Actress Chloe Grace Moretz says her new movie, “The Miseducation Of Cameron Post” hit close to home “for a number of reasons.”
Set in 1993, the movie stars Moretz as a teenager who is sent to a gay conversion camp by her conservative parents.
Moretz, 21, says the themes of the film were familiar to her, growing up in Atlanta with four brothers, two of whom are gay.
“We grew up in an area in Georgia where ‘praying the gay away’ is a very real thing,” she tells NET-A-PORTER’s weekly digital magazine, PorterEdit. “There were several people in our small town that apparently prayed the gay away and are now in fine relationships with their wives. So, the movie was quite close to home for a number of reasons.”
The actress dug into some research for the film and was shocked to discover gay conversion therapy is legal in most of the United States.
“When I was reading the script, I always thought [conversion therapy] was kind of an archaic issue. Then we started to lift the lid and it was this onslaught of information. It’s legal in 37 states and it’s only illegal in the other states for minors, so it’s pretty much legal in all of America. That’s an issue,” she adds.
Moretz was on the set of the film when Donald Trump was elected president, adding another layer to her misery, though the film’s director, Desi Akhavan was there to remind the cast and crew what “The Miseducation Of Cameron Post” was fighting for.
“We were supposed to be in hair and makeup, getting ready for our day, and we were just crying, trying to mourn the fact that my brothers’ rights, the rights of the people in the movie, so many things could just be stripped away,” she explains. “Desi was the first person to stand up and give this really wonderful pep talk about how we can sit here and cry and mourn, and we should, but the most important thing we can be doing is making this movie, to be showing people these realities, and to be fighting for this.”
Though the film won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, it struggled to find a buyer, which Moretz says is because of the film’s subject matter and political climate.
“This is the first movie, easily in the last 20 years that I know of, to have won the Grand Jury Prize that hasn’t been sold overnight,” she says. “People were terrified to release a movie like this. Especially centred around a young lesbian character who isn’t having wild throes of male-gaze lesbian sex.”
Now that the film has been released in select theatres in Canada and the U.S., Moretz says there’s more to the story than just the dark aspects of the conversion therapy.
“We wanted to show the light moments, the moments where it’s really great to be gay and it’s really great to meet other gay people [and] what that looks like,” she adds.
To see the full interview with Chloë Grace Moretz read PorterEdit and/or download the Net-A-Porter app for iPhone, iPad and Android.