Back in the mid-'70s, The Runaways had teenagers everywhere singing "Hello Daddy, hello Mom/ I'm your cha-cha-cha-cha-cherry bomb!" Now, a new generation of girls who were born long after 8-tracks and Watergate are here to explode once again.
They're [movieperson id="262629"]Kristen Stewart[/movieperson] and [movieperson id="266286"]Dakota Fanning[/movieperson], two of the most admired actresses among today's teens. And with all their star power, they've chosen to use it to bring back the tale of [movie id="415461"]"The Runaways"[/movie], an all-girl rock band that lived fast, soared high and crashed hard. Whether they remember the original band or not, fans and critics alike are praising KStew and Dakota's portrayals in the April 9 film — and when our friends at MTV Radio caught up with them lately, the girls were eager to talk about the challenge of portraying Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, and why they chose to run at it rather than away.
MTV: How did you guys get your portrayals so accurate?
Dakota Fanning: I think that meeting Cherie [was huge], and seeing her perform before I filmed and watching a lot of the "Live in Japan" videos. I worked on being able to sing her songs and being the performer that she was, because she was so iconic and did a certain thing each time she performed. With "Cherry Bomb" especially, it was a set routine, and I wanted to make sure I got that right for all the people that are going to be comparing.
Kristen Stewart: We both were really concerned about getting the music right; they have a very distinctive sound, it's not just about singing and trying to sound good, it's trying to sound like them — especially Joan, for me. That growl that she does is something that I love so much; it was cool to have Joan and Cherie there on set everyday, because there are so many things you couldn't know about their lives and we didn't want to fill in the blanks with stuff we just made up. They were both really open with us, they're sensitive people, and this was the most loaded part of their lives. For Joan, it kick-started the rest of her career, it was a big deal. The prep, making sure it was authentic, was a big deal.
MTV: But was it a double-edged sword having them there? Because they are very different now than they were 35 years ago.
Stewart: Joan is so much more confident than she was.
Fanning: For Cherie, I think a lot of her is the same. It comes out, especially when they're together — they revert back to their relationship then. It was really fun to watch. We always say it was great to spend time alone — but when they were together, that was so fun and helpful.
Stewart: That was the most revealing — they just instantly went back to being the people they were when they were friends.
MTV: Can you give us an example?
Fanning: Yeah, it was just little things. Something that sticks out in my mind was when Joan had an orange in her hand, and she was trying to peel this orange ...
Stewart: Oh yeah!
Fanning: ... And she was talking to us, but trying to peel this orange. Cherie grabbed the orange, peeled it, and gave it back to her all peeled as Joan was telling us this story.
Stewart: Joan was eating the orange like no one had taken it out of her hand.
Fanning: You could tell that was how they're relationship was — Joan going on and on, and Cherie taking care of things for her.
MTV: Had either of you heard of The Runaways before this script came into your lives?
Fanning: I wasn't familiar with The Runaways, but I knew Joan Jett.
MTV: Dakota, America has watched you grow up over the past 10 years. This movie has a lot of sex, drugs and adult themes. Did it feel weird going to such places on camera?
Fanning: One of the reasons I wanted to do this movie was to do something different than I've done before, and have people see me in a different way. Being in "I Am Sam" and being younger, I wanted to do that. Certainly, it was tough going to those places, but at the same time I don't know if it has to do with starting young, but for me I've always just gone there and then come back. That's how I've always been. So, [depicting the sex and drugs] is not something that lives with me forever — but the experience, and Cherie and Joan, and Kristen will live with me forever. The tough parts I'm able to just leave [on set], but those are the best parts and the parts I was most excited to do. Cherie is really raw and open, and you see her vulnerability and innocence that she still has, even though she's been through some crazy times.
Stewart: It's a weird thing to act. You see [the script] and you've already worked it out in your head and gotten over it, because it affected you in a certain way and made you want to play it. But you've already thought it out before you play it, and then while you're doing it it's kind of retrospective, even though you have to forget [your plan] and just live it. So, it's easy to let it go, is what I'm saying.
MTV: You've had an interesting journey together with "New Moon," "The Runaways," "Eclipse" and then on to "Breaking Dawn."
Stewart: I'm looking forward to the three days she'll be on that movie. It's always weird to see her in that setting, because it's something that I've done for so long now, it's usually the same cast of people.
Fanning: Then I rear my little head.
Stewart: That's a trip. The first time I saw her in her Jane wardrobe on set was not too far after we'd finished "The Runaways." It was bizarre as all hell.
Check out everything we've got on "The Runaways."
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