Molly Ringwald Says She Was 'Taken Advantage of' by 'Predators' as a Young Actress in Hollywood

"You can't be a young actress in Hollywood and not have predators around," the star said

<p>Roy Rochlin/Getty </p> Molly Ringwald in New York City on May 23, 2023

Roy Rochlin/Getty

Molly Ringwald in New York City on May 23, 2023

Molly Ringwald faced challenges as a young actress in the '80s.

Speaking with host Marc Maron on the latest episode of his WTF with Marc Maron podcast, the Breakfast Club star, now 56, said she was "taken advantage of" even despite her "shy, introverted" nature and preference for staying home rather than going out.

"I never really felt like I was part of a community when I was in Hollywood, just because I was so young, really," Ringwald said. "I wasn't into going out to clubs. I feel like I'm more social now than I was then. I was just too young."

"Well, you're lucky you didn't get taken advantage of or got into some sort of horrible situation," Maron, 60, told his guest.

"Oh, I was taken advantage of," she replied, laughing. "You can't be a young actress in Hollywood and not have predators around."

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<p>Ron Galella Collection via Getty </p> Molly Ringwald in Century City, California, in 1989

Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Molly Ringwald in Century City, California, in 1989

Related: Molly Ringwald Reflects on 'Sixteen Candles' in Wake of #MeToo: 'There Were Parts That Bothered Me'

While she was "definitely in questionable situations," Ringwald said she relied on her "incredible survival instinct and a pretty big superego" to "figure out a way to protect myself."

"But, yeah, it can be harrowing," the Pretty in Pink actress continued. "And I have a 20-year-old daughter now who is going into the same profession, even though I did everything I could to convince her to do something else. And it's hard."

Ringwald has been open over the years about certain scenes in some of her more movies that have bothered her — like in 1984's Sixteen Candles, when her character's crush Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling) suggests taking advantage of his passed-out girlfriend after a party.

“When I made those movies with John Hughes, his intention was to not make Porky’s or Animal House,” Ringwald told NPR in 2018. “But I think, as everyone says and I do believe is true, that times were different and what was acceptable then is definitely [not] acceptable now and nor should it have been then, but that’s sort of the way that it was."

Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald in <em>The Breakfast Club</em> (1985)
Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald in The Breakfast Club (1985)

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“I feel very differently about the movies now and it’s a difficult position for me to be in, because there’s a lot that I like about them," she added. "And of course I don’t want to appear ungrateful to John Hughes, but I do oppose a lot of what is in those movies."

Last month, Ringwald told U.K. outlet The Times that she "rewatched The Breakfast Club, which came out in 1985, because [her daughter] Mathilda wanted to see it with me."

"There is a lot that I really love about the movie but there are elements that haven’t aged well — like Judd Nelson’s character, John Bender, who essentially sexually harasses my character," she said.

Ringwald added, "I’m glad we’re able to look at that and say things are truly different now."

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