Monday, March 09, 2009

Dakota "Cherry Bomb" Fanning

Whoa. This news isn't entirely fresh (it's been in development for some two years) but I can't shake it now that it's actually happening.

Someone stop the doomsday clock. How is Dakota Fanning growing up so fast? She's a tiny adorable little kid. Sean Penn is her alien-battling father. Tom Cruise is her retarded dad. oops -- it sounded right as a typed it ;) How is she old enough to play "Cherry Bomb" Currie in The Runaways (2010)?

Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in the 70s / Their screen counterparts in the Aughts

For you youngsters out there (this is a before my time, too, for once... yay) Cherie Currie was the lead singer of the 70s girl rock band The Runaways (they preceded The Go-Gos, who often get credit for being the first all girl rock band to score hits because they actually had #1s). The Runaways also brought the world the enduring Joan Jett (she loved rock n' roll!) and headbanger fantasy chick Lita Ford (kiss her deadly!)

Cherie will be quite a meaty role for Fanning and even more controversial than Hounddog (on account of its higher profile). Those comedy skits about Fanning wanting an Oscar and my own joking about her ruthless ambitions still have the ring of truth, don't they? See, when Cherie wasn't tearing around on stage in lingerie at sweet 16 (Jett reportedly wrote "Cherry Bomb" specifically to celebrate Currie), she was cuddling with Jodie Foster onscreen and battling drugs and alcohol in her private life. Cherie, who turns 50 this year, is currently a chainsaw carving artist. I didn't know there was such a thing but it sounds so punk, so good for her for keeping her edge... a serrated one!

Here's Cherie, Joan and the girls performing their most infamous 'ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!' in Japan in 1977.

Kristen Stewart will co-star as Joan Jett. Argh! I love Jett, Stewart not so much. I just haven't seen much evidence of range or skill. Weird casting I say. No word yet on who will be playing Lita Ford but production starts in the spring. Cherie joined The Runaways when she was only 15. Dakota Fanning turned 15 two weeks ago. [source]

Here's a little Joan Jett and Lita Ford to take you away...


do you have a flag? said...

I love the picture you posted of them side by side. It helps so you can really see where the casting decision came from. Nervous/excited for this film!


yeah i was really upset about the Stewart casting but the picture sorta shows why they went there. although I kinda think Mila Kunis would've been a better choice.

Anonymous said...

A little off topic but how many people have seen PHOEBE IN WONDERLAND yet?

My God I think Elle Fanning is stunning on screen. She really is one of these actresses who is lit from within - her eyes are just luminous. And she gives a rather intelligent performance for a 9 year old (I wonder how much the director, Daniel Barnz, worked with her on every thought?).

Are the Fanning parents this beautiful?

Anonymous said...

I Really hope Dakota never wins an Oscar. I can't stand her in some way. But i think her sister was stunning in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button!

adam k. said...

They could've just gotten Evan Rachel Wood and dyed her hair black. Isn't it that color now anyway?

But it's really too bad Jane Fonda is too old for the role (and was probably too old for it even when the Runaways were still that age).


You know Juliette lewis would've killed to be in this movie had they made it in the 90s.

Matt said...

I really don't like Kristen Stewart. I saw her on a late night show, and she struck me as someone who is very pompous. I wish I could remember exactly what she said to make me have that opinion, but it must have been something decently crappy because up until that point I did not know her name or have any opinion of her.

Anonymous said...

Neither one of them bothers me. It will be fascinating to see which one stretches the most, if at all and to what extent.

The Pretentious Know it All said...

I definitely get the Fanning casting. It's attention getting and she's actually a good actress and I think people are waiting for her to emerge and make it evident that she's transitioning out of the child-actress phase of her career. Kristen Stewart...I almost want to take back every nice thing I said about her. I actually thought she was talented before "Twilight," or rather that she sort of showed hints of talent that could blossom given the right role. Who knew that she'd emerge as such an entitled a-hole with about enough screen presence to fill a thimble? (besides Nathaniel, I mean)

Here are a list of actresses who could do Joan Jett infinitely better:

Jena Malone (though some people seem to think that she and Stewart are actually the same person)

Rebecca Hall

Amanda Seyfried...shall I go on? I'd better not. If I were to do a list of young actresses in Hollywood more talented than Kristen Stewart, we'd kind of be here all day...

Sally Belle said...

The Fanning mother...for someone who asked...not so attractive...unless she's undergone some work in the past five years...always possible.

And it is not Dakota with the all out drive to the's her mom. Dakota is liable to break bad once she gets away from her "Octomom".

Elle will be a star. Her mother was too busy with Dakota to "f" her up too.



the know nothing... we would be here all day ;) maybe i'm too hard on her but I thought she was pretty terrible in Twilight and I didn't get what people saw in her in Into the Wild either.

Matt -- she does seem to be getting some sort of reputation. But maybe that's just a blog thing. I don't really know. People don't seem to like her much on the gossip blog circuit though

Anonymous said...

I actually saw "Push", Dakota Fanning's latest. It made me wonder about the transition of child actors to adult actors. Fanning kind of reminded me of what I thought of Ben Affleck's directing -- that some actors are very good at playing the moment, but have no sense of the larger story, or the overall tone of a piece. And I can see that a child actor plays the moment, like Fanning.

Maybe part of the value of taking time to go to university (Jody Foster, Brooke Shields, Julia Stiles, etc) is that the person gets a sense of context and the larger story, even a sense of history.

Living only in the moment (because it's part of your job) would be very hard in the dual emotional pitfalls of growing into an adult and working in a tough industry.

Dame James said...

I truly believe that Kristen Stewart will always be a love-her-or-hate-her actress; there's really no in between, is there? To some, she's just a vapid, humorless ignoramus, but to others (myself included), she's the perfect embodiment of someone incredibly uncomfortable in their own skin who simply doesn't have the mindset/personality that allows her to be fake charming in public. I've loved her ever since her fantastic performance in Speak, based on the book of the same name, and thought she lit up the screen every time I've seen her since, from In the Land of Women to Into the Wild and even Twilight (how anyone considers her worse than Robert Pattinson in that movie is a complete mystery to me). I believe she's an enigmatic talent with the look of a silent screen siren who will one day find that perfect role to truly emerge from the pack.

Anonymous said...

James Henry - interesting perspective: "she's the perfect embodiment of someone incredibly uncomfortable in their own skin who simply doesn't have the mindset/personality that allows her to be fake charming in public."
I never thought about it like that.

My main bone to pick with her casting on Twilight is that when you read the book you get the sense that Bella has a delicate, at times dry, sense of humor. Also, it seems (in the book) that she feels her emotions strongly. I don't think Kristen Stewart conveys that humor or depth of feeling. A glaring example is after the studio encounter with James, her reaction to Edward's decision to go just rings false. It feels like you're watching her "TRYING" to perform rather than the emotions playing out naturally.

Glenn Dunks said...

The problem with Stewart is that so often she looks likes she just does not give a shit. On camera or off.

I never used to like Fanning, but I recently saw her on Letterman and she was cute and fun and actually felt like a 15-year-old acting like a 15-year-old (playing dress ups, giggling, etc) and not being the precocious lil thing she always came off as.

StinkyLulu said...

I've LOVED Cherie Currie since her heartstopping performance in Foxes (gawd I love that movie). Jodie Foster was in her "too cool" phase and seemed fairly evenly matched, talent-wise, by Scott Baio, while Currie was off to one side casually acting her ass off. Such a good performance.

As for this 'daptation, I wonder. I thought Fanning was basically quite good in Secret Life of Bees, and my opinion of her shifted noticeably as a result. Stewart's more of an open question for me, though I thought she was more than fine in Into the Wild.

Sally Belle said...

James henry is right...or at least...I agree about Stewart. It has become practically impossible to go from child actor to adult without all the stupid angst and weirdness and fuck you attitudes being observed by the media. (Chris Rock was DO need to look over your shoulder for the media!)

Most of us went through that rather self-destructive and insecure, uncomfortable phase without the added pressure of doing it in public....which, I think, magnifies everything.

Stewart, Wood, Dunst have all had issues with this. Claire Danes hid away at college, but she had them too. Fanning will no doubt go through it too.

The guys go through it too but they get a pass. The women are expected to behave and be style icons at the same time.

Anyway....Fanning's mother will have her in Rock school 12 hours a day until she's great. Stewart will be fine...she'll lip synch or prerecord...Wood would have been better as she is a hell of a singer, but not bankable enough. Seyfried would have sucked as Jett and thank God that's one role she didn't get.
And honestly, I think Kunis is too old already.