In 1974, with guidance from the unconventional impresario Kim Fowley, an all- female rock group was formed called The Runaways, consisting of guitarist Joan Jett and lead singer Cherie Currie.
Thirty-six years later, their story is coming to the big screen starring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie.
Both Joan and Cherie attended the press day for the movie, giving us a chance to find out their real story!
Could you distance yourself from what was going on, up on the screen?
Joan Jett: I definitely relived it to a degree, for sure. It’s definitely a surreal experience, it really is, for a lot of reasons, for the fact that it’s happening at all. The making a movie about this band I was so passionate about, I really felt that we did something important and that we were good, and so I’m glad that there’s a movie out
How did the casting come about with Kristen Stewart?
Joan Jett: The casting director, I guess. All I said to them was it was really important to get teenagers, because I think teenage energy is obviously specific to teenagers, and once you get into your twenties you’re still young, but it’s a different thing. So that was my only suggestion, and I had no preconceived notions about Kristen, with the Twilight stuff, so once I met her I felt very secure that she was going to be able to handle it.
How accurate is this movie compared to reality?
Cherie Currie: It’s like getting on a bullet train in Japan compared to the regular Metrolink here. It flies through so much stuff. How do you go through almost 2 ½ years of people’s lives and condense it into 1 ½ hours? They picked what they thought was important.
Dakota Fanning is so incredible. She’s my favorite actress of all time. I’m serious. I’m not just saying that. She’s the most amazing actress I’ve ever seen.
What was she able to pick up about you?
Cherie Currie: Dakota watched Foxes, this film I did with Jodie Foster. I did that movie right on the tail end when I left The Runaways. That wasn’t acting, that was just me. Dakota studied that, and a lot of the videotapes and YouTube videos. And we just had really long conversations about how I felt about particular times in the film, and she was incredibly perceptive. She really pulled it off.
As Executive Producer, what was your mandate for the movie, in terms of maintaining an authenticity?
Joan Jett: To me the main reason I was there was to be a resource for Kristen, and to be a tool for her completely. I would not have been around if she didn’t want me there. She said, ‘I want you there as much as you can be,’ so I was there, and I was not going to leave.
I’d get out of the way and find a little spot and just watch everything and when Kristen had questions, it could have been about anything, about the way I said something, or maybe she didn’t have any questions, and we’d just kind of talk about a scene, I was just really there to be a support for her.
You and Joan went you separate ways at the end of the movie, are you friends now?
Cherie Currie: We are making up for lost time. When I left The Runaways I thought she wanted me out. I had no idea she regretted that I left.
I didn’t listen to the music for 20 years. I couldn’t. I wasn’t angry, it hurt. I missed my family. I grew up with these girls in the most difficult situations.
What do you think about The Runaways being considered pioneers?
Cherie Currie: I think it’s awesome. We were doing something no one had done before. We were teenagers. We were underage, fifteen years old.
What was the one thing you really wanted Kristen to get right about you?
Joan Jett: It was the passion for the music, it really had to be about her heart, and everything else would follow suit. I told her I wanted her to trust herself, once all was said and done and we went through our stuff, I told her, ‘When you’re in the moment and the camera is rolling, and you’ve got to make a decision, I don’t want you thinking, ‘What would Joan do?’ I want you to just do it, because I guarantee you whatever choice you make it’s going to be what I would have done.
You’re it, if something’s off, trust me you will know it. I will come to you right away, but just do it, just have fun with it. Have fun being it. You can get away with any bad behavior blaming it on me!’
You’re very much regarded as a pioneer when it comes to women in rock. Is that how you see it as well?
Joan Jett: I just want to be an inspiration, but I can’t say that about myself. I could never say, ‘I’m a pioneer,’ that’s really kind of conceited. .