August 12, 2009

Ringwald: Hughes closed off in later life

The personal side of director John Hughes evident in earlier films was missing in later efforts, actress Molly Ringwald wrote in a New York Times commentary.

Hughes, 59, died Thursday while taking a walk in New York.

Most everyone knows that John retreated from Hollywood and became a sort of J.D. Salinger for Generation X, Ringwald wrote in the commentary published Wednesday. But really, sometime before then, he had retreated from us and from the kinds of movies that he had made with us.

Ringwald, who starred in Hughes' Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, said those films were the most deeply personal expression of John's. In retrospect, I feel that we were sort of avatars for him, acting out the different parts of his life -- improving upon it, perhaps. In those movies, he always got the last word. He always got the girl.

None of his later films, Ringwald said, had the same kind of personal feeling to me. While funny and successful, she said she recognized very little of the John I know in them, of his youthful, urgent, unmistakable vulnerability.