I'm as excited about The Runaways as the rest of America seems to be — the biopic about Joan Jett and Cherie Currie's legendary band earned $800,000 at the box office this weekend and I have been playing Joan Jett and the Blackhearts non-stop in my office. Fortunately, we were able to catch up with the 51-year-old rock legend (responsible for such classic gems as "I Love Rock And Roll" and "Cherry Bomb") at the film's premiere on March 17 to get her take on its runaway success. Here's what she had to say:
UsMagazine.com: How was it seeing yourself portrayed on screen? Is it thrilling? Or weird?
Joan Jett: I think Kristen — well both of them, really — did an amazing job.
Us: I heard you met with Kristen and Dakota [Fanning, who plays Cherie] to try to help them understand what it was like and how to capture your characters.
JJ: Yeah, but they really didn't need much help!
Us: Do you see yourself in Kristen at that age?
JJ: Absolutely. I really do.
Us: What kind of advice did you give her about playing you?
JJ: She didn't really ask anything too specific. She was more or less into small details — "How would you say this?" "How would you do this?" "How would you start this chord?" Most of the other stuff I just dumped on her right away. When we first met, I talked and talked and talked at her for hours. About The Runaways and told her stories I'd never told anyone else. I thought it was important. I gave her tape of me talking at age 14 so she could hear the way I was… I wanted her to know Joan and not Joan Jett. You get so used to the hair and the makeup and the leather jacket as opposed to the person behind that and I wanted her to know the person. I think we really did get down to that.
Us: How was it working with Kristen in that context?
JJ: I was impressed…by her.
Us: And that kissing scene! Did you give Kristen any advice about that scene?
JJ: They are professionals so they didn't need their hands held.
Us: But that was a pretty steamy scene, and those girls are still so young.
JJ: I think it was just another scene, as part of the story.
Us: You were so famous at such a young age, do you worry about Kristen and Dakota in the spotlight so young?
JJ: No. They're very level-headed. They are grounded.
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