Chloë Grace Moretz & Jack Reynor Interview: The Peripheral

Jack Reynor and Chloë Grace Moretz find themselves straddling two dystopic timelines in Prime Video’s latest sci-fi series The Peripheral. Based on the novel of the same by William Gibson, The Peripheral follows Flynne (Moretz) and Burton Fisher, a brother-sister duo living in near-future rural America. When they begin to test out new tech for a shady company, though, they find out that their future is much more tenuous than it seems.

The Peripheral hails from Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, and it’s just as twisty and mind-bending as expected. The series sees Flynne use her Peripheral to go to future London where she becomes embroiled in a mystery—one that will not only have consequences for her family but the future of the world itself.

Screen Rant caught up with Moretz and Reynor ahead of the series premiere to talk about their action-heavy roles and the existential crisis-inducing nature of The Peripheral.

Screen Rant: Chloë, you’re getting to live a Matrix fantasy with the show. You’re getting beat up a lot, but you’re going into this simulation/timeline, so how fun was it to lean into this action-heavy role?

Chloë Grace Moretz: It was awesome. I hadn’t had that opportunity to really dive into the action in a little while in my career. So I really took the opportunity and ran with it. There are some really exciting action sequences, and we worked with a really incredible team here in New York for a little while that was able to integrate a lot of judo as well as Muay Thai and Taekwondo and just a really wonderful grasp on mixed martial arts. That is my forte. So it was just cool to kind of flex that muscle and test my body physically as well as mentally

Jack, you get to flip between London and North Carolina as well. Did you have a favorite one to film in? They both felt so different.

Jack Reynor: They did feel really different. Some of the stuff in London is so fantastical, obviously. It was a pretty glamorous sort of sequence that we shot in London in episode 1. So that was a lot of fun to do, but all that being said, personally, I really like the kind of groundedness that you feel between Flynne and Burton. And I think, for me, that’s where the real heart of the show lies. And it was those days that kind of felt the most fun to me, in many ways.

Chloë, Flynne and Burton’s relationship feels so lived in. How did you guys kind of like build that rapport and that bond?

Chloë Grace Moretz: I mean, usually, you have to, like really work for that stuff, but it was pretty funny from the get-go. We had our first FaceTime in February or March before we started shooting about two or three months later. And it was a pretty instantaneous connection. We had so many similarities in our childhood and just the different intricacies of also how our brains work. We have very similar responses to things and I just felt an instinctual kind of gravity and groundedness in our relationship.

And when we got together in London, everyone was like, « Wait, how long have you guys been hanging out? » We’re like, not much, but we were totally a package deal. No matter what. Yeah. And we still really rely on each other. It’s been a year since we shot.

This show has this eerie relevance with the stimulation. Chloë, you did that movie Mother/Android and that feels very real. Do you find yourself on set having an existential crisis thinking this could happen?

Jack Reynor: I was about to say, I have existential crises all the time [laughs].

Chloë Grace Moretz: Been having a lot of them on set but it might not have been about that [laughs].

Jack Reynor: But one of the things that actually really did draw me to this show was the fact that it’s speculative fiction. It’s something that is potentially just around the corner. The technology that we’re dealing with here feels very real, feels like it’s maybe a proliferation of stuff that we’ve already got, in many respects. And so that was really fascinating. And it’s really cool being on a set where that stuff is being employed in an interesting way. And so yeah, 100% existential crisis all the time.

Flynne Fisher (Chloe Grace Moretz), her Marine veteran brother, Burton (Jack Reynor), and their dying mother live in a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2032. As their mother’s health deteriorates and the medical bills add up, Flynne and Burton make extra money playing simulations (Sims). The two siblings share Burton’s avatar, “jockeying” for high-paying customers to beat challenging game levels.

When Burton is offered a chance to beta test a new Sim, it’s Flynne who ends up playing, pretending to be her brother. The Sim takes place in London and it tasks Flynne with breaking into a corporation known as the Research Institute—to steal a valuable secret. When the assignment goes badly wrong, Flynne begins to realize the Sim is more real than she ever could have imagined. The London she’s exploring exists in the future… The year 2099.

Check out our other The Peripheral interviews here:

New episodes of The Peripheral premiere Fridays on Prime Video.