Molly Ringwald is everyone’s favorite 1980s child star. She was arguably the biggest name in Hollywood at the time starring in teen dramas. With hits like “Sixteen Candles” and “Pretty in Pink,” the actress was famous for her sweet freckles and red hair in coming-of-age tales of adolescence. In a recent interview with “Jeopardy!” host Mayim Bialik, the actress discusses how being a child star was a struggle.
No doubt that Molly Ringwald handled her stardom with grace. She didn’t come from a show-business background when she auditioned for “The Facts of Life.” However, producers saw a vulnerable side to her when she was performing that captivated audiences.
A flair for true emotionality, Ringwald resonated with real-life teens as she was navigating her own growth. But the now 53-year-old is sharing how growing up in Hollywood has its downside.
“You know my parents, even though my father was a jazz musician, he really didn’t have any experience with Hollywood,” Ringwald says in the podcast. “They were total novices…they really didn’t know anything about what business was like and how truly dangerous the business was and how truly dangerous it can be for children and for their development. You know my mom often said, ‘if I knew then what I know now, I would have never let you be a child actor. And I’m kinda one of the success stories, you know. I’m still here.”
Molly Ringwald’s Legacy
Ringwald famously worked with director John Hughes. She starred in “The Breakfast Club” alongside other 1980s stars including Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, and Judd Nelson. The movie is an icon and a favorite, influencing so many teen dramas to this day.
While she handles fame in a commendable way, the actress says the industry was “brutal.” She faced plenty of rejection – which she says she really didn’t handle well.
“These things happen and, you know, they affect you and I feel like you have to be incredibly strong to do this as a career, you know, emotionally,’ Ringwald shares. “Which is hard, you know? By the same token, to be a good actor, you need to be able to access your emotions and go to that dark place and, you know, it’s sort of this difficult dichotomy. And, you know, it’s something I’ve tried to balance and understand my entire life. You know, my entire career it’s something I’ve worked on and struggled with to varying degrees of success.”
Later in her career, Ringwald made appearances on “Secret Life of an American Teenager” and most recently in “Riverdale” opposite the late Luke Perry. She credits her success with being grounded and staying true to herself as a person.