Nearly 30 years have elapsed since John Hughes’ fabled coming-of-age classic hit our screens. Much has occurred in that time. But what has become of The Breakfast Club’s stars? Did their time in the Breakfast Club provide a springboard onto bigger and better things? Have we ignored the only request Simple Minds ever made of us? Let’s find out.
Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark)
Often recognized as the ‘normal’ Sheen brother, Emilio Estevez has managed to remain recognisable if not outright famous for the last 30 years (largely due to his inhibiting shyness of the public spotlight). The Breakfast Club cast included some of the founding members of the ’80s Brat Pack, and Estevez managed to ride the crest of this popularity wave into the ’90s thanks to the Mighty Ducks franchise. These days most of his work takes place behind camera as he most recently directed his father Martin Sheen in 2010’s The Way.
Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish)
Molly has certainly not rested on her proverbial laurels since hitting the big time as Claire Standish in The Breakfast Club. Ringwald became John Hughes’ go-to lead, as he cast her in Pretty in Pink, The Pick-Up Artist and Fresh Horses; it is for this prolific run that she has been called ‘the greatest teen star of all time.’ However, Ringwald’s roles in the ’90s and ’00s dried up so she moved to Paris, where she utilised her fluency in the French language. Since then she has enjoyed a recurring role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Ringwald’s latest career move is to become a jazz singer – as seen with her album Except Sometimes, released in 2013. The album featured a cover of Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ which is dedicated to the memory of John Hughes. Have a listen below. (Spoiler: it doesn’t quite match the stirring original… )
Judd Nelson (John Bender)
Responsible for one of the definitive images of 1980s cinema, Judd Nelson will be forever remembered for his performance as John Bender. Like Estevez, Nelson featured in a number of coming of age classics during the ’80s, but his career has yet to reclaim the heady heights reached during his pomp. This is not for want of trying, however, as Nelson currently has five projects due for release over the next 18 months and played a key role in the TV series Nikita.
Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson)
Anthony Michael Hall became the go-to-geek in the ’80s following a string of successful roles in films such as The Breakfast Club and Weird Science. Despite admitting his indebtedness to John Hughes for putting him on the map, Hall eschewed such roles in some of his later work in order to avoid being typecast. To this very day he remains the youngest cast member in the history of Saturday Night Live when he appeared aged 17. Hall has gone on to enjoy a diverse career since those halcyon days: playing Bill Gates in Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999) and appearing as Gotham City TV reporter Mike Engel in The Dark Knight (2008). He will feature alongside Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo and Steve Carell in this year’s hotly-tipped Foxcatcher, about Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz.
Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds)
Last but by no means least, Ally Sheedy was another member of the Brat Pack who shot to fame in the mid-’80s. Like her fellow Breakfast Clubbers, Sheedy has continued to lead a successful acting career, enjoying critical acclaim for her roles in WarGames, Short Circuit and High Art. For the latter, she drew on her experience of sleeping pill addiction to play a drug-addicted photographer – method acting as its darkest… She has also had a short stint on Broadway, in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, in which she portrayed a German transsexual called ‘Hedwig’, before the show was pulled following poor reviews. Shocking. Despite last year’s entry of Fugly! into her film canon, Sheedy has achieved good roles in CSI, Kyle XY and Psych in the last decade with several projects lined up for release this year.
To conclude, The Breakfast Club truly developed into the stars of tomorrow, resulting in the most positive Where Are They Now? piece you’ll probably ever read.