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Dark Shadows - Trailer

An imprisoned vampire is set free and returns to his ancestral home, where his dysfunctional descendants are in need of his protection.

PT2M59S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-1xvth 620 349

It would be safe to say not too many 14-year-old girls have sat on a couch with Johnny Depp and discussed their "birthing hips".

Chloe Grace Moretz is not the average teenager.

Last year the Atlanta-born teenager was mixing it with Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jackie Earle Haley, Eva Green and Aussie newcomer Bella Heathcote on the London set of the Tim Burton-directed comedy-horror-fantasy film, Dark Shadows.

Hip young thing ... Chloe Grace Moretz

Hip young thing ... Chloe Grace Moretz

"It only took us four or five takes," Moretz laughed as she recalled the uncomfortable, but funny scene where Depp, as kooky vampire Barnabas Collins, was commenting on the physical attributes of Moretz's rebellious teen character, Carolyn Stoddard.

Not only did Moretz hold her own with Hollywood's older elite, she was a scene-stealer, something the young actress had achieved since her first big gig, a double episode guest appearance as a six-year-old on Simon Baker's 2004 TV series, The Guardian.

"Simon was a sweetheart to me," she recalled.

CHLOE GRACE MORETZ as Carolyn Stoddard and GULLY McGRATH as David Collins in DARK SHADOWS.

CHLOE GRACE MORETZ as Carolyn Stoddard and GULLY McGRATH as David Collins in DARK SHADOWS.

"I was six and had the biggest crush on him with his blond hair and tanned skin. He bought me a yo-yo and I just thought he was a million bucks."

Last year Moretz glowed on the Martin Scorsese-directed 3D, 11 Oscar-nominated epic Hugo and in 2010 she was with another Aussie youngster, Kodi Smit-McPhee, in the drama-horror Let Me In.

But it was her role in 2010 action-comedy Kick-Ass as a foul-mouthed superhero that left film critics wide-eyed and had the likes of Scorsese and Burton ringing her agent with roles.

Johnny Depp portrays Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows.

Johnny Depp portrays Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows.

Moretz has five other films set for release or about to start production, including scoring the sought-after title role of Carrie in the re-make of the 1976 Brian De Palma-Stephen King horror classic. The role won Sissy Spacek her first best actress Oscar nomination and filming will start later this year.

On Sunday Moretz was holding court in a suite at West Hollywood's chic SLS Hotel, with her mother Terri Moretz sitting in a distant area tapping away on her smart phone and two other unidentified adults working away at a desk.

Articulate, quick-witted and wise beyond her years (she turned 15 in February), Moretz is jokingly asked if she really is a teenager. Surely she is 25 or 35, not 15.

(L-r) HELENA BONHAM CARTER as Dr. Julia Hoffman, CHLOE GRACE MORETZ as Carolyn Stoddard, EVA GREEN as Angelique Bouchard, GULLIVER McGRATH as David Collins, BELLA HEATHCOTE as Victoria Winters, JOHNNY DEPP as Barnabas Collins, RAY SHIRLEY as Mrs. Johnson, JACKIE EARLE HALEY as Willie Loomis, JONNY LEE MILLER as Roger Collins, and MICHELLE PFEIFFER as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard in DARK SHADOWS.

(L-r) HELENA BONHAM CARTER as Dr. Julia Hoffman, CHLOE GRACE MORETZ as Carolyn Stoddard, EVA GREEN as Angelique Bouchard, GULLIVER McGRATH as David Collins, BELLA HEATHCOTE as Victoria Winters, JOHNNY DEPP as Barnabas Collins, RAY SHIRLEY as Mrs. Johnson, JACKIE EARLE HALEY as Willie Loomis, JONNY LEE MILLER as Roger Collins, and MICHELLE PFEIFFER as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard in DARK SHADOWS.

"Yeah, we're not lying," she told AAP.

"You can see me growing up through my movies. In Amityville Horror I was five."

From the other side of the suite, her mother piped up.

"You were seven on Amityville Horror," Ms Moretz corrected in a tender tone.

"I turned seven right after it didn't I mama?" the actress asked.

"No, you were six when you booked it. Seven when you filmed it," Ms Moretz confirmed.

"I was eight during Big Momma's House? Really?" Moretz, a confused look on her face, asked her mum.

Whether Moretz was five, six, seven or 19 when she shot the 2005 horror re-make The Amityville Horror, with fellow Aussie Melissa George, her fearlessness was evident, with a key scene involving Moretz strapped in a harness and standing in pink overalls on top of the haunted mansion, then jumping off.

Moretz found the behind-the-scenes clip on YouTube and recently Tweeted it to her 221,000 followers.

"I was a little baby. It was fun though," she said.

In Dark Shadows, based on the 1966-1971 TV horror-drama series, Moretz plays 15-year-old rebellious teenager Carolyn, living in a mansion once inhabited by Depp's Barnabas Collins.

The movie is set in 1972 in the fishing village of Collinsport, Maine, with Barnabas, who was turned into a vampire in the 1700s by jealous witch Angelique Bouchard (Green) and buried underground in a coffin, is finally released when a work crew finds and unshackles him.

Barnabas has a tough time readjusting from the 1700s to the hip 1970s, while rebel Carolyn is perplexed by the odd vampire and his views on women's birthing hips.

"It's interesting," Moretz said of her character.

"Carolyn is someone you would think I'd relate to really well, but she has so many underlying things.

"She has so much more angst and anger than me.

"I'm very happy with my life so I'm happier than her, but it was fun being her."

It was also fun being around Depp, Bonham Carter, Pfeiffer, Heathcote and Burton, who was so impressed by Moretz's other work he did not request that she audition for the role.

"He's a normal guy. He's just a dad," Moretz, discussing Depp, said.

"I would look at him and think 'Wow, you are such a dad'.

"He's so sweet.

"When they say 'cut' he's just Johnny.

"When they say 'action' he is his character."

Moretz was bitten by the acting bug while, as a toddler, she accompanied Trevor, one of her four older brothers, to auditions with her mother.

"No-one ever told me to do it," Moretz said.

"Nobody ever pushed me to do it. It was my idea.

"I would watch my brother, pick up his monologues and just start reciting them all the time to my friends and family."

From the other side of the room her mother confirmed the story.

"She was talking at seven months and she never shut up," Ms Moretz laughed.

"I'm very talkative," Moretz smiled.

Dark Shadows releases in Australian cinemas on May 10.

AAP