Chloe Grace Moretz: 'Peripheral' appealed to the 'sci-fi nerd' in me

Gary Carr and Chloe Grace Moretz will be seen in "The Peripheral," starting Friday. Photo courtesy of Prime Video
1 of 3 | Gary Carr and Chloe Grace Moretz will be seen in "The Peripheral," starting Friday. Photo courtesy of Prime Video

NEW YORK, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Chloe Grace Moretz said she never played a character more like herself than Flynne Fisher, the mature and vulnerable time-traveling heroine she depicts in Prime Video's adaptation of William Gibson's novel, The Peripheral.

Executive produced by Westworld collaborators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the eight-episode drama follows Flynne, an American employee of a 3D printing company, as she is transported to a dangerous, futuristic London while playing a virtual reality game, causing her to question what is real and what is high-tech simulation.


"I'm a really big sci-fi nerd. I grew up loving [the genre] and, so, when you hear William Gibson and Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, you kind of jump for joy," Moretz recently said during a cast panel discussion about the series at New York Comic Con.

By the time she met with the creative team about the show three years ago, the actress already had been a longtime fan of both the book and Flynne.

"She's from North Carolina. A lot of my family is from North Carolina. She had this kind of love of gaming and adventure and escaping. That was something that I really relied on in my teenage years and to this day," the Georgia native said.

"For me, to be able to jump into a character where I can find those crevices and show this journey of this girl who's going to future London," Moretz said.

"Yeah, the future might be filled with a bit of doom, but it also is possibly a road map to people bettering their current world and what they are currently dealing with. There's just so many layers to it."

Moretz's first major TV role also required her to fight in numerous action scenes.

Fortunately, she's had plenty of experience as the star of the 2010 movie, Kick-Ass, and its 2013 sequel.

"There's a lot of hand-to-hand combat. We've got some judo moves in there," she said.


"There was a little bit of Hit Girl influence in there for sure. We got to do some Muay Thai, so there was a lot of kicking. It was fun."

Jack Reynor plays Flynne's brother Burton, a former U.S. Marine.

"I read the book and thought it was a fascinating piece of speculative fiction. Some of the technology that we see in the book, and subsequently the TV show, feels like it is just around the corner or we already have some version of it, and that was quite compelling," Reynor said.

"There's a real warmth between Flynne and Burton as brother and sister. I think a lot of sci-fi can feel quite cold, but this was sort of the antithesis of that, in a way. On the page, it is an incredibly fun shoot -- there's a lot of action, things blowing up.

"It's really physical. It's really fun. But it's also very warm and grounded in its humanity. That was a big draw."

Gary Carr, who plays Wilf in the movie's futuristic storyline, said he wasn't familiar with Gibson's book before he was hired, but he was intrigued by the scripts it inspired.

"It seems crazy, but it's actually believable, as well. I felt like I didn't have to do much work. Everything was in the text already," Carr said.


"The level of execution was so high, all I had to do was turn up and say what was on the page. So, I didn't really feel the pressure, in terms of responsibility in introducing the audience to this world."

The hours Moretz and Reynor spent preparing for their roles by bonding via Zoom and FaceTime during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns were evident in their performances, Carr said.

"Getting to watch Chloe and Jack play siblings, and the chemistry between them, was amazing," the actor said.

"In that first episode, after watching it, I cared about them so much. Not just them, but all the other characters in London. You guys did an amazing job at bringing that world to life and everything feels so real," he told his castmates.

Moretz revealed one of the factors that made Reynor and her fast friends.

"We're gamers, right?" the actress said about Flynne and Burton.

"But Jack and I, genuinely, on set, had our little Switches with us, and they could hardly get us on set because we would just be playing MarioKart all day."

Reynor recalled feeling like they had known each other for years the first time he met Moretz in person.


"It's a long shoot and it's very gratifying and very fulfilling," the actor said. "But the days can be long and arduous sometimes, and it sometimes takes patience. It's just great to have someone who has your back and is really supportive."

T'Nia Miller describes her character Cherise, lead villain in the dystopian drama, as "a massive powerhouse."

"She's sadistic as [expletive]. How do you play that and bring grace to it and charm? The writing is just sublime," Miller said.

"Although this is set many, many years in the future, it feels like it could happen in 10 years' time," she added. "So, there is a warning in there. It is sci-fi, but, in the blink of an eye, it could actually happen -- and that is terribly exciting."

JJ Feild were careful not to give too much away about his mysterious character Lev.

"In this future London, there is a power struggle," Feild teased.

"I play a Russian oligarch who has taken over London, and the fact that this was written not this year is extraordinary."

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