Molly Ringwald is making the rounds of the talk shows again. The Breakfast Club is 30 years old. The coming-of-age classic was only John Hughes’ second film. And now it is an iconic piece of 1980’s culture.
Molly Ringwald starred as Claire Standish, the “Princess” of a group that consisted of:
The Brain – (Brian Johnson) Played by Anthony Michael Hall
The Athlete (Andrew Clark) – Played by Emilio Estevez
The Basket Case (Allison Reynolds) – Played by Ally Sheedy
The Criminal (John Bender) – Played by Judd Nelson
The Princess (Claire Standish) – Played by Molly Ringwald
All five of these students had to spend a Saturday in detention at school. Their conversations and activities throughout that day led them to an important discovery about the strident social divisions that always mark the lives of teens from middle school on:
“What we found out is that each one of us is a Brain, and an Athlete, and a Basket Case, a princess, and a Criminal.”
Molly Ringwald told Today’s Savannah Guthrie that she knows how important that movie is.
“I always loved the script, loved the movie, but I never imagined we would be talking about it 30 years later. I never imagined it would still speak to my kids. I have an 11-year old who just saw it for the first time. I feel like it keeps speaking to generation after generation.”
Molly Ringwald admits that she had planned to wait longer before showing the film to her daughter.
“We watched it because all her friends had seen it. I thought she would see it as a teenager. I showed her 16 Candles and Pretty in Pink, but I was holding out on that one, and I realized it had a lot of significance for me.”
In terms of how the shooting of the film went back 30 years ago, Molly Ringwald has fond memories.
“I think we all got along great. It was a little hard because it was in February. Anthony Michael Hall and I were the only ones who were actually the age we were playing. I think I was 16, he was not much younger, and the other ‘kids’ were in their 20s. We had to go to ‘detention’ (within the film story) and then we had to go to real school, back and forth. It was in the middle of winter. We saw each other every day. We got really close.”
The clothes each student wore in the film is another realistic slice of 80’s life. Ringwald talked about her ever-popular shoes.
“I picked out my outfit. It was originally supposed to be something else and it didn’t quite work. So John Hughes took me out in Chicago, we just went shopping, and I picked out that whole outfit. I would love to have those boots now. We had to spend every day for about three months in the same outfit, so I just wanted to have a bonfire.”