Kristen Stewart may be known for playing Bella in "The Twilight Saga," but sitting down to speak with her, there's obviously a lot more rock star blood flowing through her veins than audiences might expect. It's an aura that landed her the role of Joan Jett in "The Runaways," the new film about the rise and fall of the groundbreaking 1970s all-girl rock group, and a heaping of praise from Jett herself, who is not only one of the film's producers, but was on set throughout filming.
Portraying a real life character is daunting enough. Doing it while the real person is watching you recreate one of the most formative, meaningful times in their life might be too intimidating for some actors to bear. But Stewart was thrilled to have Jett as a mentor and guide.
"The fact that Joan wanted to be a producer, be on set every day and was so open about a time that's so important to her; it definitely says something about the people that they hired to play the parts," Stewart says. "She easily could have said, 'Get someone else. I can't tell this girl what I need to tell her.'" Stewart explains that both Jett and lead singer Cherie Currie were extremely forthcoming in divulging details about their past. "There are things that we needed to know that aren't in the movie; details, personal reflections about things. It was nice having them there. We can't know how everything happened and it would really be awful to just make it up and try to fill in the blanks when it can be real."
One of the greatest pieces of guidance Jett offered was regarding manager Kim Fowley (played brilliantly by Michael Shannon). "Kim is written really aggressive," Stewart continues. "Every time I sort of went, 'Wow, I would punch him in the face,' Joan would be like, 'No, you'd laugh at him. You love the guy. You aspire to be as crazy and freaky as him.' There's no way of knowing that without her."
"The Runaways" opens March 19.