Movies + TV

Stay Curious: An Interview With Molly Ringwald

“I felt like the most ill-equipped teenager out there.”

My mom wanted me to tell you that she has loved you since she was a kid.

I love her, she’s very funny. Did you always get along with her?


Always? Have you never gone through a period where you didn’t like her?

I mean, I go through like small periods, but I have a really good relationship with my parents. My mom’s like my best friend. I feel like I have more in common with her than [with] any of my friends.

Do you ever feel the need to individuate or to be different?

I’ve gone through stages where I tried to rebel, but it was kind of stupid because my parents are so nice I have nothing to rebel against.

That’s nice. I feel like my daughter has been rebelling since the day she was born.

My sister’s like that. What is the most important advice you ever got from your parents? What have you learned from them that helped you as a parent?

I think the most important advice that I got from my parents was to do something other than act. They were always impressing upon me how important it was to develop other skills and other talents, and I think that’s served me well throughout my life. And so I try to impress that upon my kids, you know, whatever they’re interested in, to not just put everything into one thing, but to stay curious.

And also, uh, not that much TV. I don’t know what your parents were like with you with television, but for the first four years of Mathilda’s life we lived in New York, and our apartment was so small that there was no place for a TV, and she didn’t have any interest anyway. And then a couple of years ago we moved [to L.A.] and got a TV and all of a sudden all she cared about was television. So we put rules on television, the computer—you know, any device. That is really hard, but I think it’s been really good for her.

We have no TV on weeknights.

When I told [Mathilda] there was going to be no more television during the week she lay down on the coffee table and sobbed for like half an hour.

[Laughs] My sister does the same exact thing!

It was like she lost her best friend! But after that she started to do stuff during the week again. She started to draw again, and paint again, and now she’s into doing stop-motion animation. She’s doing claymation videos.

Oh, that’s cool! Are you nervous for when your kids are teenagers?

I am, but I try not to be. I look at somebody like you, and I think you’re a really good example, you know, that shows me that it’s possible she’s going to be OK. I just try to look at [teenagers] that are good examples and hope I can steer my kids in that direction. Shailene Woodley, who played my daughter on Secret Life, she’s another one. She’s grown up now—I think she just turned 21—but she’s an amazing example of someone who had a great relationship with her mom and a very strong sense of herself [as a teenager]. But ultimately as a parent you’re just a custodian. [Your kids] are yours, but they’re not really yours. You have to kind of guide them in the right direction, but they’re going to make their own choices and their own mistakes, just like I have.

But I will admit that sometimes, in the middle of the night, it keeps me up. I’ll have anxiety attacks thinking about my kids, like, What am I going to do if she tattoos her face?! Hopefully she’ll never tattoo her face. I can deal with tattoos on the body, just no tattoos on the face. That would just break my heart.

It’s horrible!

Have you seen kids at your school do that—tattoos on the face?

I’ve seen the lips, which I don’t get—you pull your lip down and there’s a tattoo.

Oh, that’s awful. I don’t get that. What kind of books do you like to read?

I’m reading a lot of books right now. We just read The Catcher in the Rye at school. I loved it.

I love The Catcher in the Rye so much!

[The rest of] my class didn’t seem to like it that much. My teacher seems bored of it.

I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was doing the John Hughes movies, and when I look back on it today, I had no idea that I was making, in a way, a Catcher in the Rye in this set of movies that would continue to exist for generations. I mean, The Catcher in the Rye came out in 1951, and people are still reading it.

And I feel like I can relate to it now!

I felt like it was me! Have you read [J.D. Salinger’s] Nine Stories?

No, but I just got it. It’s sitting next to my bed.

It’s so good.

I just read Room. Have you heard of that?

I haven’t, no. What is that?

It’s from the perspective of a little boy whose mom got kidnapped when she was 19 and locked in a shed, and he was born in the shed, and that’s all he knows, and he’s five. I liked it. When I was telling my mom about it, she didn’t want to hear about it.

Yeah, there’s certain things that when you have kids, you can’t…like, I never particularly liked violence in movies, but now if there’s violence perpetrated on children, I can’t watch it. Like, it makes me physically sick.


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  • Ibe. April 16th, 2013 3:13 PM

    i just can’t evn handle this.

  • Laia April 16th, 2013 3:19 PM

    this is so cute, I love this!

  • FlowerandtheVine April 16th, 2013 3:22 PM

    Great interview! I love how down to earth Molly is. She has sort of become the patron saint of teenagers!

  • GlitterKitty April 16th, 2013 3:57 PM

    Ohhh Molly is just the best.

  • Ree April 16th, 2013 4:21 PM

    This made me cry a little, I love Molly (and Rookie) so much.

  • Kamila April 16th, 2013 4:24 PM

    OMG, this month. It’s killing me! First Thom Yorke (when I saw he was a “grown man” I thought my computer screen malfunctioned) and now Molly?! How Rookie can be so cool?! Oh, I can’t take it.

    (And Molly, isn’t she so nice? She seems like such an easy person to talk to!)

  • decemberbaby April 16th, 2013 4:26 PM

    “When you’re in your 20s you’re actually not that much more grown up than you are when you’re in your teen years, but everyone kind of expects you to be in this different place.”

    Oh, wow, okay, this is good to know.

  • mingxi April 16th, 2013 4:33 PM


    this interview IS PURE perfection

  • Badlands April 16th, 2013 4:36 PM

    I loved this part!

    Also the introduction is probably the BEST intro to an interview (or anything) ever. Go Maude!

  • AliceS April 16th, 2013 4:37 PM

    I loved Molly before, I love her more now, even if I thought this wasn’t possible.

  • Arabelle April 16th, 2013 4:38 PM

    this is so great thank you maude

  • Piper Lynch April 16th, 2013 4:38 PM

    Wow, this was so great! I love Molly Ringwald, and Maude Apatow did such a good job interviewing her!

  • unicornconnect April 16th, 2013 5:12 PM


  • rats-for-candy April 16th, 2013 5:26 PM

    Ahh I was just thinking about how cool Molly is while I was in class today! Love this <3

  • Maddy April 16th, 2013 5:27 PM

    This is really fun! I love how although it was an interview, there were some parts where the roles switched. Molly sounds like a super awesome person and I wish I knew her because she’s a mom and while I wouldn’t want another mom, I’d want a “mom mentor” who’s also super hip and cool ‘n stuff.

  • Laura Lemon April 16th, 2013 5:57 PM

    Both of them are infinitely cool. Aaah!

  • Morning Moon April 16th, 2013 5:58 PM

    She’s amazing!! Love u Molly!! And your interview was great, Maude!

  • Jasmine April 16th, 2013 6:29 PM

    this is PERFECT

  • Ana April 16th, 2013 6:53 PM

    This is amazing!! :)

  • Juli April 16th, 2013 7:27 PM

    You really get a sense, in interviews like these and in her films, that Molly Ringwald is a true person. It’s refreshing to be reminded that some famous people don’t stop being themselves for the cameras. I love that so much.

  • spudzine April 16th, 2013 7:37 PM

    THIS IS JUST WOW. This is crazy becaise this past week I had the urge to watch Molly Ribgwald movies, and then BAM this shows up! She’s such a cool person honestly!!

  • myy April 16th, 2013 8:21 PM

    Molly Ringwald is my hero and I am so happy she is finally on Rookie! She is such a lovely person!

  • Hannah April 16th, 2013 8:58 PM

    This is one of the most real interviews I’ve seen on this site, and I adore it. It feels like you just had a nice conversation and it’s perfect.

  • llamalina April 16th, 2013 9:17 PM

    i love maude apatow and i love molly ringwald and this is just perfect.

  • Chloe22 April 16th, 2013 9:31 PM

    I love this so much! If I was Molly I would have stolen all of those clothes from Pretty In Pink… I need that prom dressssss. Maude’s interviews are so interesting. Not all that boring stuff about who someone’s dating or whatever. It’s actually a conversation.

  • Eryn April 16th, 2013 9:46 PM

    (I kind of freaked out when I saw the title… I had to read it a couple times to be sure).
    This is wonderful and scrumptious fantastic.

  • anton April 17th, 2013 12:32 AM

    She is so amazing! <3 and this interview was super fun to read!

  • Tara A. April 17th, 2013 7:12 AM

    This was so great and so much fun to read! I love Maude’s interviews :D

  • Emma S. April 17th, 2013 8:38 AM


  • whatever April 17th, 2013 2:37 PM

    molly is amazing ♡♡♡ i can’t even handle how great this interview is asdfghjkl


  • lubs April 17th, 2013 5:21 PM

    Morrissey. Thom Yorke. Now Molly Ringwald.

    Is Beyoncé on your interview list?

  • AnaRuiz April 18th, 2013 8:23 AM

    I can’t believe you guys get to do interviews like this!!!! It’s so cool!!!

  • Jéssica Ferreira April 18th, 2013 10:31 AM

    I didn’t finished reading the interview yet, but I most comment the addiction to internet and stuff like that.
    It’s been a few months since I feel like I stopped reading, writing and having fun ’cause I spend way too much time on my phone and computer.
    But then I found out Rookie Mag by the Morrissey’s interview and you know, I finally found something that’s sooo worth being online for. (Btw, Morrissey See one of his concerts is on my to-do-list. That interview was awesome.)
    This is the best place on the internet and it makes me feel like I’m not wasting my time. Even tho I work and study all day long, I HAVE to read at least 2 or 3 things here per day. This is the best site ever, I wish there was something like that when I was younger (I’m almost 22). You guys give so much support and it’s amazing how young some of you are. I mean, 15 and having a interview with molly?! Are you kidding me?! So much talent!

    Ok, I could go on and on but I must finish reading the interview.

    And forgive me if I wrote something wrong, I’m brazilian and not veeery fluent in english (but reading Rookie is making me better at it!)

    Lots of love to you all <3

  • maxrey April 18th, 2013 5:33 PM

    Yes! I’m 23 and I read Rookie almost every day. And every day I wish it was around 10 years ago when I was in the beginning phases of teenager-hood.

    All hail Rookie!

    PS: Molly Ringwald AND Maude Apatow in one place?! Incredible and adorable.

  • imogan April 19th, 2013 11:38 AM

    Molly and Maude are like the best combination!!!
    Molly is so lovely and her personality is perfect and ahhh!

  • kaylamb April 22nd, 2013 4:51 AM

    Loved this!

  • Serena Head April 22nd, 2013 10:36 AM

    I love you Maude! Great interview too. You write so so well :)

  • April 29th, 2013 5:48 PM

    She’s so adorable, i love her.