Molly Ringwald at an event
(Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Molly Ringwald’s Experience as a Teen Star Made Her Want To Keep Her Daughter From Acting

You’ve definitely seen Molly Ringwald in a movie. I’ll take it one step further and say you’ve definitely seen Ringwald in an ’80s movie. A core member of the Brat Pack and a John hughes darling, Ringwald was the IT girl of the decade, but it wasn’t all perfect.

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Recently, Ringwald was on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast and talked about the reality of being an ’80s teen star. When she brought up how she didn’t feel like she was part of the Hollywood circle at the height of her career, she pointed out how young she was. “I 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 going out to clubs. I feel like I’m more social now than I was then. I was just too young,” she said.

Host Marc Maron responded by saying that she was lucky, given how Hollywood works and especially how it was in the ’80s, that she wasn’t taken advantage of by some person with power. Ringwald responded by saying that she very much had been taken advantage of.

“Oh, I was taken advantage of,” she said. “You can’t be a young actress in Hollywood and not have predators around.” Ringwald went on to say that she was “definitely in questionable situations” but used her “incredible survival instinct and a pretty big superego” to keep herself out of trouble. It was then that she said she was trying to keep her daughter, Mathilda Ereni Gianopoulos, out of acting. Gianopoulos, who was recently in The Idea of You, is Ringwald’s daughter with husband Panio Gianopoulos.

“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.”

Ringwald hasn’t been afraid of opening up about the ’80s

Molly Ringwald in 'Sixteen Candles'
(Universal Studios)

In the past, Ringwald has talked about how her films have aged. Talking with NPR, she opened up about how films have aged and specifically talked about watching Sixteen Candles with her daughter. “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.”

The interview took place during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings and touched on how sexual assault was viewed as a “normal teen experience” of the ’80s. Ringwald went on to talk about how her movies are still important, but they should spark a conversation. “I believe that there is still a lot of good in the films and there’s a lot that I’m proud of,” she said. “And I feel like in a lot of ways they’ve touched teenagers and sparked a conversation that is important. And having a teenage daughter myself, I know that it’s not always easy to get teenagers to talk. But these films sort of break through that. You know? There’s something that really touches teenagers, especially The Breakfast Club I feel like sort of gives them permission to talk about their feelings—says that teenagers’ feelings really matter. And I think that’s a really powerful message and for that reason I really love it. Pretty in Pink, I love my character. I think that she’s a strong woman and I’m proud of the choices that she makes.”


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.