On Feb. 15, 1985, a totally awesome little movie called The Breakfast Club hit theatres. The John Hughes film quickly became a fan favourite — and box office hit — and is arguably the best high school movie ever made. 30 years later, it’s still going strong — as are many of the cast members.
With the release of the 30th anniversary Blu-Ray edition right around the corner (March 10) and its March re-release in theatres, it’s only fitting that we catch up with the gang from Shermer High. So tease your hair, pin your jeans and pop that collar and let’s take a wild walk down memory lane.
Emilio Estevez aka Andrew Clark aka The Athlete
Then: Estevez, who comes from a totally righteous family of actors including father Martin Sheen and brother Charlie Sheen, had already seen success prior to TBC, with The Outsiders and Repo Man, but it was this film that got him a membership in the Brat Pack. Originally, Estevez auditioned for the role of Bender but when Hughes couldn’t find the perfect Andy, he swapped him out.
In the meantime: He went on to star in several successful movies in the ’80s, including St. Elmo’s Fire (where he met then-fiancee Demi Moore), Young Guns and The Mighty Ducks. He directed several TV shows as well as feature films Men at Work and the star-studded 2006 movie Bobby, which earned him a Hollywood Film Award and a standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival.
Now: Estevez, 52, is currently filming The Public which he wrote, is directing and starring in. He and his wife also operate a small vineyard. He is no longer a brooding, secretly sensitive jock, and we no longer want him to be our boyfriend. Well, most of us anyway.
Paul Gleason aka Richard Vernon aka Dick
Then: Gleason had been in loads of series, among them Adam-12, Riptide and Hill Street Blues, before appearing in the movie he was arguably best known for.
In the meantime: The actor was often cast as the unlikable character in films, playing tough-guy detectives and white-collar jerkoffs. He’s been in everything from Johnny Be Good and Die Hard to Boy Meets World, Murder, She Wrote and Friends.
Now: Gleason passed away in 2006 at the age of 67 and is sorely missed by his peers and fans alike.
Anthony Michael Hall aka Brian Johnson aka The Brain
Then: AMH was probably the biggest name here, having played Rusty Griswold in National Lampoon’s Vacation and the Geek in Sixteen Candles.
In the meantime: Post-Breakfast Club, he starred in another cult fave, Weird Science, and Johnny Be Good (alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Uma Thurman). He bulked up and was almost unrecognizable playing the d*ckbrain in Edward Scissorhands. Hall continued acting, starring in Stephen King’s Dead Zone from 2002 to 2007 and has since appeared in The Dark Knight and Foxcatcher, as well as Community, Warehouse 13, Awkward, and Psych.
Now: Hall, 46, has a movie called Something About Her slated for 2015 release. Excellent. The geek is forever gone, though we can’t help but remember him that way.
Molly Ringwald aka Claire Standish aka The Princess
Then: Ringwald appeared on Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life before hitting it big on the big screen the year before The Breakfast Club came out — in another Hughes favourite, Sixteen Candles. Ringwald was originally approached to play Allison Reynolds, but she eventually convinced the director and the studio to give her the part of Claire.
In the meantime: She went on to star in Pretty in Pink, For Keeps? and Betsy’s Wedding in the ’80s, went on to co-star alongside the bodacious Jenna Elfman and Lauren Graham on the short-lived comedy Townies, then had several small roles before playing Shailene Woodley‘s mom on The Secret Life of the American Teenager from 2008 to 2013.
Now: Ringwald, 47, began writing an advice column for The Guardian in September 2014 but still continues to act. She plays Mrs. Bailey in the much-anticipated, totally bitchin’, live-action flick Jem and the Holograms. Now that’s truly outrageous.
John Kapelos aka Carl Reed aka the janitor
Then: Kapelos was in Class and Sixteen Candles prior to The Breakfast Club. Rick Moranis was originally cast as Carl but he left due to creative differences, so the London, Ont.-born actor scored the part.
In the meantime: Kapelos also appeared in Weird Science and Roxanne and balanced righteous roles on U.S. and Canadian series like L.A. Law and Seinfeld with Street Legal and Forever Knight.
Now: Kapelos, 58, finished off his run as scumbag Inspector Pickard on the final episodes of Republic of Doyle and is currently filming the movies Star Trek Equinox: The Night of Time and The Taker.
Ally Sheedy aka Allison Reynolds aka the Basket Case
Then: Sheedy had appeared in WarGames and Oxford Blues before appearing in her first and only Hughes movie.
In the meantime: Sheedy went on to St. Elmo’s Fire, Maid to Order, the Short Circuit movies and Betsy’s Wedding but probably found the most fame since those ’80s flicks in 1996 when she starred in the indie hit High Art, in which she played a drug-addicted photographer. Three years later, Sheedy took over the lead role in the off-Broadway production of Hedwig and the Angry Itch, the only female every to do so.
Now: Sheedy, 52, last was seen in the movies Fugly! and Sins of Our Youth and has had recurring roles on Kyle XY and Psych.
Judd Nelson aka John Bender aka The Criminal
Then: Nelson had roles in Fandango and Making the Grade before causing trouble in the halls of Shermer High School (and reportedly on the set with Hughes and Ringwald). Bender was the last role to be cast; Nicolas Cage was considered though it came down to John Cusack and Nelson. Cusack won the part but Hughes replaced him with Nelson before shooting began because Cusack didn’t look threatening enough.
In the meantime: Nelson starred in St. Elmo’s Fire and From the Hip, received a Golden Globe nomination for the TV movie Billionaire Boys Club and appeared in New Jack City and Airheads. He has worked steadily over the years, co-starring on Suddenly Susan from 1996 to 1999, and even voiced Bender on an episode of Family Guy.
Now: Nelson, 55, was the victim of a death hoax last October but the actor is very much alive. He most recently appeared as Billy Beretti on Empire and has a handful of movies coming out of the gate for 2015. We can never forget about this bad boy.