THE INSIDERS: KRISTEN & DAKOTA
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.