Joan Jett was irritated with the fact that Kristen Stewart was constantly in leather pants. She stated in the DVD commentary that jeans would have been more accurate because she never wore leather pants.
Joan Jett's one regret about this film is that the title card at the ending of the film that reveals the fate of herself, Kim Fowley and Cherie Currie does not also feature that of Sandy West. On the DVD commentary, Jett unofficially dedicates the film to West, who died just before the film went into production.
Prior to filming, Kristen Stewart worked closely with Joan Jett to perfect her mannerisms, stage presence, vocal tone, attitude and musical skill. Jett later praised Stewart for her dedication and overall performance stating the portrayal made her proud.
A New York Times review of the film quotes Joan Jett as saying that when she listened to the first tape of Kristen Stewart singing one of her songs, she thought it was a mistake and that it was actually her.
Though she declined to participate in the film, Lita Ford did agree to meet with Scout Taylor-Compton prior to filming. After a very emotional meeting, Ford gave her approval of the actress claiming that even if the film was bad, Taylor-Compton would do her character justice.
Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart said in the DVD commentary that the recording studio fight between them and Scout Taylor-Compton was one of the most exhausting and tense scenes to film. Fanning noted that the normal exhaustion of the actors fed into the intensity of the scene resulting in everyone just shouting at each other.
The scene where Kim Fowley brings the boys into the rehearsal trailer to heckle the girls and throw objects at them was 100% accurate. Joan Jett stated that Kim Fowley had to do the "heckler's drills" with the group for a significant amount of time because she was too shy on stage.
A character mentions Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley's divorce as a sign of the decline of rock and roll. Cherie's sister Marie is played in this movie by Riley Keough, who is the granddaughter of that short union.
Kristen Stewart had to wear sneakers during the recording studio fight because she kept slipping and falling in the platform boots she wears in the full body shots. The scene had to be specially edited because the sneakers were visible when Joan hopped on the furniture to shout at Kim Fowley.
Originally Scout Taylor-Compton had auditioned for the role of Joan Jett. In order to prepare for this role, Scout began to try and learn some of The Runaways songs on guitar. Then, she ended up trying out for Sandy West because she already knew how to play drums. Then, they wanted her to try for the role of Robin, so she had to try and learn how to play the bass guitar until finally, they ended up giving her the role of Lita Ford, where then she ended up having to learn how to play the guitar.
Cherie Currie praised Dakota Fanning for her overall performance in this film, but stated that a number of events included in her memoir, "Neon Angel", were not included in this film. Cherie later gave Dakota a custom made guitar for her 16th birthday.
The scene where Cherie tries to buy alcohol was filmed in a Kosher grocery store. The managers tried to kick the whole production out of the store and the actors and crew had to bargain with the managers to stay and complete the scene.
While filming this movie, Kristen Stewart cut her trademark long, full hair into an uneven 'shag' hairstyle. Photos of the hairstyle were released on June 11, 2009, garnering a great deal of media attention.
The Runaways are often referred to as the first all-female rock band but nothing could be further from the truth. Fanny, to cite just one of many possible examples, preceded them by at least five years.
In 1980 Jodie Foster played alongside Cherie Currie in 'Foxes'. In 2002 she played Kristen Stewart's mother in 'Panic Room'. Kristen Stewart would later go on to play Cherie Currie's bandmate, Joan Jett, in this biopic called 'The Runaways' named after the band they formed before Cherie Currie went into acting.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
The film condenses the actual story of the band. In reality, The Runaways continued to perform successfully for another three years after Cherie Currie's departure. Moreover, Currie achieved moderate success as an actress and solo musician well into the 1980s before problems with substance abuse stalled her career.