The cast of Pretty in Pink is all grown up — but they’ll never forget what it meant to star in the teen classic all those years ago.
“He was unlike any other director that I had ever met. He had spiky hair and these crazy sneakers,” Ringwald told Vogue in March 2021 in honor of Pretty in Pink’s 35th anniversary. “We really clicked and got along almost immediately. I was fairly introverted, but he just had so much confidence in me, to the point that I felt like I could do anything.”
In the film, Ringwald played Andie Walsh, a high schooler whose thrift store wardrobe made her an outcast with her more affluent peers including her bully, Steff McKee (James Spader), and her crush, Blane McDonough (Andrew McCarthy).
However, Hughes, who passed away in 2009, was so enamored with the then 17-year-old redhead’s style that he wrote the script with her in mind.
“At that point in my life I also just really liked pink — Andie’s room was basically modeled after my own,” Ringwald revealed to the magazine. “The prop people even took a collage from my personal bedroom and used it in the movie for Andie’s room, if that tells you anything.”
The costumes in the film were also inspired by Ringwald’s real wardrobe — but the former teen star hated Andie’s Pepto-Bismol-colored prom gown. She even “burst into tears” when she first saw it.
“I kept all of the clothes except for that dress because I hated it so much,” the California native told Vogue. “And of course now I wish I could frame it!”
Ringwald didn’t get to wear the dress of her dreams in the film’s big finale — but her character did get the man of hers. That wasn’t always the plan, though. Pretty in Pink originally ended with Andie choosing her bestie Phil “Duckie” Dale (Jon Cryer) over Blane. However, early screenings of the film found that audiences wanted to see their leading lady get the guy she had been pining for all along, not her nerdy friend.
When asked about the initial reactions to the ending, director Howard Deutch told Den of Geek in June 2020, “I had a heart attack because it was my first movie and we were in the screening room. … These kids that they recruited to watch the movie were screaming, loving the movie, screaming. It was like a hit! And then all of a sudden, the minute the ending came and Duckie was gonna be the hero they started booing.”
Deutch was forced to go back and filmed a new ending in which Andie got her happily ever after with Blane, which he still believes was the right choice.
“I think it was [Princess Bride director] Rob Reiner [who] said, ‘You can’t have the princess get the frog,’” he noted. “In other words, you have to give the women what they want and they wanted [Andie] to have what she wanted. She wanted the cute boy and forget the politics.”
Keep scrolling to see what Ringwald and the rest of the cast are up to all these years later: