Molly Ringwald Dresses Her Daughter In Acid Pink (& Other Truths)

60SecondsWith_MollyRingwaldPhoto: Rob Latour/REX USA.
The '80s live on for Molly Ringwald — or at least that's how she feels. Fresh off filming Jem and the Holograms (out in 2016), we caught up with Ringwald at the book launch party for the new edition of her friend James Sanders' book, Scenes From the City: Filmmaking in New York. The book is a visual history of how New York has been a quiet protagonist in classic films and television shows, from Annie Hall to the more recent The Devil Wears Prada. The new addendum focuses on the increased role of women in New York filmmaking since it was first published in 2006, and includes an entry by the late Nora Ephron about when she first considered herself a New Yorker. Sticking to the theme of the night, we asked Ringwald about the role of women in the film industry, and what it is about New York that is so inspiring to artists.
How have you see the film industry evolve since you rose to stardom in the '80s, specifically in what roles are available to women?
"Well, I don’t want to sound like I’m lamenting, but the really good roles for women are very few and far between. When I think about great roles, I think about a film shot in New York: John Cassavetes’ Gloria. The movies I’m really attracted to are independent ones, and very few of them are being made right now, unfortunately. It’s like the independent film industry has bottomed out — it’s just very hard to get those movies made. I know I sound like I’m complaining, but when you’re a woman making movies, you obviously want really great parts, and there’s just very few of them. There are more actresses than there are great parts."
How do you think the industry can grow to create these opportunities for women?
"I feel like [film studios] need to understand that movies about women are financially viable. You have to realize that women go to see movies and they want to see themselves represented. There needs to be that representation in the film industry, and I don’t believe that there is right now. When you look at a movie like Bridesmaids, and everyone’s like, 'Oh, wow! This is incredible, all these women in a movie!' And I’m like, 'Of course they want to see it!' But then they say, 'Oh, that’s just a one-off.' It’s kind of frustrating, but I’m an optimistic person, I hope that it’s going to evolve and change."
What are the major differences between the film industry in New York versus in L.A.?
"There is no film industry in Los Angeles right now — almost none — because of the tax credits over there. So everything went somewhere else, New York or elsewhere. I just shot a movie in L.A., but it’s very rare there. They’re trying to change that but knowing my luck, I’ll probably get here and everything will start shooting in Los Angeles."
What does this book, Scenes From the City: Filmmaking in New York, mean to you?
"I decided at a very young age that I wanted to live in New York. It’s a love affair that has never really waned. Years later, it’s still the place where I want to live. It’s a little complicated, because when we moved away from New York I was three, and now I have a family and it’s a little challenging. To me, whenever I see a movie filmed in New York, New York City feels like another character — it has something very visceral around it that doesn’t really exist anywhere else. I think I’ve only shot two movies in the city, but I’ve had a really great experience [with both]."
Are there any New York films or filmmakers that inspire you?
"John Cassavetes, Sidney Lumet, Martin Scorsese."
We have to ask: Is there any '80s trend you see making a comeback?
"Oh my God, it feels like it never stops. Today I dressed my daughter in acid pink, so I think really bright, sherbert-y, neon colors. Also, Wayfarers in all different colors. I just finished doing a film [version] of Jem and the Holograms, which is full of ‘80s… sort of looking at the past but also towards the future at the same time."

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