Movies + TV

Stay Curious: An Interview With Molly Ringwald

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

What were you like as a teenager?

I thought I knew everything when I was a teenager. I was very opinionated and I really thought that what I knew was the answer to everything—and that my parents knew nothing. I was probably unbearable in a lot of ways.

I guess that’s how we all feel.

I felt like my parents didn’t understand. I loved them, and I still do, but I never considered my mom, like, my best friend. I always knew she’d be there if I needed her, but there were things that I could ever talk to her about—like sex. But my mom’s of a different generation than your mom and me. I would feel much more comfortable [talking about sex]. In fact, I probably err on the opposite side of things—I want to talk about everything with Mathilda, so sometimes I rush things a little bit. And [my husband] Panio’s like, “She’s not ready for that.” When she was in preschool she was interested in how babies are made, and we had this book, Where Willy Went, about a little sperm in a race to try to get to the egg. So she already knew about the sperm meeting the egg, but she didn’t know how [the sperm] got there in the first place. She asked me [about it], and I said, “You really want to know?” And she said, “Yeah.” And I just blurted it all out. It took about seven minutes. I told her the whole thing. She was like wide-eyed and I said, “Was that what you were expecting?” She said no. I said, “Has anyone talked about this at school?” And she said no. So I said, “Well, was it a surprise?” She said no. And then she said, “I mean yes.” I said, “Well, that’s it.” And then I had to tell all of the other parents [at her school], “Hey, by the way, if you hear [your kids say] anything about the penis getting bigger and blah blah blah, uh, this is where it came from.” My husband was just like shaking his head. It was really embarrassing. [Laughs]

Do you think she was ready to hear it, though?

She was not ready at all. I totally jumped the gun. Because six months later she said, “Mom, do you want to know how babies are made?” I was like, “Yeah, sure,” thinking to myself, I told you this whole thing. And she said, “Kissing.” I think kids are either ready to take in information or they’re not. So I have to get a little bit better about pacing my dispersal of knowledge. But it was pretty funny.

[Laughs] Tavi wanted me to ask if there’s anything that you would like to tell her teenage readers. Words of advice.

I sort of make it a policy not to give advice, because I think everyone has to figure it out on their own. The only thing I will say—which is not original, because Dan Savage did a whole campaign on it—is that it gets better. I think it’s important for teenagers to remember that life is always changing. However you feel right at this moment, you’re not going to feel that way in an hour or tomorrow. It’s ephemeral. And I think it always gets better.

How did you and Tavi meet?

I write for HelloGiggles, and Sophia Rossi, who’s the founder of HelloGiggles, introduced us. This is the first thing I’ve ever written for [Tavi], so I’m excited.

Did I tell you that I interviewed the comedian Demetri Martin last week?

I love him.

He’s great. He has a book coming out, and I took him to the Museum of Modern Art in New York and we walked through an abstract-art exhibit because his book is an art book. I didn’t [record the interview] on my phone because I didn’t want to take up the space on it, so I used somebody else’s recording device, and it kept turning on and off.

That’s my worst nightmare.

When I got home I wanted to make sure that certain things I said weren’t recorded, so I had to listen to this whole conversation. I was like, Oh my god, why am I talking so much? I was interviewing this guy and I didn’t stop talking. And I kept saying, “Oh, that’s great.” I’m like, How many times are you going to say that? Or How many times am I going to say the word like? And in the museum [Demetri] kept saying all these very interesting and intellectual thoughts [about the art], and all my thoughts were like Why isn’t this in my house? Like, I just want this in my living room. You know, total consumer. But yeah, you should pick up his book.

Thanks for doing this, Maude.

Thank you so much! Now I’m scared it didn’t record!

Maude Apatow is addicted to technology, even though she knows it’s destroying her.


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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.