Molly Ringwald will forever hold her spot in film history as one of the most beloved actresses in the 1980s thanks to roles in such films as “Sixteen Candles” (1984), “The Breakfast Club,” (1985) and “Pretty in Pink” (1986). In 2011, Ringwald was ranked No. 1 on VH-1’s 100 Greatest Teen Stars. She acknowledges her fans in her twitter profile where she refers to herself as: “actress, writer, singer, mother, your former teen-age crush.”
Ringwald not only made the transition from teen movies to adult roles including the recent ABC Family series “The Secret Life of the American Teen,” she also is an accomplished author (“When It Happens to You,” “Getting the Pretty Back”) and singer, releasing the jazz record “Except Sometimes” in 2013.
On Dec. 12, Ringwald will be at the University at Buffalo Center for the Arts in celebration of the 30th anniversary of one of her most popular works, the iconic John Hughes film “The Breakfast Club.” The evening starts at 7 p.m. with a showing of the film, followed by a discussion and Q&A with Ringwald. Her long days on the set didn’t allow for a phone interview, but Ringwald took the time to answer a few questions by email.
Question: Why was it important for you to make appearances like the one you will make in Buffalo for the 30th anniversary of “The Breakfast Club?”
Answer: In our era of online-all-the-time, an in-person event feels different to me – it’s more memorable, it’s an event, instead of just another vanishing post on a scrolling feed. And the audiences have been really great, so excited and enthusiastic.
Q: As you meet fans across the country, what are some of the similar themes or questions in your discussion and Q&A?
A: It depends on the city and the audience. Common questions are about the making of the movie, behind-the-scenes moments, alternate casting choices - asking if certain stories someone heard is true. And of course, the lipstick trick – that comes up every time.
Q: Why do you think the film is special and has become a pop-culture classic?
A: I think the film takes the inner lives of teens seriously – it was one of the first to do that. It’s honest and funny and it’s all about the characters, with no gimmicks: really, it’s a play. And the themes the film explores (fitting in, bullying, being an outsider, etc.) are all still relevant to what kids are going though today, which is why it’s still so popular, I think.
Q: I know this is a huge question, but could you talk about John Hughes? What was it like working with him? What made his films so special?
A: I don’t think I could answer that in a couple sentences! It was a formative relationship, to say the least. I’ll always be proud of the movies we made together.
Q: You have performed “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” in concert and recorded it as well. Could you talk about why you included it on “Except Sometimes” and what memories or emotions it evokes for you when you sing it?
A: I recorded my album not long after John passed away, and he was on my mind a lot. It was intended as a tribute to him and to those films that have meant so much to people. I was really happy with the way it turned out. It’s a wistful song.
Q: You have gone from everyone’s “teenage crush” to have a multifaceted entertainment career. What are the joys you find in singing, writing?
A: I’ve always loved singing – it was the first thing I did professionally. There’s an immediacy to it that’s unlike anything else. Writing, meanwhile, is the opposite. It’s completely internal. It’s a solitary venture, where I get to play with characters, and sentences, and structure, and explore at a different pace and with a different goal. Both of them offer their rewards.
Q: What’s up next for you?
A: I just finished shooting a new TV series called “Raising Expectations” and I have a few other TV and film projects in development. I’m also performing at Birdland in March – which has been a longtime dream of mine.
What: Molly Ringwald Revisits the Club: 30th Anniversry of “The Breakfast Club”
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 12
Where: University at Buffalo Center for the Arts, Amherst