Get ready to see Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning like you’ve never seen them before. The New Moon cast-mates are teaming up to play rock icons Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in the new movie The Runaways. It’s based on the real life story of the all-girl band and the struggles that Joan and Cherie faced once fame ruled their lives. We chatted with the stars about singing on set and growing up on-screen. Read on!
Do you feel like this is your first real adult role?
Dakota: Maybe more so for me than [Kristen]. I’ve never really done this kind of film before; I’ve never played this kind of character. I think a lot of people still think of me as being young and being little and I think that in this movie I’m seen a little differently. And that’s neat because I obviously want to do this for a long time and play different roles.
How did you get into your characters? And how’d you prepare to sing in these roles?
Dakota: It was something that I’ve always been self conscious about and so I was really excited to do it because I knew I couldn’t have done it any other way. I just would’ve felt weird about it. But I wanted to make sure I could do the songs justice because obviously they’re so iconic and so well known. So I was really excited that I was able to do it and that Cherie supported me in doing that.
Kristen: Luckily I had Joan [Jett] on set every day and there was a lot of stuff on the internet that you can look at — a lot of photos, not a lot of footage — so we really did need Joan and Cherie there. It’s just about throwing yourself into something that you don’t necessarily know that you can do, but [Joan and Cherie] were sort of in the same boat.
Kristen, Joan Jett has said that you and she are very similar. Do you agree?
Kristen:I think she thinks we’re incredibly similar because I just played her! It’s so funny. When we see each other now, I’m pointing out the differences. I’m like, “See? I don’t normally do that. I don’t normally spit.” We definitely have an energy — I feel like I can really understand her and I feel really comfortable with her, so clearly she understands me and thank god!
Dakota: I think I felt the most like Cherie when I put on the corset and performed “Cherry Bomb,” because that’s so iconic to her. I filmed that on the second to last day but I felt most like the character when I was wearing that.
Both of you emote so well in this movie. What’s your process for bringing out the painful scenes?
Kristen: She does this thing: “Pain…”
Dakota: She’s talking about [my line in] New Moon. I always thought because I started acting when I was younger and I was pretending to be someone else and just playing, in a way, so I’ve kind of just kept that as I’ve gotten older. I think if you think about it too much you can mess it up and interfere. If you just know a character so well and you are moved by them or inspired by them, you just know what to do.
Kristen: I feel the exact same way and it’s a weird thing because I guess that you would think that we sit down and pick out the parts that are going to effect people. But it’s funny because you wouldn’t only be manipulating yourself, you would be manipulating the audience, too. You have to do a lot of thinking initially and throw it out.
Were there elements of your own rebellious teen years that you drew from?
Kristen: I have a lot of aggression. It wasn’t hard to do.
Dakota: I don’t think I can compare anything that I’ve gone through to what Cherie went through.
Kristen: “Mom! I want to go! Please!”
Dakota: Yeah, I don’t think anything in my life has been as big as the things that she’s gone through.
What were the bands you first fell in love with?
Kristen: If I go way way back, the first band I was obsessed with was The Beach Boys. It was kind of goofy. My parents kind of raised me on Tom Petty and the Beatles, like California classic… they’re both from LA.
What types of roles do you want to be doing in five years?
Dakota: I don’t think I really know that yet. I think that as you get older the things you can do in films changes; there’s a lot of things you can no longer do.
Kristen: That’s a weird thing — not being able to do stuff anymore. I’ve played the teenager; I can’t be upset with my parents anymore. I’ve grown up reading stuff for teenagers and I was like, “I’m almost there! I can almost do stuff like that,” and then I found myself doing them and it was very exciting and that’s gone now. Not gone, I can still totally play younger. But it’s a weird realization.
What was the very first time you met each other?
Kristen: The first time we met was kind of weird. We were always going by each other, and I was always like, “Oh, this is a big deal! We’re meeting!”
Dakota: It was once at Comic-Con and then we were in a short film together but we weren’t in any scenes together.
Kristen: It was nice that we knew each other [from New Moon]. It’s not like we knew each other that well.
Do you have any female icons that you look up to?
Dakota: Yeah, Cherie for me. I know it sounds like we’re just saying this for the movie, but no, really.