Molly Ringwald On 'Getting The Pretty Back,' Her 80s Fashion, Advice To Young Actresses
She was an icon of teen angst in the '80s, now Molly Ringwald is a married mother dispensing advice for parents with her new book Getting the Pretty Back, now available from HarperCollins.
- Q: Why did you decide to write the book? - Kris Alcantara
- A: I was turning 40 years old, and I sort of felt like there was really nothing out there by design that was sort of inspirational, uplifting and fun — all the books kind of seemed sort of down and self-helpy. So, I basically decided to write the book that I wanted to read. I felt like a lot of people have a feeling that they grew up with me cause of the movies I've done and I feel like my experience is kind of universal, there're a lot of women going through the same things that I'm going through, so I thought it would be very relate-able and fun for people to read something that would mirror their experience.
- Q: Your husband put you on a writing schedule for this book. Was he a task master? What was he like as an editor? - Kris Alcantara
- A: No, I think my husband really is my biggest cheerleader. You know, he was very helpful in making me keep going and getting me to see the light at the end of the tunnel because as anyone who has ever written a book knows it's very daunting to start the process, you sort of feel like it's never going to end. How you're going to get to your word count or how you'll be able to get it all done. Because he's been through that experience so many times with so many different writers, he was very, very encouraging, and also very encouraging about my writing and staying true to my own voice. It was really great. I don't know that I would've been able to do it without him.
- Q: What was your biggest fashion faux pas in the '80s? - Kris Alcantara
- A: I don't know I kind of feel like my fashion sense in the '80s was kind of all faux pas. I did everything that I wasn't supposed to do. You know, I mixed patterns, I layered a ton. I was kind of fearless, but I think that kind of worked for me. I think the biggest fashion faux pas that anyone can make actually is just sticking to trends and not listening to yourself about what looks good on you. So many people look at magazines and say, 'Oh this is in fashion, I have to wear this..' I think people should just really listen to themselves and figure out what looks good on them.
- Q: You wrote in your book that you don't want your kids to get involved with modeling or acting. Why not? If they were interested, what would you say to them? - Kris Alcantara
- A: Well, I don't want them to be involved as professionals as children. It's alright for me if they want to be involved in it [as adults]. I don't want them to have that pressure of having that as a career. That's the way that I feel now. [My daughter] has expressed interest in modeling at one point but hasn't expressed much interest in acting. If she came to me as an adult you know, and said she wanted to do it, then of course, I'd support her. I just want her to try a lot of things as a child and try and fail and go through all that.
- Q: You were the antithesis of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton as a teen. Do you feel sympathetic to what young actresses are going through these days? What would your advice be to young actresses who are falling into that world? - Kris Alcantara
- A: I don't really have advice for anyone because I really feel like people need to find their own way and everybody has a different story. Everyone grows up at a different rate. I really do think that it's incredibly difficult to grow up and doing that in the public eye makes everything a lot more difficult. You know? I feel like one of the reasons why I turned out the way I did had a lot to do with the fact that I have a very supportive family and a very strong foundation. I think without that it's really, really difficult. I just wish the best for all of them.
- Q: Do you feel that the pressures of being a teen actress now is the same as it was 20 years ago? - Kris Alcantara
- A: I think it's more difficult now with the Internet, you know? It's everything that it was when I became famous, but it's a lot more. There's much more hunger for information about celebrities, and it's so much more immediate than it was before. I definitely think celebrities are hounded a lot more than they used to be, and there's even less privacy. I also feel like there's a way to kind of minimize that. Particularly for me, with a family, my privacy is very important for me so you know I kind of keep that in mind. I try to be as low-key as possible. But you know certain things are out of my control. I certainly get attention sometimes that I definitely don't ask for, but it's the profession that I chose for myself.
- Q: In the book, you talked about shaving off eyebrows and sandpaper-ing your freckles, what do you think of 20-somethings who go through great lengths of plastic surgery to be pretty? - Kris Alcantara
- A: I really don't have anything to say about them, I'm not in their minds. I can only speak for myself. I also point out when I talk about "pretty" in the book that I talk about an attitude more than anything physical. I have an entire chapter about "pretty" as a state of mind and something that we feel when we were younger, and it's something that we lose as we get older, in and out of relationships with our family, and with everything that happens in life. That's how I refer to the word "pretty." It's really not about anything physical at all.
- Q: Will there be more books in your future? - Kris Alcantara
- A: Yeah, I signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins, so yes definitely. I'm still thinking about it. I have a while to write it, and kind of feel I just got this one out of the way, so I'm going to take a little bit of time and think about it.
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