Then and Now with Molly Ringwald

The '80s cult queen and soon-to-be-author dishes on past and present favorites.

NOTE: The recipe for Molly’s favorite bouillabaisse as well as her home entertaining tips will be published online after April 27.

The cult queen of ‘80s classics The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, Molly Ringwald is now a mother of three, star of TV’s “Secret Life of the American Teenager,” and the author of Getting the Pretty Back. The book includes tips on home cooking and entertaining, many derived from the four years Ringwald spent living in France.

Favorite beverage when I was 6: Lemonade. I associated it with summer, warm weather, my mom.
Favorite beverage now: Taittinger’s Rosé Champagne.

First wine experience: As a little kid I attended a lot of jazz festivals where I would sneak sips of wine. I drank from styrofoam cups and thought it was disgusting. It probably was awful wine I was drinking.
Epiphany wine experience: When I was in Switzerland shooting the Jean Luc-Godard film King Lear, I tried Château Pétrus for the first time. It was truly a transformative experience. And one that got me hooked on Bordeaux.

Favorite dish when I was 6: Fried chicken. I associated it with picnics. As a child, I loved picnics, cole slaw, watermelon, anything tied to summer and warm weather.
Favorite or most memorable dish now: My friend Marie Viljoen’s bouillabaisse. It was both the most memorable and the most impressive dish I’ve had. (The recipe for Marie’s bouillabaisse as well as some of Molly’s home entertaining tips will be posted after April 27.)

Favorite musical artist when I was 6: Bessie Smith
Favorite musical artist/genre now: I’ve come full circle as I really love jazz. My favorite singer today would probably be Anita O’Day.

Favorite toy when I was 6: I went through phases but it might have been jacks. Jacks or jump rope.
Favorite toy/gadget/tool now: My iPhone.

Posters/decorations on my bedroom wall when I was 13: I shared a room with my older sister and she got to decorate the room. She had blonde hair and blue eyes and plastered the walls with posters of every blonde haired, blue-eyed model of the time—Christie Brinkley and basically everyone else I aspired to look like. My sister eventually moved out and it was a fantastic epiphany—I tore down all the pictures.
Favorite painting or other home decoration now: I have several Sonia Delaunay lithographs I admire as well as a photograph of Cindy Sherman given to me by Cindy herself.

What I wanted to be when I grew up: I was initially interested in singing.
What I’d be if I wasn’t an actress: I’ve always liked graphic design so maybe something with that or with photography or psychology.

Ideal vacation when I was 12: Paris
Ideal vacation now: Cooking my way through Italy.

If I had an emotional meltdown when I was 6, it was most likely over: Math. I developed a real phobia.
If I was able to rant publicly on a given subject today, it would involve: Why people can’t marry whomever they love.

What would my 16-year-old self think of who I am and what I’ve become? I would like to think that my 16-year-old self would be happy. I am pretty confident with who I am today.

Published on April 9, 2010
Topics: InterviewsQ&A