The Breakfast Club: Where are they now?


"Don't you forget about me" implores Simple Minds' Jim Kerr during the closing credits of The Breakfast Club, as Judd Nelson strides across the school sports field, fist clenched and held aloft. Alas, on the whole, we did forget about them. What have they done since and what the blooming hell are they doing now?

S0, 27 years (you what?) since John Hughes's coming of age classic hit cinemas, we find out what the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess and the criminal are up to.

Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark)

Okay, so our intro may be exaggerating the point a little. The five stars haven't exactly disappeared from the face of the earth, and Estevez has had some serious success. Back then, of course, he was at the forefront of the Brat Pack, making St Elmo's Fire (with Judd Nelson) in the same year as The Breakfast Club. Success continued with the Young Guns franchise before leading the cast in the Mighty Ducks movies. These days he is more often to be found behind the camera, having written and directed Bobby in 2006 (it took him 6 years to write and almost bankrupted him) and more lately he directed his father, Martin Sheen, in The Way. Just two weeks ago he posted the trailer for his new movie Johnny Longshot — even though principal photography won’t be shot here until next year. He's directing and starring.


Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish)

It's worth taking a look at Molly Ringwald's website. You'd expect to land there and be told about her latest movie, TV show or stage performance. But no. The homepage for the multi-talented star is selling her debut album and her book of short stories. The teenage muse of Breakfast Club director John Hughes, she played the rich princess role of Claire Standish before, in the 90s, controversially turning down the female lead roles in Pretty Woman and Ghost. In the mid-1990s, Ringwald, who had been educated at a French high school in Los Angeles and was fluent in French, moved to Paris and starred in several French movies, before returning to the US and finding work in TV and on stage. She's currently starring in the ABC Family network's series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, playing the title teenager's mother. The closing track of her jazz album, by the way, is a cover version of "Don't You (Forget About Me)" which she dedicated "to the memory of J.H. [John Hughes]", who died of a heart attack in 2009, aged 59.


Judd Nelson (John Bender)

The Breakfast Club's badboy John Bender stole the line of the movie. When the five students are leaving their life-changing detention he casually tells the janitor "see you next Saturday" where he'll start the first of seven straight detentions he picked up in just one scene. Judd’s role was the last to be cast and it was between Nelson and John Cusack. Apparently Nicolas Cage read for the part too. Judd was almost fired when he became too much like Bender and filmmakers had to remind him to be nicer, so that Bender was still liked by audiences. Since The Breakfast Club and St Elmo's his film roles have included Airheads and Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. He provided the voice of Hot Rod/Rodimus Prime in The Transformers: The Movie and, in 1996, he starred in TV show Suddenly Susan with Brooke Shields which ran for four years. He has four movies in post-production including Road To The Open, in which he plays an anger management therapy. It's out in February.


Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson)

The movie's geek, his career spans back to 1975 when, at seven, he was the Honeycomb cereal kid. He played Rusty Griswold in National Lampoon's Vacation catching the attention of the film's screenwriter John Hughes. Hall and Molly Ringwald dated for a short period after filming The Breakfast Club and, later that year, he portrayed Gary Wallace, in Weird Science. At 17 he became, and remains, the youngest cast member in the history of Saturday Night Live. To avoid being typecast, Hall turned down roles written for him by Hughes in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (Cameron Frye) and Pretty In Pink ("Duckie" Dale), before being offered the starring role in Full Metal Jacket, but he missed out due to contract issues. Roles in Edward Scissorhands and Six Degrees of Separation followed, the latter of which saw Will Smith at first agree a gay kiss scene with Hall, before deciding against on the day of filming at the advice of Denzel Washington. In 1994, Hall starred in and directed his first feature film, a low-budget comedy named Hail Caesar alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Downey, Jr., and Judd Nelson. In the 1999 he played Bill Gates in Pirates of Silicon Valley and began his first regular series role in 2002, starring as Johnny Smith in Stephen King adaptation The Dead Zone. In 2008, Hall appeared as Gotham City television reporter Mike Engel in The Dark Knight and next year will star opposite Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo, Steve Carrell and Vanessa Redgrave in Foxcatcher.


Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds)

The 'basket case' of the bunch Ally Sheedy followed up WarGames, The Breakfast Club and St Elmo's with Short Circuit and TV movie success High Art. For a brief period in the 80s she dated Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, and in the 1990s was treated for a sleeping pill addiction, an experience which she drew on for her role as a drug-addicted photographer in High Art. In 1999, she took over the lead role in the off Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She was the first female to play the part of the German transsexual "Hedwig," but her run ended early amid bad reviews. She was reunited with Breakfast Club co-star Anthony Michael Hall when she became a special guest star on his television show The Dead Zone, in 2003. Sheedy has also appeared in C.S.I., Kyle XY and Psych. She has a movie out next year called "Sins of Our Youth", the tale of four teenage boys who accidentally murder a young lad while recreationally shooting assault rifles.

(Images: Rex, All Star)



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