Total Film: The Story Behind The Runaways

We’re shrieking about The Runaways as helmed by music video director Floria Sigismondi, and starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning – a biopic of the ‘70s band who were the first all-chick rock group to storm the world.

“I think everybody has that inner part of themselves that wishes they could perform and be on stage,” muses Fanning, whose career comes of age as she plays infamous rocker Cherie Currie – very almost a musical Lindsay Lohan of her day.

“I’ve definitely had that. I think doing this movie and performing ‘Cherry Bomb’ and doing the performance scenes is the closest I’ll ever get to those dreams.”

Runaways (the band) founder Joan Jett, played here by Twilight lip-biter Stewart, is all for a biopic that transforms her life in music entertainment into a slice of filmic entertainment.

“Working with the actors was great,” she says. “They were brilliant. The whole process was brutal, but in general working with the actors was great.”

“I didn’t know The Runaways when I first read the script,” reveals Dakota Fanning.  “And I didn’t know who Cherie Currie was and what her story was. I think a lot of people obviously know Joan Jett, but they don’t know Cherie.”

Her co-star Kristen Stewart has admitted the same, for shame. So for those born after the 1970s, a little history lesson.

Not to be too reductive, but in the ‘70s rock music belonged to the boys. The kind of hardcore, operatic, explorative stage-thrashing that was popularised by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath and David Bowie was  - Bowie’s boundary-mocking androgyny aside – a man’s world.

Then, in 1975, all that changed. Pennsylvania-born 15-year-old Joan Jett had arrived in Los Angeles with her family, met her singing idol Suzi Quatro, and decided to form a band with drummer Sandy West.

“I asked my parents for a guitar for Christmas when I was 13,” Jett remembers. “I wanted to make the noises I was hearing on the radio from songs like ‘Bang a Gong’ by T-Rex or ‘All Right Now’ by Free, so I had to get a guitar.”

Read the rest at Total Film via gossip-dance

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