“Girls got balls,” Joan Jett cheerfully admits to saying back in the day. “They’re just a little higher up.” Jett should know. In 1975, she was 16 when she and a 15-year-old baby-faced blond named Cherie Currie fronted the first all-girl hard-rock band, the Runaways. That’s also the title of a new hot-buzz movie written and directed by music-video artist Floria Sigismondi, who’s worked with David Bowie, Björk, the White Stripes, and others. Based on Currie’s memoir, Neon Angel, and executive produced by Jett, The Runaways isn’t perfect, fragmenting toward the end when the band does. But until then it’s rock ’n’ roll riveting, with a tough, tightly focused Kristen Stewart and a taunting jailbait Dakota Fanning nailing their vocals as Jett and Currie, and an electrifying Michael Shannon (Revolutionary Road) as the manic, foul-mouthed Kim Fowley, who put the band together and ruled it with a barely metaphorical whip.Sigismondi, who could pass for Jett’s sister, knew such Runaways hits as Currie’s fierce anthem “Cherry Bomb” and the aptly named “Queens of Noise” from working at a Toronto club while she attended art school. “What drew me to the project is how young they were,” she says. “I was confident with the story because I know the music world and what it feels like to go through it as a woman.” Joan Jett, Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning and Cherie Currie.
Joan Jett and Cherie Currie onstage.
“I didn’t know how good we were until I saw some videos 10 years ago,” Currie says. “Before that it was too painful for me.” Currie took a shot at acting (starring opposite Jodie Foster in Adrian Lyne’s 1980 Foxes), then hit rehab, became a counselor of drug-addicted kids, and is now a wood sculptor. Jett found lasting stardom with the Blackhearts and still tours and produces new talent on her label. Dakota Fanning with Cherie Currie.
“I’m happy for Joan,” Currie says. “That she made it meant that it wasn’t a pipe dream.” Source: www.elle.com