“John Huston said that directing is 90 per cent casting. And he was right.”
That’s Matthew Vaughn, director of the number one movie in America, Kick-Ass, talking – and talking about how surprisingly easy it was to find the right young actress to play middle-schooler Mindy Macready, a.k.a. Hit-Girl, the startlingly foul-mouthed martial arts demon and double-barreled crime-fighting heroine of his crazy action pic.
“Ironically, it was more difficult to find Kick-Ass,” he says, referring to Aaron Johnson, the English actor Vaughn finally nabbed for the title role of his ultra-violent, R-rated comic book-turned-screen romp, after auditioning “literally hundreds” of actors in the U.S. and Britain. Kick-Ass is, in real-life (the real-life of the movie, that is), a high school dweeb who decides to become a super-hero, even though he has no super powers to speak of. “I thought finding Kick-Ass would be easy, and finding Hit Girl next to impossible. But Chloe” – that’s then-11-year-old Chloe Grace Moretz—“was the second girl that auditioned. And right then I knew.”
Vaughn likens Moretz and her self-assured, snarling screen performance to what Jodie Foster did in Taxi Driver, or Natalie Portman in The Professional. That is, she's preternaturally mature, wise (and wise ass) beyond her years. “Chloe is their grandchild,” he jokes. “We’ll be seeing a lot of her in the years ahead.”