Who better than a rocker chick to make a movie about rocker chicks? Canadian-naturalized Floria Sigismondi, up until now best-known for her music video direction of artists like Bjork, Christina Aguilera and The White Stripes (just to name a few), has strapped on her movie direction hat for the first time with 'The Runaways'. Like Sigismondi herself, the film is raw, sexy, and infused with that sweaty concert hall energy.

Starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Runaways guitarist/singer Joan Jett and frontwoman Cherie Currie (respectively), the film uses Sigismondi's characteristic shaky-lens concert footage, often swooping in for the double close-up of Jett and Currie. Toe-tapping and at times very stirring, 'The Runaways' plays like an extended music video with compelling dramatic interludes from the fine cast.

Moviefone caught up with Sigismondi in her Toronto hotel room, where we walked in on her strumming a jet-black guitar. She filled us in on her inspiration, what it was like working with such young actors, and whether this first film of hers will be her last.

Who better than a rocker chick to make a movie about rocker chicks? Canadian-naturalized Floria Sigismondi, up until now best-known for her music video direction of artists like Bjork, Christina Aguilera and The White Stripes (just to name a few), has strapped on her movie direction hat for the first time with 'The Runaways'. Like Sigismondi herself, the film is raw, sexy, and infused with that sweaty concert hall energy.

Starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning as Runaways guitarist/singer Joan Jett and frontwoman Cherie Currie (respectively), the film uses Sigismondi's characteristic shaky-lens concert footage, often swooping in for the double close-up of Jett and Currie. Toe-tapping and at times very stirring, 'The Runaways' plays like an extended music video with compelling dramatic interludes from the fine cast.

Moviefone caught up with Sigismondi in her Toronto hotel room, where we walked in on her strumming a jet-black guitar. She filled us in on her inspiration, what it was like working with such young actors, and whether this first film of hers will be her last.

I looked at your list of music videos, and I can't believe you did some for The Tea Party! [A Canadian alternative band from the 90s]


The Tea Party! [Laughs] Wow. 'The River.' That was a 24-hour shoot. I remember that.

A trip down memory lane...


Definitely.

What was your inspiration to create 'The Runaways'?


I think it was the young girls coming of age in this sex, drugs, and rock n' roll kind of environment, and how it affected them. It was interesting to see how it affected Cherie differently than Joan. I wanted to bring these two completely different characters together and tell the story.



Salt and pepper.

Yep, they're salt and pepper.

Did you anticipate any challenges with this film, and did you encounter any?

No, not really. There were some political challenges, like... we're dealing with people that are still alive and making a movie about their lives. We took the biopic and kind of transformed it into a coming-of-age story.

How much were Joan and Cherie around when you were filming? How much input did they provide?

Joan was there quite a bit. Cherie came in a couple times when we were doing 'Cherry Bomb.' I think it was a very surreal experience for both of them. I kept putting myself in their shoes.

It amazed me how well Kristen captured Joan Jett.


It was great, eh? She really embodied her, and practically changed in front of my eyes. After the haircut, everything started to change. It was a really great decision for her to cut her hair, because she lived with it 24/7. Every time she looked in the mirror it was Joan Jett. I could see her body change, her mannerisms.

Even the way she was standing.

Yep, she got the Joan Jett hunch. She plays the guitar very low, so she's got a hunch. It's looks good though. The rocker hunch.

What was it like working with such young actors? Isn't Dakota Fanning only 15?

When I first met her, she was actually only 14, and approaching the perfect age for Cherie Currie. Dakota is great, she's so smart, you can talk to her about anything and she gets it. She's a great talent. The best part about her was that people have grown up watching Dakota, so when they're watching her in this movie, it'll feel like they're viewing someone they know personally.

Cherie went through a lot of stuff at a very young age, and got in over her head. I think if she didn't quit the band, she probably would have died. I think of her as a survivor, and I find it amazing that she's alive.

I really liked your concert footage as well. Did you approach that in any particular way?

I wanted it to feel very natural and energetic. What is it like to be at a concert? When you put a camera in one place, it's not really the energy of what it's like to be at a show. Your eyes dart around, you feel the energy of the person next to you, there's smoke, it's backlit, there's all this stuff going on. I really wanted to have the camera moving. It was also very important to me that they could actually play their instruments.

Do you plan on doing more movies? Or is this a one-time thing?

Yeah, I plan to do more... it was a great roller-coaster ride. I'm just finishing it. I'm still working on the DVD side of things, so I'm looking at it in a different way now.

Are there any artists out there who you'd like to direct music videos for?

I just finished one for Jack White's new band, The Dead Weather.

Wouldn't you love to do a Lady Gaga video?


[Laughs] Hey, I've been stuck in the 1970s for a while now, I don't know what's going on. You tell me. I'd love to do a Gaga video, sure! [Laughs]

'The Runaways' opens in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal on Friday, March 19. It opens nationwide on Friday, April 9.

Read Interview with Stars Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart at Moviefone.com