“I was honored by that,” grinned legendary punk rocker Patti Smith at Sundance Monday, discussing a shout-out to her in the hit film. “It makes me really happy; I get really excited when I walk on stage and see teenagers and people in their twenties.”
These days, Smith is enjoying her recent induction into the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and is performing packed concerts in Park City to promote a documentary entitled “Patti Smith: Dream of Life.” And thanks to that now-famous scene when Jason Bateman asks Ellen Page what she considers the greatest music of all time (resulting in quick shots of punk pioneers, including Smith), the 61-year-old is once again being discovered by a new generation.
“I’ve always tried to inspire people, especially young people, to think for themselves,” Smith said, flattered that Juno’s confident nature and willingness to go her own way was inspired by her music. “I want people to feel they’re not alone. When I recorded [her landmark debut album] “Horses,” I was trying to speak to people like myself who were maverick, outside society, didn’t quite fit in. I’ve always been like that; I still am like that.”
Which might explain why, thirty years later, the album continues to inspire teenagers both real and fictional. “Somebody asked (if they could use my image), and we said sure, of course,” explained Smith, also acknowledging a recent quote from Page that the #1 person she’d like to meet is the “Because the Night” singer. “That’s so nice … I haven’t been able to meet her yet.”
As for character’s authority-defying decision to keep her baby, Smith can only smile. “Good for Juno,” she laughed.
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