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Molly Ringwald Remembers John Hughes

posted by Nell Minow

Molly Ringwald has a touching tribute to John Hughes in today’s New York Times. While she had not spoken to the very private writer-director for 20 years, she and co-star Anthony Michael Hall spoke on the phone about the way he had influenced and inspired them both.

I still believe that the Hughes films of which both [Anthony Michael Hall] and I were a part (specifically “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club”) were the most deeply personal expressions of John’s. In retrospect, I feel that we were sort of avatars for him, acting out the different parts of his life — improving upon it, perhaps. In those movies, he always got the last word. He always got the girl.

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Ringwald gave one of the best performances of the 1980’s in “Sixteen Candles” as the girl whose family was so caught up in her sister’s wedding that they forgot her birthday. At a time of life when most people are protective, internal, and very concerned about looking cool, Hughes coaxed her to show her vulnerability but also to create a character who knew who she was. Ringwald writes about how he gave her confidence.

John saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself. He had complete confidence in me as an actor, which was an extraordinary and heady sensation for anyone, let alone a 16-year-old girl. I did some of my best work with him. How could I not? He continually told me that I was the best, and because of my undying respect for him and his judgment, how could I have not believed him?

Thanks to Laine Kaplowitz for bringing this to my attention.

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