The Cast Of "THE BREAKFAST CLUB": Where Are They Now? - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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The Cast Of "THE BREAKFAST CLUB": Where Are They Now?

Did you forget about them?

On Saturday, March 24, 1984, five Shermer High School students reported at 7:00 a.m. for all-day detention. Each came from a different clique: Claire Standish the Snob, Brian Johnson the Geek, Andrew Clark the Jock, John Bender the Punk, and Allison Reynolds the Kook. They gathered in the school library, where Assistant Principal Richard Vernon instructed them not to talk, move from their seats, or sleep until they are released at 4:00 p.m. He assigned them a thousand-word essay, in which each must describe "Where will you be in the year 2020?".

OK, so the assignment given was "Who you think you are?", the high school was fictional, and the six characters above were all played by actors, respectively; Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Paul Gleason. And it was the introduction setting for the hit 1985 film The Breakfast Club, writeen and directed by the late, great John Hughes.

But what have the cast been up to over the last 36 years? Where are the princess, the brain, the athlete, the criminal, the basket case and the Assistant Principal today? Join us as we find out whatever happened to the cast of The Breakfast Club...

Molly Ringwald as Claire Standish, the princess
Molly Ringwald was ranked number 1 on VH1's 100 Greatest Teen Stars and is often one of the names first thought of when the term "Brat pack" is used.

She had previously starred in John Hughes's 1984 film Sixteen Candles, along with Anthony Michael Hall. Towards the end of filming, Hughes asked them both to be in The Breakfast Club, offering Ringwald the role of Allison Reynolds. After receiving the script Ringwald felt she connected more with the character Claire Standish (then named "Cathy" in the first draft). That role had a lot of competition though, with Hughes auditioning Robin Wright, Jodie Foster, and Laura Dern. But eventually Ringwald convinced Hughes and the studio to give her the part.

In recent years, though, Ringwald has spoken out against The Breakfast Club and aspects of John Hughes writing that she found inappropriate. In an article for The New Yorker, Ringwald explains how when watching the film with her 10-year-old daughter...
 “I worried she would find aspects of it troubling. But I hadn’t anticipated that it would ultimately be most troubling to me.
At one point in the film the bad-boy character, John Bender, ducks under the table where my character, Claire, is sitting, to hide from a teacher. While there, he takes the opportunity to peek under Claire’s skirt and, though the audience doesn’t see, it is implied that he touches her inappropriately.
Bender sexually harasses Claire throughout the film. When he’s not sexualising her, he takes out his rage on her with vicious contempt, calling her ‘pathetic’.”
Ringwald noted that as a teenager, she was only
“vaguely aware of how inappropriate much of John’s writing was.
It’s hard for me to understand how John was able to write with so much sensitivity, and also have such a glaring blind spot.” 
Blind spot or not, Ringwald followed The Breakfast Club with another Hughes script, 1986's Pretty in Pink, then later starred in The Pick-up Artist (1987), Fresh Horses (1988) and For Keeps (1988). Throughout the 1990s you may have seen her in Something to Live for: The Alison Gertz Story (1992), and The Stand (1994).

Although her high profile movie roles became fewer and further between, in 2001 Ringwald had a cameo in the commercially successful Not Another Teen Movie that earned her an MTV Movie Award nomination. Moving primarily into theater, she starred in Jonathan Larson's Off-Broadway musical "tick, tick... BOOM!", and headlined as Sally Bowles in Broadway's long-running revival of Cabaret from December 18, 2001 until April 28, 2002. In 2003, Ringwald appeared in Enchanted April on Broadway, but had to withdraw from the role after a couple of months due to her pregnancy with her daughter.

In 2008, Ringwald starred in the ABC Family network's series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which ran for five seasons and 121 episodes, and in 2013 she released her first jazz album, "Except Sometimes".

Today you will find Molly Ringwald in Riverdale. Since 2017 she has portrayed Mary Andrews on the hit CW television series, and she's also had recent parts in 2018s The Kissing Booth & its 2020 sequel where she palys Mrs. Flynn.

Anthony Michael Hall as Brian Johnson, the brain
Anthony Michael Hall was the first person Hughes cast for The Breakfast Club, agreeing to the role of Brian Johnson when offered the part by his Sixteen Candles director. Hall's real life mother and sister played the same roles in the film (as in Brian Johnson's mother and sister). Like Molly Ringwald, Hall followed this up with another John Hughes film, Weird Science.

Fearing becoming typecast as the 'geek' character, Hall diversified his roles, firstly joining the cast of Saturday Night Live (1985–1986) and then starring in films such as Out of Bounds (1986), Johnny Be Good (1988), Edward Scissorhands (1990) and Six Degrees of Separation (1993).

After a series of minor roles in the 1990s, he starred as Microsoft's Bill Gates in the 1999 television film Pirates of Silicon Valley, before landing the leading role of Johnny Smith in the USA Network series The Dead Zone, which ran from 2002 to 2007.

One of Hall's first roles was that of Rusty Griswald in 1983s National Lampoon's Vacation (another Hughes script), and he reprised the part in 2012 for a series of high profile Old Navy holiday commercials featuring the Griswold family. In 2016 he was cast in a recurring role on the TNT drama series Murder in the First.

Like Ringwald, Hall has pursued his other passion, music. He is the lead singer and songwriter for his band, Hall of Mirrors, formed in 1998. The band released an album, Welcome to the Hall of Mirrors, through Hall's own RAM Records label in 1999, with collaborations from former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke and Prince's former keyboard player Tommy Barbarella

Anthony Michael Hall has most recently been seen on The Goldbergs, where he guested on the 2019 season premier, and will be playing Tommy Doyle in the Halloween sequel, Halloween Kills, which arrives in theaters this October.

Emilio Estevez as Andrew Clark, the athlete
Emilio Estevez originally auditioned for, and was offered, the role of John Bender. However, when Hughes was unable to find someone to play Andrew Clark, Estevez was recast.

Brother of Charlie Sheen and son of Martin Sheen, as well as The Breakfast Club Estevez stared in two other pivotal "Brat Pack" movies; St. Elmo's Fire and The Outsiders. But to write him off in that genre of teen angst movie would be underestimating the man's talents. An accomplished actor, writer and director, Estevez has films including Repo Man, The Mighty Ducks and its sequels, Stakeout and Another Stakeout, Maximum Overdrive, Men At Work, The War At Home, Young Guns and its sequel Young Guns II, Mission: Impossible on his resume, to name but a few.

His 2006 film Bobby, which he also wrote and directed, won a Hollywood Film Award and received a 7-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival. In 2018, he wrote, directed and appeared in The Public, starring Alec Baldwin, Christian Slater, Jena Malone. And you will see Emilio Estevez soon in a new Might Ducks film currently in production for Disney+.

Judd Nelson as John Bender, the criminal
The character of John Bender was the last to be cast, and John Hughes auditioned a variety of now-famous actors for the part including Nicolas Cage and John Cusack. Eventually the role was narrowed down to Cusack and Judd Nelson. Hughes cast Cusack.

However, Hughes decided to replace Cusack with Nelson just before shooting began, because during table reads he felt that Cusack just didn't look threatening enough for the part. Things weren't all smooth sailing from there on out for Nelson as Hughes became frustrated that he stayed in character and harassed Molly Ringwald off-camera, just as his character would've done. In the end it was the other actors who convinced Hughes not to fire Nelson.

Like Emilio Estevez, Nelson followed The Breakfast Club with St. Elmo's Fire, where he played Alec Newbury. He also starred as Joe Hunt in 1997s Billionaire Boys Club (and received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film), Nick Peretti in 1991s New Jack City, and moved to the small screen starring as Jack Richmond in the 1996-1999 television series Suddenly Susan.

Most recently, Judd Nelson had a small cameo in the 2018 remake of Billionaire's Boys Club, a recurring role on Empire as Billy Beretti, and played Seb in the 2019 Christmas film Santa Fake.

Ally Sheedy as Allison Reynolds, the basket case
The third "Brat Pack" member to follow The Breakfast Club with St. Elmo's Fire, Ally Sheedy has also starred in WarGames (1983) and Short Circuit (1986). For her performance in Lisa Cholodenko's High Art (1998), Sheedy won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead.

Although the 1980s were her most active period, Sheedy appeared as a guest star in a wide variety of TV shows throughout the 1990s, including Red Shoe Diaries and The Outer Limits. In 1999, she took over the lead role in the off-Broadway production of the musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She was the first female to play the part of the genderqueer Hedwig, but her run ended early amid "mixed" reviews. That same year, she was cast as a lead actress in Sugar Town, an independent film, which featured an ensemble cast of actors and musicians.

Sheedy was reunited with her The Breakfast Club co-star Anthony Michael Hall when she became a special guest star on his television show The Dead Zone in 2003, and in 2009 she played the role of Mr. Yang on the USA Network television show Psych (in the third season finale), a role that she reprised in the fourth season, fifth season, and seventh season finales.

Sheedy's most recent role was an unnamed cameo as Scott Summers' teacher in 2016s X-Men: Apocalypse.

Paul Gleason as Assistant Principal Vernon
Making his on-screen film debut in 1962 as a gas station owner in Panic in Year Zero!, Paul Gleason had a long and vary varied career, although he did play several other similar characters tothe disciplinarian Assistant Principal Vernon; he featured in the 1988 film Johnny Be Good (as a high school football coach) and on several episodes of the TV sitcom Boy Meets World (as a university dean). He also directly parodied his Breakfast Club role in the 2000 A-Teens music video for "Dancing Queen" and in the 2001 comedy film Not Another Teen Movie.

Gleason was known to Star Wars fans for his role as Jeremitt Towani in the 1985 made-for-TV film Ewoks: The Battle for Endor. He played the villainous Clarence Beeks, the Duke brothers' inside trader, in the 1983 comedy Trading Places starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. He also played Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson, the blowhard police official, in Die Hard.

Gleason made a guest appearance on Friends as Jack, Phoebe's boss at an investment company, in the season 6 episode "The One That Could Have Been". In 2002, Gleason appeared in episodes of Dawson's Creek as Larry Newman, the sex-and-violence obsessed chief of a B movie studio. He appeared as a nonsensical judge in an episode of Drake & Josh, as well as in an episode of George Lopez as the brother of George's boss, a crazy old drunk. In 2005, he appeared as the Sheriff in the horror film Abominable.

Gleason died on May 27, 2006 at a Burbank, California. His final appearance before his death was in an independent film called The Book of Caleb.

And that is what happened to the cast of The Breakfast Club. Don't you forget about them...

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