Molly Ringwald Says Some of 1985’s ‘Breakfast Club’ Hasn’t ‘Aged Well’

Molly Ringwald is looking back at The Breakfast Club with new perspective nearly 40 years later.

Though she doesn’t “enjoy watching” herself on screen, the actress, now 56, told U.K. outlet The Times in a joint interview with daughter Mathilda Gianopoulos, 20, that she “rewatched The Breakfast Club, which came out in 1985, because Mathilda wanted to see it with me.”

“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,” Ringwald said.

She added, “I’m glad we’re able to look at that and say things are truly different now.”

The Breakfast Club tells the story of five teenagers from different social worlds — a princess (Ringwald), a basket case (Ally Sheedy), an athlete (Emilio Estevez), a brainiac (Anthony Michael Hall) and a criminal (Nelson) — forced to spend a Saturday together in detention.

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Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club (1985).
Universal/courtesy Everett

Along with The Breakfast Club, Ringwald starred in two more teen films in the 1980s from John Hughes: Sixteen Candles (1984) and Pretty in Pink (1986).

“They were all really fun movies to make,” she told The Times. “Sixteen Candles, the first movie I made with the director John Hughes, in 1984, was filmed during the summer. He would just let the camera roll and we would improvise. It was a very free, creative experience.”

Back in 2015, Ringwald told PEOPLE that making The Breakfast Club was “a great experience,” adding, “I was really loving the work that I was doing.”

“John and I had a symbiotic, respectful relationship,” she said at the time for the film’s 30th anniversary. “I didn’t know I’d be talking about it 30 years later! But it was a great experience.”

The star has also opened up about some of the scenes in her ’80s teen films that have bothered her, including one from Sixteen Candles. In the comedy, Ringwald’s character Sam’s crush, Jake Ryan (played by Michael Schoeffling), suggests taking advantage of his passed-out girlfriend after a party at his house.

From L: Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club (1985).

“When I made those movies with John Hughes, his intention was to not make Porky’s or Animal House,” Ringwald told NPR in 2018. “But I think, you know, as everyone says, and I do believe is true, that times were different and what was acceptable then is definitely [not] acceptable now and nor should it have been then, but that’s sort of the way that it was … I feel very differently about the movies now and it’s a difficult position for me to be in, because there’s a lot that I like about them.”

“And, of course, I don’t want to appear ungrateful to John Hughes, but I do oppose a lot of what is in those movies,” she added.

Ringwald said she looks at Sixteen Candles differently now that she had a teen daughter. (She is also mom to twins Adele and Roman, now 14.)

“There were parts of that film that bothered me then. Although everybody likes to say that I had, you know, John Hughes’ ear and he did listen to me in a lot of ways, I wasn’t the filmmaker,” the Riverdale actress explained.

“Sometimes I would tell him, ‘Well, I think that this is kind of tacky’ or ‘I think that this is irrelevant’ or ‘This doesn’t ring true,’ and sometimes he would listen to me. but in other cases he didn’t.”

Of The Breakfast Club, Ringwald said the film gives teens “permission to talk about their feelings — [it] says that teenagers’ feeling really matter. And I think that’s a really powerful message and for that reason I really love it.”

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