Molly Ringwald Says Its Impossible to Be a Young Actress in Hollywood


  • Hollywood predators target young actresses like Molly Ringwald; her career started at age 10.
  • Ringwald felt out of place in Hollywood due to her youth and lack of interest in the party scene.
  • Despite her success in iconic 80s films, Ringwald doesn’t view past roles positively, highlighting problematic elements.

Molly Ringwald, the star of a number of iconic 1980s hits such as The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink, says it’s impossible to be a young woman in Hollywood and not have predators around looking to take advantage of up-and-coming talent. Ringwald’s acting career began at age 10 with an appearance on the television series Diff’rent Strokes, which led to her being cast as a main character in its spinoff, The Facts of Life. From there she’d go on to appear in a couple of feature films before landing her big break in 1984 thanks to her role as Sam Baxter in the John Hughes film, Sixteen Candles.

Appearing on Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast earlier this week, Ringwald says that growing up, she felt like she never really belonged anywhere. This was mainly due to the fact that she wasn’t into the club scene like many of her young co-stars were at the time. Check out her comments below.

never really felt like I was part of a community when I was in Hollywood
, just because I was so young, really. I wasn’t into going out to clubs. I feel like I’m more social now than I was then. I was just too young.”

The Breakfast Club

Release Date
February 15, 1985

Maron said it was perhaps lucky that she wasn’t into partying as much as some, so as to avoid situations where she could be taken advantage of. Ringwald responded, “Oh, I was taken advantage of,” before adding:

“You can’t be a young actress in Hollywood and not have predators around.”

The 56-year-old Ringwald said that she found herself in a number of “questionable situations” as a young actress, but relied on her “incredible survival instinct and a pretty big superego” to extract herself from moments she felt uncomfortable. She says that she had to “figure out a way to protect myself” from predators looking to take advantage of her nativity.

Molly Ringwald Doesn’t View Her Past Roles Through Rose Tinted Glasses

While Ringwald rose to stardom thanks to director John Hughes and her roles in Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink (which was written by Hughes), she doesn’t hold the films in the same light as many fans of those 80s classics do. After viewing The Breakfast Club recently with her daughter, she told The Times of London that many elements in the movie haven’t aged well, and that she’s glad “things are truly different now.”

“There is a lot that I really love about the movie
but there are elements that haven’t aged well
— like Judd Nelson’s character, John Bender, who essentially sexually harasses my character. I’m glad we’re able to look at that
and say things are truly different

As for her daughter, Mathilda Gianopoulous, who is just getting started in her acting career with an appearance in the 2024 Anne Hathaway film, The Idea of You, Ringwald says she did everything she could to dissuade her child from going into the same professionas her mother.

“It can be harrowing. And I have a 20-year-old daughter now who is going into the same profession, even though
I did everything I could to convince her to do something else
. And it’s hard.”


Molly Ringwald Turned Down Lead In Pretty Woman Because It “Felt Icky”

Molly Ringwald opens up about why she turned down the lead role in Pretty Woman.

Molly Rinwald recently appeared in the FX series Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, and you can catch her next in the film Montauk, which is currently in post-production but has yet to set a release date.

The Breakfast Club
is available to stream on Max, and
Sixteen Candles
can be streamed on
Prime Video