LATimes For anyone clinging to the image of Dakota Fanning as the lovable moppet in such movies as “Charlotte’s Web” or “The Cat in the Hat” (in which she utters lovably moppet-ish lines like “I wanna make cupcakes!” and “You better clean this mess up!”), her appearance in the rock-surged coming-of-age-drama “The Runaways” will come as a revelation (even for those who saw Fanning's tough-to-take "Hounddog").
“Hello Daddy/Hello Mom/I’m your ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!” she snarls in character as the all-girl teenage rock group’s wild child singer Cherie Currie. As is detailed in this story (which will appear in Sunday’s Calendar section), in other scenes Fanning passionately makes out with co-star Kristen Stewart (as the movie’s Joan Jett), snorts all kinds of Class A drugs and whips fans into a frenzy by appearing in fishnet stockings and a revealing bodice.
For a month before production began, Sigismondi also had Fanning and Stewart, with costar band mates Scout Taylor-Compton, Stella Maeve and Alia Shawkat, rehearse performing together as the incendiary girl group to coax more naturalistic rock star performances from them. Then Stewart and Fanning lay down vocal tracks singing the Runaways’ songs featured in the movie.
“We rehearsed for a long time, which was a great advantage,” the director said. “We got the girls in the recording studio, got the recordings right. Then by the time we filmed it, it wasn’t lip-syncing. Because they were the ones who had done it.”
Likewise, Stewart is utterly convincing both physically -- with her black fringed shag hairdo, spiked leather bracelet and rock chic leather outfits -- as well as doing an impressive approximation of Jett’s singing voice. Which makes more than a little sense; the rock icon executive produced “The Runaways” and visited its set frequently where Jett conferred with the actress about her portrayal.
It certainly will cause an explosion for all those used to watching Kristen make-out with her "Twilight Saga" costar, Robert Pattinson. We can only imagine what will happen if she goes farther onscreen with Dakota than her chaste kisses with Edward Cullen. Maybe "The Runaways" is moving up on our list of things to be excited for in 2010 already.