Over the course of 90 minutes, the new documentary Bad Reputation chronicles Joan Jett’s roller-coaster life: The high of the Runaways, followed by a messy breakup. D.I.Y. success matched with a major label looking to crush her. Waning popularity paired with a Warped Tour reinvention. Through it all, she’s kept her game face and pushed forward, and in the film, a diverse group of talking heads, including Debbie Harry, Miley Cyrus, Michael J. Fox and Kristen Stewart, praise her contributions to rock & roll. The doc shows how she went from a sweet-looking high schooler to a black-leather–clad icon.
For Jett, it’s a lot to process. “It’s a little overwhelming and very surreal — but in a good way,” she says in her brusque, to-the-point manner of speaking, on a call from her home in Long Island. “It’s nice to see everything finally laid out, and it’s nice to be able to tell some of these stories now.” MORE