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KICK-ASS

Big Daddy & Hit Girl
If you think that the relationship between Kick-Ass and Red Mist is complicated, you ain't seen nothing yet. Meet Damon Macready and Mindy Macready, a father and daughter with one heck of a secret: when they're not making hot chocolate with marshmallows for each other, they operate as Big Daddy and Hit Girl, highly-trained, heavily-armed costumed vigilantes, committing the organized attacks on D'Amico's crew that he erroneously pins on Kick-Ass. Alone, they're formidable – Big Daddy can take out a warehouse full of goons without even breaking a sweat, while Hit Girl is a dab hand with a samurai sword and ninja throwing stars – but together they may just be unstoppable, and one of the most remarkable superhero tag-teams to grace the silver screen. 

As played by Chloë Grace Moretz – now thirteen years old – Hit Girl is a sparky, spunky force of nature, likely to be an instant icon redolent of Jodie Foster in TAXI DRIVER, and Natalie Portman in THE PROFESSIONAL (released internationally as LEON). It's a heck of a part, calling for a hard-as-nails attitude, athleticism and an unexpectedly tender emotional core as events conspire against the teeny terror. Unlike the search for a Kick-Ass, though, Vaughn didn't have to wait too long to find his Hit Girl. 

"I saw just two girls,” he says. "Chloë came in, tested, and that was it.” In fact, Vaughn brought in his STARDUST star, Charlie Cox, to read on camera with Moretz. "I wanted her to be relaxed and Charlie's a sweetheart,” says Vaughn. "But halfway through the first take he looks at me and mouths, ‘Shit, I have to raise my game'. I was laughing, but I was gobsmacked as well. That happened with every actor – they'd be talking to her like she was a seven year-old and then I called ‘action!', and all of them would be like, ‘I am being blown off screen by a child!' After two weeks, nobody treated her like a kid.”

For Moretz, the role was something of a gift. "About a month before I got the role, WANTED came out,” she says. "It was on all the buses and I was like, ‘ohmigosh, mom, I want an Angelina Jolie-type role, a young woman who takes charge.'” Roles like that for teenagers are typically hard to come by, but Moretz was in luck. "Then KICK-ASS came up, and when I read it, I was freaking out. I was screaming for three days straight when I got the role because I was so much looking forward to doing a fantasy movie and wearing a superhero costume.”

Nicolas Cage, who plays Big Daddy, has nothing but gushing praise for his young co-star. "I just really liked Chloë,” he says. "I knew she was going to be an enormous star because of how well she performed. I gave her a little starfish from Tiffany when we wrapped, because real stars are nice people, and that's what she is.”

Cage's involvement in KICK-ASS seemed to Vaughn like something of a no-brainer. Long renowned as one of Hollywood's most prominent comic book aficionados, Cage had circled several comic book movies before finally scratching his itch in 2007 with GHOST RIDER. But KICK-ASS – and Big Daddy – gave him a chance to bring something different to the superhero genre. 

"The comic book movie to me is a perfect form of entertainment,” he says. "They're like the modern Western in some ways.” Cage had initially been offered a choice of playing Frank D'Amico or Damon, and responded strongly to the latter. "I thought that was where the heart was, in the relationship between Big Daddy and Hit Girl. I thought that's where the emotion could be.”

"I wanted a movie star in that role,” says Vaughn. "I like the formula of having your lead be an unknown so that the character is that character. But Big Daddy was the bit of tinsel you need to get people to notice the movie. I thought Cage could bring a unique flavor to it which he did.”

Indeed. Not only does Cage manage to make the borderline-insane Damon likeable and hum

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