What Happened to the Breakfast Club?

Brian Johnson (Anthony Michael Hall)

Anthony Michael Hall then and now

Anthony Michael Hall’s reserved and nerdy Brian Johnson was one of the more lovable characters in this John Hughes classic, but Hall’s career has certainly been a rollercoaster in the years since. In 1986 he became the youngest cast member in Saturday Night Live history aged just 17, but after critical failures on a number of different projects, Hall took a hiatus from the industry at the end of the 80s following an alcohol problem that saw his Brat Pack membership all but revoked. Interestingly, Hall was set to star in Full Metal Jacket under the tutelage of Stanley Kubrick before a disagreement on pay scuppered the chance after 8 months of negotiations. In the 90s he saw success in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands and opposite Will Smith in Six Degrees of Separation but issues with the bottle once again scuppered future opportunities and the actor all but disappeared from screens throughout the rest of the decade and the actor never truly managed to recover his star persona. In the decades since, Hall has been seen in cameos on hit TV shows such as Community and the incredibly successful Christopher Nolan movie The Dark Knight, and has steadily remained involved in the film and TV industries in much lesser roles as the century has progressed. Currently leading Murder in the First for TNT and starring as himself in an AT&T commercial, Hall is perhaps more prominent now than he has been for over 20 years.


Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy)

Allison Reynolds then and now

Ally Sheedy’s alternative and hair-chewing Allison Reynolds was the anti-social member of John Hughes’ Breakfast Club and perhaps best known for this period in her career. The actress, whose success peaked in 1985 with the release of The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire, was one of the actresses that couldn’t transcend the 80s decade and therefore continue her career with the same prominence as she had enjoyed with these films. Other than an Independent Spirit Award for her performance in High Art (1998), Sheedy’s career has remained quiet throughout the decades since The Breakfast Club, with steady work as smaller characters becoming her forte, the most recent of which was a small role as Scott Summers’ teacher in X-Men: Apocalypse. With no new appearances on the horizon, who knows what’s next for Allison Reynolds.


Claire Standish (Molly Ringwald)

Molly Ringwald then and now

Molly Ringwald is perhaps the archetype of the 1980s Brat Pack in that she personified so many of John Hughes’s leading characters and never truly managed to push her career beyond the decade that she helped to define. One such character was that of Claire Standish, the popular and judgmental prude that fell for the bad boy in The Breakfast Club. Though her characters were often gifted with the innocence Ringwald brought to them, the actress became concerned that she was being type-cast and turned down the lead role in John Hughes’ Some Kind of Wonderful to end her affiliation with the 80s teen drama. As the 90s came around, Ringwald was reportedly offered the leads in Pretty Woman and Ghost, but again turned the roles down. Having moved to France in the mid-90s, the actress took some roles in French cinema before returning to the US for a number of TV roles before all-but falling off the map. In the 2010s Ringwald has released a jazz record titled ‘Except Sometimes’ and has written an advice column for The Guardian. With no future roles lined up, your best chance to see Ringwald will be in repeats of the recent TV shows Raising Expectations and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.



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