‘Pretty in Pink’ director says he ‘pretty much groveled’ for Molly Ringwald to join the cast

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When Howard Deutch took on the task of directing "Pretty in Pink" he instantly knew which actress should star in the film.

The 1986 classic details how a working-class girl named Andie who loves new wave music and vintage clothes must choose between her childhood sweetheart, or a rich, sensitive playboy.

At the time, Paramount wanted Jennifer Beals, who had just starred in "Flashdance" for the studio to take on the role, Variety reported on Tuesday. However, Deutch and writer John Hughes had their sights set on Molly Ringwald.

"Paramount wanted me to meet all kinds of actresses," said Deutch, 70. "But it was written for Molly. I loved her work."


However, the actress needed some convincing.

Jon Cryer (left), Molly Ringwald and Andrew McCarthy on the set of the film 'Pretty In Pink', 1986. (Photo by Paramount/Getty Images)

"I said, ‘You’ve got to consider doing this,’" he recalled. "But she had already moved on. She’d done ‘Sixteen Candles’ and ‘Breakfast Club’ and she wanted to do something different. I pretty much groveled."

Despite his confidence in Ringwald, 52, Deutch admitted he wasn’t sure if he was the right choice to oversee "Pretty in Pink." According to the outlet, Deutch had never overseen a feature film before, which "terrified" him.

"I was honest with John and told him I didn’t feel equipped," said Deutch. "He said, ‘All you have to do is get those performances for me and you can do it.’ That always made me feel secure when I was feeling insecure about so many things."


Today, "Pretty in Pink" is considered a film classic and a celebrated teen drama. On Valentine’s Day, the movie was re-released by Paramount.

The movie

The movie 'Flashdance', directed by Adrian Lyne. Seen here, Jennifer Beals as Alex Owens. Initial theatrical release April 15, 1983. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

Hughes passed away in 2009 of a heart attack at age 59. The filmmaker, who began his career as an advertising copywriter in Chicago, had been living quietly on a farm in northern Illinois, the New York Times reported.

"John’s characters were so true to life," Deutch reflected. "They were not manufactured. They were slices of John and his journey… He was so plugged into the humanity of these characters that they endure."

"John was an outsider," Deutch continued. "He wrote from that. He never felt like an insider or like he was in the popular club. That wasn’t who he felt he was. When he started to be successful, it was like a rocket ship and the inside boys club wanted him and he became an insider. He left that all behind because he felt he couldn’t write that way. He couldn’t create, so he went back to Chicago."

Stephanie Nolasco Fox News