Moretz is up first. She studies the bowling balls for a few seconds as if she’s waiting for one to call to her. She goes with a 10-pound orange ball that will become her go-to throughout the day. While her signature right-foot-out, left-leg-in-a-deep-lunge stance makes her look like a total pro, the pins are not impressed. Only three go down. Moretz gives a slow-motion turn and an exaggerated sad face, then goes again, knocking down four more pins. It’s not the spare she was hoping for, but she shrugs and motions that it’s my turn to show what I’ve got.
To my surprise there is no trash-talking from the super-competitive Moretz during our two games—only high-fives of support, self-deprecating humor after a gutter ball or two (“I’m the worst!”), and fits of dancing to songs by Jason Derulo, Bruno Mars, and Katy Perry. We’re neck and neck for both games, but I manage to beat her twice (maybe she let me win—she is that nice, in spite of her competitive streak), and then it’s time for some greasy bowling alley food and a chat.
Though most 18-year-olds are busy finishing up high school or figuring out their footing at college (which Moretz wants to do one day, too), the self-proclaimed goofball, who loves making a good prank call, has an air of confidence about her that only comes with experience. After all, her first big movie role was already 10 years ago, with Ryan Reynolds in The Amityville Horror reboot, and to date she’s worked with Hollywood’s greatest: From director Martin Scorsese (whom she fooled into thinking she was British while auditioning for Hugo) and Oscar-winning actress Julianne Moore, who played her mom in Carrie, to Tim Burton and Johnny Depp in the campy big-screen take on Dark Shadows. “I was 14 when I was working with Johnny, so I was pretty obsessed,” she admits, twisting back and forth in her barstool. “He’s definitely the guy I fangirled over, because he’s the epitome of swagger.”