‘Brats’ Star Andrew McCarthy Had Molly Ringwald to Thank for ‘Pretty in Pink’ Role

Andrew McCarthy, creator of the Hulu documentary Brats, has Molly Ringwald to thank for his breakout role in the feature film Pretty in Pink. Here’s how she pushed for McCarthy to get the signature role over another well-known actor.

Molly Ringwald campaigned for Andrew McCarthy to get a breakout film role

Molly Ringwald had signed on to star in Pretty in Pink as Andie. The 1986 film was written specifically for her by John Hughes. Previously, Ringwald starred in Hughes’ films Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.

However, while the the role of Andie’s love interest Blaine was originally set to be offered to Charlie Sheen, Ringwald campaigned hard for McCarthy to get the role. In the book You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried, Ringwald convinced the filmmaker to hire Andrew McCarthy, whose previous credits include the films Class, Heaven Help Us, and St. Elmo’s Fire. She explained, “I did push for him to get hired.”

“I was involved in all of the auditions, and I actually read with everyone, and I thought he was cute,” she continued. “And I thought, if I thought he was cute, then Andie would think he was cute! I liked that he wasn’t typical and seemed so right for the part.”

Ringwald concluded, “Andrew McCarthy has always seemed so tortured with indecision, at least at the time, and so was Blane, who really is a tortured soul. And Andrew and his eyes. There’s just nobody who has those tortured eyes.”

However, Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald didn’t get along

Pretty in Pink‘s director, Howard Deutch, burst the proverbial bubble for fans who believed in the chemistry between Andrew McCarthy and Molly Ringwald. He told Den of Geeks that the iconic romantic couple didn’t get along in reality.

“They hated each other,” Deutch claimed. “They hated each other because Molly had a crush on him and he did not have a crush on her.”

Therefore, the director had to think quickly to create a dynamic between the actors. “I had to lie to them.”

He added, “I had to lie to Molly and say, ‘Oh, no, he really does have a crush on you, but he’s a guy, so he’s afraid to show you.’ I had to play that in order to get this. Luckily for me, it added to the sexual tension. It helped the whole sense of ‘are these guys really gonna get together or not?’”

Deutch concluded, “I don’t think they were that conscious of what I was doing, but I think they knew it was working. That relationship was filled with conflict. You can’t manufacture that.”

And in the end, Molly’s Andie was supposed to end up with Jon Cryer’s Duckie

Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy starred in 'Pretty in Pink'
Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy starred in ‘Pretty in Pink’ | Bonnie Schiffman/Getty Images

Pretty in Pink ended with tortured romantic couple Andie, played by Molly Ringwald, and Blaine, played by Andrew McCarthy, leaving prom together. Fans assumed they had their happily ever after.

However, the film wasn’t supposed to end that way. Director Howard Deutch revealed the details.

He told Den of Geeks test audiences were not happy with the film’s original ending, which involved Andie and Duckie, played by Jon Cryer, falling in love. They booed at the film’s screening.

“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!” Deutch revealed.

“And then all of a sudden, the minute the ending came and Duckie was gonna be the hero, they started booing,” Deutch admitted. “And I said, ‘I’m literally gonna have a heart attack’. The whole movie has been built for that. We were all thrown.”

Hughes wrote four pages to fix the film’s ending, where McCarthy’s character came to the prom alone. “[Andie] wanted the cute boy and forget the politics. That’s what they want. I had no choice!”

Andrew McCarthy currently stars in Brats, a documentary about how the “Brat Pack” title affected the stars pushed together in a club no one asked to join. It currently airs on Hulu. Molly Ringwald made her runway modeling debut at New York Fashion Week, walking for Batsheva.

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