Molly Rings It In

Mollly Ringwald at the SPA Annual Luncheon

Kate Stukenberg
October 01, 2013

The greatest teen star of the era, Molly Ringwald, will headline the Society for the Performing Arts Annual Luncheon Wednesday, October 9, on the Jones Hall stage (see this month’s Social Calendar for details). Kate Stukenberg grabs a moment with the actress, author and jazz vocalist to discuss how her iconic films are touching a new generation.

Any advice for aspiring young talent today? I make a point of not giving advice, because I feel like everybody has to discover things for themselves. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, but she was very artistic, and my father is a musician. There was always a premium on art. In some families, the arts are second fiddle to other things, but it was never like that in our house. It was always like, no, this is really important for your soul — and you can make a living with this, too.

What haven’t you been asked about Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink? It’s been examined from every angle. You know how memories, scientifically, are supposed to change depending on how often you talk about them? Sometimes I’m like, “God, what did happen?”

What were your favorite films growing up? My coming of age was really experienced more through books. I was a huge J.D. Salinger fan; I loved Catcher in the Rye; I really feel like those books spoke to me in the same way that my movies spoke to other people … I would say that the closest thing I had to experiencing movies like other people was [when] I showed Pretty in Pink to my daughter. I had planned to show it to her when she was older, but kids are growing up so much faster, and she was dealing with all of these issues with girls and cliques. She was just nine when I showed it to her. I really wanted to watch something with her that deals with a female protagonist that’s strong and a little bit different and sort of an outlier, and how she navigates. I’m thinking in my head, ‘What should I show her?’ And it was like a light bulb going off: Oh, I made that movie! I can show her my movie! And it was really cool to just sit there with her and watch her… She absolutely loved it, and she just laughed. She completely forgot that it was me.

For tickets, contact William Tayer, 713.632.8103;