Kristen and Joan love rock and roll

"Joan Jett gave me this t-shirt. It's her favorite album cover". - Kristen Stewart talking on the "Minor Threat" t-shirt she wore at Comic-Con

"When rocker Joan Jett started all-girl proto-punk group The Runaways in 1975, and even after she and her later band, The Blackhearts, hit it big with the song ''I Love Rock 'N Roll'' in 1982, she never thought she ever would be regarded as one of the greats.

''Not in that context'', Jett says in a recent phone interview from Los Angeles. ''But I always thought maybe we'd be role models for girls or that I myself could be just a role model to show that you don't have to fit into a predesigned box; that when you were born as a girl, that doesn't -- shouldn't -- limit you.''

It certainly didn't limited Jett. And 35 years later, she is certifiably one of the greats.

Not only is ''I Love Rock 'N Roll'' among Billboard magazine's Top 30 songs ever, but Rolling Stone magazine in 2003 also put her among the Top 100 guitarists of all time -- one of only two women on the list (Joni Mitchell is the other).

And now, The Runaways' story is the subject of a major motion picture, filming now and set for 2010 release, starring Dakota Fanning, Tatum O'Neill and 2008 Oscar nominee Michael Shannon. Hot ' 'Twilight'' star Kristen Stewart plays Jett.

Asked why she thinks her music is still popular after all these years -- Jett for the past few years has even played a main stage at the decidedly younger-focused alt-music Vans Warped Tour -- she says, ''I guess I can never really be sure.''

''But I would hope that it reminds people, whenever they come across these songs, of a time in their life when they were either enjoying life or they were in a struggle in life that the music sort of helped them through,'' she says. ''It's connected to them in some form to some experience.''

But she says she's baffled when ''an 8-year-old hears 'I Love Rock 'N Roll' now and is attached to it. What does it mean? And where is that coming from?'' she says, laughing. ''Sometimes, they can't even explain it to you. Sometimes, a lot of times, there are no words.''

But Jett says inspiration came from the hypocrisy she saw.

''People talk such a good game here in America: 'Land of the free and home of the brave.' And you're going to tell me how I can dress? I don't think so. You tell me what uniform I have to wear and if I deviate from that at all I'm going to get my ass kicked, people are going to make fun of me and talk about how weird I look and how dirty I am?

''I mean, that's what happens when a girl steps outside the lines. And it's quick, fierce, and it's intense and you don't know where it's coming from because people have a sheep-herd mentality. So when you step and you do something different, you get crushed for it.''

Jett says she's working on new music, but is in no rush to get it out. ''To tell you the truth, I just don't see the point in working so hard to create 14 new sides to put out there to not be played on the radio and not be played anyplace else,'' she says. ''So the rush to create an album a year is not the same as it was in 1976 or 1985 or 1989.''As for Stewart's portrayal of her, Jett says, ''I could not be happier. I'm absolutely thrilled with her as a person, as an actor. I've gotten to know her a bit over this time, and I can't speak highly enough of her.''

Jett says the film has brought back ''probably a lot of good memories and probably a few bad ones, as well. But in the context of life, bad things happen a lot, and you can't really have good without the bad. So it's kind of a moot point to think about it that way.''