From Moviefone UK

Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll is a lot for any 15-year-old to handle, but for Joan Jett andCherie Currie of The Runaways, it became a lifestyle.

In the new biopic ‘The Runaways,’ starsDakota Fanning (as Currie) and Kristen Stewart (as Jett) portray these young rock icons with fierceness and honesty. It was a filming experience that both say they will never forget.

Fanning felt a kindred spirit to Currie being 15 herself at the time the movie was made, and wanting to prove that despite growing up on the big screen, she has the maturity to take on controversial subject matter and nail it. Stewart, a self-professed tomboy at 15, related to Jett’s relentless battle against the stigma of being a female guitarist in a macho music business.

In an exclusive interview, the two young actors talk about their experiences making ‘Runaways’ and what they learned about themselves playing the girls who changed the face of rock.

You can’t tell the story of The Runaways without the trifecta of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Did you think of these as controversial subject matters for you to tackle?
Dakota Fanning:
For Cherie, drugs is obviously a big thing. It’s ultimately why she leaves the band and ends this part of her career. I didn’t want that to be all her character is about and all she is but it is a big part of her storyline.
Kristen Stewart: As much as people think that it’s half a success story and half a cautionary tale, it’s sort of strange because from my perspective and maybe it’s just because I’m younger, I don’t see the movie as something to learn from. What I learned from it is something very simple and fundamental, is just that people are different and you should always stand up for that. This is a moment in history where The Runaways did that and look at how cool that is but the whole thing about sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and how it affects children’s lives, I just wasn’t thinking about that.

Cherie Currie and Joan Jett were 15 when they started the band. Where were you emotionally when you were that age?
Where I’m at personally doesn’t really affect the roles that I choose. For this one I really liked that I was 15 and Cherie was 15 when she was going through all of this because I never wanted it to be like I was pretending to be older and doing things that were too “old.” This was a real thing and she actually went through this when she was that age and I liked that parallel and similarity to her. My mom told me when I read the script that I had on a cherry temporary tattoo which is kind of weird. Cherie loves that story. I think she tells it to everybody!
Stewart: It’s funny how you remember your life in movies, like how old were you when you did this movie. I remember being 15 when I did ‘In The Land of Women.’ I was still in school, which was different, but like Dakota I lived a really normal life that is really starkly different from theirs.

What would you say were the toughest scenes to shoot and why?
The performances, because you’re having to do the things that they did and having to emulate that. And also the scene where I leave the band was really hard. It was towards the end of the movie and we all had become really close. It was like it was real and it was sad.
Stewart: Yeah, and I built that scene up so much in my head. The way it was written, not everything was on the surface. There was so much going on that I was so concerned about getting it. And it was so sad when the movie ended. We had done so much that we just wanted to chill out and be retrospective.

Were you nervous about the kissing scene you two share?
For me, because people have seen me grow up since I was 6, I think people feel like they own a part of me in a way. That’s completely understandable because now I’m 16, so it’s been 10 years from when I was a little girl. I’m not grown up yet but I’m a lot older and I think sometimes people don’t want to see you in certain positions. But you have to understand I’m an actress and I’m going to do all different things and it’s not me, personally. It’s just a movie and it’s just acting. I’m not too good to be in that position because so many young girls are in worse positions than what I could do in a movie.
Stewart: I thought of that scene as raunchy and vulgar. They didn’t take it seriously because that is what Joan is about. She demands to have her sexuality be respected. She is an aggressive person in that way and so it wasn’t like a romance. They (Cherie and Joan) were just really best friends and they were so close so it just happened. It was very impulsive the way the scene was written and the way it happened, apparently, it was very natural. It was a couple of lines like, “They’re walking down the street and you can barely see them and then all of a sudden there’s a light, and … ” In the script it was very subjective and vague.

In real life Joan and Cherie say they were shot down for being women in a man’s world. Have you ever experienced something similar to that?
I’ve grown up thinking I could do whatever I wanted and it didn’t matter. I think a lot of people our age don’t realize there was a time where you actually couldn’t do certain things without it being such a huge deal.
Stewart: I was a total and complete tomboy and it was completely OK. I had brothers, so when I was little I did not want to do girl stuff, ever. It was weird. I just wanted to play with my brothers. My brothers were great and they’re still like my best friends. I’ve always done everything with them. Joan was a tomboy, too, and people had issues with that.

How do you think fame in rock ‘n’ roll compares to movie star fame?
I think when you’re acting, people like the characters that you play and that’s who they want you to be. I find most of the time, especially when I was younger, everybody was calling me Lucy from ‘I Am Sam’ and that’s who they thought I was. When you’re a musician they want you, which is a different thing.
Stewart: I think the biggest difference is that as a musician you’re writing songs and you’re saying things with your music. You’re making statements and you’re expressing yourself. We express ourselves in a very different way. We for whatever reason are compelled to play other people so we’re not representing ourselves. But as a musician you have a serious opportunity to get yourself out there and for people to know who you are and what you’re saying. So the way you react to the fans is going to be a completely different experience. Even though we’re public figures, I don’t really feel like one because people don’t really know me.

What were the most surprising things you learned about yourselves playing Joan and Cherie?
All four of us have become really close. This experience means so much to me and I think changed me. I see things differently now that I’ve done this and I compare so many things in my life to this experience and to them.
Stewart: Every movie experience changes you to a certain degree, but this moreso than others. They’re just very, very inspiring women and it’s always awesome to see people that age be so cool. Joan is one of the nicest and confident people I’ve ever met. She’s got a crazy set of morals. She’s righteous but rightfully so. I would love to be like them.

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From NYLON Magazine

The duo tells us exactly what they think about Twilight fans and rock’n’roll fantasies.

The Runaways is about many things, but perhaps most importantly, it’s about the connection between Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, whose friendship boosted the band into short-lived stardom. Twenty-five years after they first jammed in a cramped trailer in the Valley, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning—the duo who plays them in Floria Sigismondi’s debut film, out this Friday—are filling their platform shoes, both onscreen and off. We caught up with the duo to learn how they first bonded and whether we can expect a solo album anytime soon.

How did you get into character—especially when it came to singing and performing the songs?
Dakota Fanning: [Singing] was something that I was a little bit nervous about, something that I’ve always been self-conscious about. So I was really excited to do it, because I knew I couldn’t have done it any other way—I just would have felt weird about [lip-synching].
Kristen Stewart: Luckily I had Joan [Jett] on set every day. There’s a lot of stuff on the internet that you can look at, there’s a lot of photos, and there’s a little bit of footage, so we really did need Joan and Cherie there in order not to tell a completely superficial—I would feel like a little doll walking around with black hair, I wouldn’t feel like I was actually playing Joan.

I was just talking to Joan, and she was saying how similar you are in so many ways.
KS: I think she thinks we’re incredibly similar, because I just played her in a movie. It’s so funny, because when we see each other now, I’m pointing out the differences. I’m like, See, I don’t normally do that!

A writer described this film as “cautionary”; do you think of The Runaways in that way?
KS: I think the whole “cautionary tale” thing is really something that only older people look at this movie and say. It’s a success story on both sides; to see two people choose different paths, one of them being really successful, and the other just doing what she needed to do to be happy. [Cherie Currie] clearly knows herself fairly well, it was a really strong bold thing to give up something that you love. They needed to go through that or else they wouldn’t be who they were. It’s not a cautionary tale, it’s not like, “Ohhh…drugs are really scary, kids, don’t get famous and go crazy!” I really don’t think it’s about that at all. If it is, that’s the last thing I was thinking about.

Did you mine any experiences from your teenage years to tap into that angst and aggression?
KS: I have a lot of aggression, it wasn’t hard.
DF: I don’t think I can compare anything I went through to what Cherie went through.
KS: “Mom, I want to go. Please! “
DF: [Laughs] Yeah, I don’t think anything in my life has been as big as the things she’s gone through.

How do you think your fans will respond to your roles in this film?
DF: I think people will think it’s a lot different for me. But I hope people can…I think maybe “accept” is the wrong word—
KS: There are some people who do need to accept it from you, because so many people are like, “Oh, it’s just so weird, Dakota’s so young!” It’s like, Dakota’s the exact same age as Cherie [Currie] was, and there you go.

You have such great chemistry, both onscreen and off. What was it like the first time you met?
DF: We met a few times really briefly.
KS: It was kind of weird. The first few times we met, we were always going by each other, and I was like, This is a big deal, we’re meeting! And she was always like: [Blank stare and fake smile].

Now that you’ve played these music icons, do you have any rock’n’roll aspirations?
DF: Not in real life [laughs].
KS: I really love music, I love playing guitar, but I would have to change a lot in the next few years if I’m ever releasing an album. It’s going to be a very, very transformative few years.

Kristen on Jimmy Fallon

March 17, 2010

Video will come up when avaible

From Movieline

Aside from The Runaways, Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart have appeared in three other projects together — two Twilight installments and the Kate Hudson-directed short Cutlass — but it’s only in next week’s band biopic that the two finally get to show off the rapport they’ve always had in real life. Each is well-cast in The Runaways, and when Movieline spoke to Fanning and Stewart yesterday in Los Angeles, they recalled their characters both literally and subconsciously: The 16-year-old Fanning is as California wholesome as Cherie Currie with the same cool, intellectual drive, while the 19-year-old Stewart is all inchoate passion and feeling, channeling Joan Jett’s emotional thrusts despite her own delicate frame.

So what was it like to play two young girls on the precipice of fame when both Fanning and Stewart have been dealing with it all their life? I asked them how that felt, and how they navigated the movie’s tricky depictions of sexism and teen sexuality.

It’s interesting how the movie uses Cherie’s sister Marie as the example of the sister who is left behind and resents how Cherie — this girl she grew up with — becomes famous and successful. You both were child actors. How did you navigate potential resentment about your career, whether it came from family or friends?

DAKOTA FANNING: I don’t know how you would do that. I’m lucky — I mean, I have a sister who also acts [laughs], and she’s not really resentful of what I do. I’ve been lucky, because I think I’ve never experienced it.

But you go to high school right now—


—do you feel like you have to act a certain way to compensate for the fact that you’re “the famous one” at your school and people already know who you are?

FANNING: No. I think that is who I am. I have to be the same person when I’m working as I am when I’m just going to school.

KRISTEN STEWART: And if you change who you are for people who are resentful of you and want you to be a certain way—


STEWART: —they don’t have your best interests at heart. Their criticism is rooted in their resentment, so it’s like, why would you change to abide by that?

Do you think Hollywood is harder on young actresses than it is on young actors?

FANNING: I think it can be, just because girls are “supposed” to be a certain way. In this movie, girls aren’t supposed to play an electric guitar and they’re not supposed to be in a band that plays this kind of music. These girls kind of broke that stereotype a little bit, but I think there’s still some of it today, maybe.

STEWART: Yeah, they had different challenges. I mean, I think that we’re allowed to be a little more outspoken, and to be specific to the movie, more sexually assertive in terms of being the aggressor instead of like…uh, I don’t really know what the opposite word for that would be. [Both laugh] I think in the business, it’s harder for girls, and it’s so obvious and transparent. You don’t have to be perceptive to see that girls are “supposed” to be a certain way, and if they’re not…there’s just less room for individuality for girls. At least, people will notice if you’re different, and they will talk about it. It’s weird.

How often do the two of you hear “You’re not supposed to do this”?

FANNING: I don’t know if I’ve ever heard that.

STEWART: It’s funny. I’m affected by these ideas all the time, but if you start to get specific about the details I’m responding to, they’re ridiculous things. Like, you know, people always talk about what girls wear and what they look like and how they’re talking.

Whereas a guy can just show up on the red carpet in a suit or a tux.

STEWART: Yeah, exactly! I guess that’s a good example of how different it is.

Kristen, everyone talks about how you “became” Joan Jett for this role. Once you weren’t her anymore, did any of that stick with you?

STEWART: I always feel like characters change me a little bit. The roles that I play, I always take things from them, but it’s just as any other life experience that was relevant to you would change you. So not particularly, no. At the same time, this was one of the best movie experiences that I’ve ever had, so compared to other stuff that’s affected me, this is really huge.

In some ways, these girls were exploited by their producer Kim Fowley, and since you’re young actresses who are recreating those situations, there are people who will find that exploitative, too. Dakota, do you feel like this is well-worn territory after all the controversy surrounding your rape scene inHounddog?

FANNING: I don’t know, I think it’s pretty different. I think that since a lot of people have seen me [onscreen] since I was young, they don’t want to see me in those kinds of situations. They think of me, still, as being in I Am Sam and six years old. That can not be fair sometimes, but I accept that and I understand it. I just have to be true to myself and what I want to do and do the work that moves me and inspires me. That’s what I’ve tried to do. In this movie, Cherie was really 15 when it all happened, so I didn’t feel like I was faking anything, you know? I mean, it’s just acting. It’s just a movie!

STEWART: With Kim, it’s funny that everyone gets from the movie that he was exploiting them. It’s something that’s talked about all the time, that he was this Svengali or whatever, and that somehow, he shaped them and gave them a shtick. But they were who they were! They would have been a band without them — he was their manager and gave them a lot of connections and was really eccentric and crazy, but they were really motivated. It’s hard to describe their relationship, but at least Joan had a fondness [for Kim]. They were friends, and they weren’t threatened by each other, necessarily. Everyone in the band had a different relationship with Kim, but just to say that they were exploited by him? Even if he pushed them to wear a corset, that’s what they wanted!

FANNING: Cherie found the corset herself!


FANNING: On Sunset Boulevard, she saw it in the window when she was walking with a friend. She picked it out, you know what I mean? It wasn’t like it was forced upon her by him.

STEWART: Right, it’s not like it’s [Kim saying], “Oh you’re 15, this is perfect. People will freak out when they see this!” It’s like [Cherie saying], “No, I want to wear this. This is what I’m wearing.” Then he went, “Oh, people will freak out. I’m going to capitalize on this.”

Do you think it’s condescending, then, when people think that these young girls couldn’t possibly be sexual aggressors themselves?

FANNING: Yeah, I mean, the way Cherie expressed her sexuality was to wear a corset and strut around in her underwear on stage and perform “Cherry Bomb.” She emulated David Bowie and that’s who she wanted to be and that’s how she was sexual, which is very different from Joan. Joan went a completely different way.

The paparazzi attention on this film was intense. In a way, did it help you get into character for those scenes where the Runaways are mobbed by fans?

STEWART: I think the Runaways were so new to it all when they got any fan who recognized them, or even a huge group of them in Japan. An actual photographer wanting to take their picture was such a different experience for them. I was, like, so ready and so prepped — it was like, “Twilight’s gonna be such a big deal.” I don’t want to say that I knew fully [what was to come] — actually, sort of the opposite of that — but compared to them, I was expecting it, you know what I mean?

It’s different for an actor, too. [The Runaways] accomplished something so personal, that was their own thing. Movies are a collaboration, so you can’t take so much credit. You’re not making a personal statement, but musicians are. I couldn’t relate to that feeling of overjoyed accomplishment. That was something new, that was something that I only had with this film.