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Preview review: Can 'Twilight' star Kristen Stewart use 'The Runaways' to become a serious actress?

March 5, 2010 |  2:30 pm

MV5BMTA2NzY5NTg2MjNeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDYzODY2MDM@._V1._SX271_SY400_ Only one week after her "Twilight" co-star Robert Pattinson will attempt to show off his more serious acting chops in "Remember Me," Kristen Stewart will also stray from the world of vampires with "The Runaways."

In the film, which comes out March 19, Stewart plays Joan Jett while Dakota Fanning plays Cherie Currie, two founding members of the influential all-girl '70's band the Runaways. As my colleague Chris Lee wrote before the movie premiered at Sundance in January, the movie is based on the real-life band, who "between the years 1975 and '79 ... packed shows from coast to coast, toured the world and racked up hits before self-immolating in a blaze of drugs, jealousies and in-fighting."

Judging by the newly released trailer, which is narrated by Fanning's character, the movie feels almost like a grittier "Almost Famous." Currie, with her blond feathered hair, comes off as impressionable and wide-eyed, following Jett's bad-girl lead into the world of rock n' roll. Both are dressed in awesome '70s garb: studded leather jackets, hot pink lipstick and high-waisted jeans.

Interestingly, there are also no big hints in the trailer to the much-hyped sapphic romance between the characters.

Watch the trailer and vote in our poll to share your thoughts: Will Stewart ever be able to break free of her iconic Bella Swan role?

Surprisingly, it's not Stewart but Fanning who seems to shine in the film. Fanning is known for her more innocent roles in "I Am Sam" and "The Secret Life of Bees," but we were surprised by how much we bought Currie's penchant for hard partying. Stewart, meanwhile, seems to be channeling the persona the public has assigned to her: a surly, rebellious teen who wants to do things her own way.  The question, of course, is whether she has the versatility to pull off roles that go beyond that of the mopey Bella Swan  ingenue in "Twilight" and "New Moon." Despite the glimmers of possibility she flashed in "Adventureland," from the bits we've see in this trailer, we have our doubts.

-- Amy Kaufman

Photo: Dakota Fanning, left, and Kristen Stewart in "The Runaways." Credit: Apparition.

Comments () | Archives (41)

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Are you kiddin' me?!! Kristen Stewart is no doubt one of the most serious actors of her generation. just watch some of her movies like Speak, The cake eaters and Welcome to the Rileys. Seriously she is amazingly talented and she is acting because she loves it and not beacuse of the fame. And honestly she is SO much more than Twilight...
This article is rubbish, give the girl some space, she is only 19 and she's acting better than some of the Hollywood actors, who are twice as old as her.

When Kristen Stewart gets a role that requires her to exhibit adult behavior and not teen angst, perhaps we will better know what kind of actress she is.

She plays the same character in different stories and in different situation ... and has one facial expression.

Dakota Fanning, OTOH, has plenty of acting chops and I honestly forget I'm watching her when peeking at clips from "The Runaways."

I'll wait for this one to come out on video. Not worth the $10+ to see in the theatre.

Obviously the writer of this piece has not watched Kristen's previous films. She was an outstanding child actor with several 'serious' acting roles. Check out "Speak" where she plays a 13 year old who was raped, "Cake Eaters" where she plays a disabled teenager, for example. My advice for this reporter: Do your research so you won't be embarrassed by your own writing!!!

Anyone who saw Ms. Stewart in Speak when she was 13 would recognize she has the acting chops to do whatever she wants.

I don't know this actress and I have never seen any of these vampire shows or movies, but I recognize snobbery when I see it. Too many drama critics won't acknowledge "serious acting" if they don't approve of the material. In this critic's mind, vampires are juvenile, so the acting must be also. I don't care if this girl is doing Dora the Explorer, the opportunity for "serious acting" is there regardless of the material in the script. Please lose your elitist bias or get out of the business. You are not doing the public a service at all.

Let me see? Whose opinion do I want to listen to regarding Kristen Stewart's acting ability. Yours or Roger Ebert. I think I'll pick his over yours. From Roger Ebert's Twitter. @ebertchicago Saw “Welcome to the Rileys.” Kristen Stewart is a fine actress. Saints preserve her from vampire movies.

who cares how she acts, she's hot and plays guitar.

yes i think kristen stewart will mature more bcuz of the character she plays

Kristen stewart is not only beautiful but an amazing actress. Her previous movies show how much talent this girl has. If you watch her films before you pass judgement you would see that. I think you can see how talent this girl has and how much she cares for ever role she takes on. I cant wait to see the runaways and wttr. Im not a die hard twilight fan . Im a fan of kristen stewart and I think she her to stay and people need to get used to it. Give girl a break and lets wait till movie comes out to pass judgement. I never found bella to be a weak character . If you follow books she is a strong iconic character. Only kristen can pull off ..

I agree with Dalia. Very serious actors have been recommending Stewart for many movies, they would not do it if they did not think she was a good actress. I think many people are annoyed that she does not play the Hollywood game. Dressing like she works at a bar or talking nonsense to please everybody. She seems to be a very smart girl something not found very often in Hollywood.

Not a Twilight fan, but I am a fan of Kristen. After reading this article, it's obvious the reviewer didn't do her research. To indicate that Kristen Stewart is trying to use The Runaways to become a serious actress shows a lot of ignorance on the writer's part. Ms. Stewart has been working as an actress since she was a child, and she has a long list of films on her resume that already prove she's a serious actress. She's worked with Jodie Foster, Robert DeNiro, Sean Penn and Mary Stuart Masterson in dramatic roles that prove she has much talent. And to pan Adventureland in the poll? That's just wrong. Adventureland was a great movie, Kristen aside.

For all of you who doubt Kristin Stewarts acting abilities they should watch her performance in "The Cake Earter". She gave an amazing performance. I believe she should have won an Oscar for that performnce as a girl who has a genetic muscular disease which is slowlily killing her. It affects her abitlity to walk and talk.
Kristen nailed that role. Her acting range is only going to improve with age and experience, and I believe, is probable the finest actress of all the new generation actors.

Kristin Stewart is going to be one of the best and finest yourg acrtress of her generation. Her range of acting ability is truly amazing and substantial. For those who doubt her acting abilities I suggest the watch her performance in the movie "The Cake Eaters." Kristen plays the role of a yourng girl who is suffering from a generative and eventualy fatat neural, muscular disease. She nails this part. Her performance as a disabled person in the manner of her walking and talking is amazing and truly believable. I truly believe she should have won an oscar for this performance alone.
Her acting skill will only get better with age and experience and will become one of the best actors of this generation.

I read the title of the article to my wife and we both almost fell off of our chairs laughing. She left it to me to comment. I mean, you can't possibly be serious with the premise of that title, can you? Take from two cranky, salty, middle-aged entertainment consumers, the young woman is *already* a serious actress. She was a serious actress *before* Twilight. Contending that she isn't to stimulate discussion is just nonsense. Ditch that poll. It's constructed to be leading, since none of the options it offers legitimately applies to the object of the discussion.

First of all as much as I love Roger Ebert, for the past couple of years his reviews have been on the wonky side. I mean, seriously, he liked "The Happening"... P-U!

Anywhoo, The Runaways is really Dakota Fanning's gig. The film is based on a book written by Currie (Dakota's character) and Joan Jett is merely included as some sort of cartoonish version of the real deal (they whitewashed a lot of her personality in the film).

Now, the fact that people are talking more about Kristen than Dakota, shows you how screwed up Hollywood and the media are. Because if it wasn't for Twilight and it's millions of fanatics ready to buy anything with "Bella" on it, The Runaways would've been sold as a Dakota Fanning film that by the way, also includes Kristen Steward among other actors.

In the end, if this film works it will be for the obvious reason that Dakota Fanning made it work through her performace.

Kristen, on the other hand, is once again playing the same old part. Let's look at the parts she's played in the past:

1. Panic Room: weird kind of neurotic girl with health problems.

2. Speak: weird depressed girl with problems.

3. Into the Wild: weird kind of neurotic girl who wants to sleep with someone.

4. Adventureland: weird kind of neurotic girl who sleeps with Ryan Reynolds (Progess made?)

5. Cake Eaters: weird girl who wants to sleep with a guy from school.

6. Twilight: weird kind of neurotic girl (she was supposed to be a happy girl and not depressed) that wants to have a 3way with a vampyre and a werewolf.

7. The Runaways: same o same old. Nothing new to see here kids... that is, aside from DAKOTA FANNINGS GREAT ACTING CHOPS!

Go Dakota!

u are all idiots kristen stewart is a bad looking and bad actor. Along with Dakota the only reason why they are famous is bc of twilight and new moon thats why there in here together bc the stupid dumb twi fans will think Bella and that ugly girl from war of the worlds im gonna see it that will add up and the director of this movie will be rich. if u want a good actress try caryn petterson she is actually unlike stewart a good actor and a good looking women.

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