When the Runaways formed in 1975, they were the only all-girl teenage hard rock band on the planet, and the world wasn’t quite ready for them. Decades later, the Runaways are finally getting some of the attention they deserve with the band biopic The Runaways, which stars Dakota Fanning as the 15-year-old lead singer Cherie Currie and Kristen Stewart as a very young Joan Jett. The film—which goes into wide release April 9—is based on the recently released book Neon Angel: A Memoir of A Runaway by lead singer Currie and details the band’s short, messy history and the struggle with addiction that nearly claimed her life. Currie sat down with us to talk about growing up in a rock band, conquering addiction, and the talk generated by the scene in the film where she and Joan Jett kiss.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How much of the movie is taken from your book Neon Angel? Is it mostly your story?
CHERIE CURRIE: Well, it’s Joan and my story, of course. They took a lot of poetic license with the movie. If you read the book, you’ll see things were a little bit different from the movie, but I don’t want to give anything anyway.
And Joan Jett is attached as an executive producer. Are there any Runaways memories you disagree on?
No. She was very supportive of the original book. The new book is a lot more intense, there were a lot of stories I couldn’t tell in a young adults book.
So this book originally came out in 1989 in much different form, as a young-adult book. Why did you decide to go back to it?
That happened in 2000. A friend of mine read it and turned around and said, “Have you ever thought what people are going to think of you when they read this book?” And it shocked me that he would say that…he’s no longer a friend. But I re-read the book and I cried for three days. And then all of a sudden, instead of shutting away from it I decided to add to it. So I started writing. It took me three or four months, and then Kenny Laguna [Joan Jett’s manager] read the book and he thought it was worthy of republication, because you couldn’t find it anywhere. And he started shopping it to publishers and some people became interested in making it into a film, so that’s what happened. READ FULL STORY