that he could probably carry the One Ring into Mordor in peak hour traffic without once losing his temper.
Anyway, I wasn’t much of a Harry Potter fan to begin with, but Daniel Radcliffe gives me hope not only for the future of movies, but hope for humanity! Honestly, if there were more kids like him, world peace would not seem so far-fetched.
Chloe Grace Moretz
Having completely embarrassed myself so badly by doing phone interviews with the previous two, I’m pretty glad I got out of the biz before I had the opportunity to get humiliatingly out-smarted by Chloe Grace Moretz, the youngest of these three actors.
I follow Chloe Grace Moretz on Twitter, and she seems like a very sweet and sensible young lady. But if you watch Kick-Ass and Let Me In, you’ll see a totally different person.
Some actors are good, and others are really good. Chloe Grace Moretz is SCARY good. She throws herself into these roles so well that I would be honestly surprised if you told me she wasn’t a 500 year old potty-mouthed, homicidal vampire in real life. I’m sure she’s not… but I’m not entirely convinced of that.
I honestly can’t wait to see her in the upcoming remake of Carrie, because I know it’s just going to freak me out. I honestly don’t like remakes that much, but I’d greenlight an Exorcist remake just to see her play Regan MacNeil.