My Secret Life: Molly Ringwald, 44, actor, novelist & singer

'I wish I'd never worn that prom dress'

My parents were… very encouraging and nurturing and still are.

The household I grew up in… was modest, full of music and smelt like freshly-baked bread.

If I could change one thing about myself… it would be my inclination toward anxiety, and if I could go back in time to the age of 10, then I would decide not to quit my piano lessons.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… singing jazz, making very complicated culinary dishes that require a lot of preparation and take forever, and making beautiful children.

At night I dream of… the kind of things that I feel it would only be fair to bore my shrink with.

I wish I had never worn… that prom dress.

What I see when I look in the mirror… is very familiar to me.

It's not fashionable but I like… big old Hollywood movie musicals. I watched them over and over with my mother while growing up. Everything seems manageable once you sing a song and tap dance about it – preferably on the arm of Gene Kelly.

I drive… a big car because I have a big family. If I didn't I would be driving a tiny car – possibly a white Stingray à la Joan Didion circa 1969.

My house is… artfully-designed chaos that I attempt to fashion as much as I can after the answer to the next question.

My favourite building… The Eames Case Study House No 8 in Santa Monica. But I would like it even better if I were living in it.

A book that changed me… The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. His devotion to storytelling and his passion for the invisible connections that bind us all together have moved and inspired me. His eloquence, too, is dizzying.

Movie heaven… A night of Fellini's Nights of Cabiria and Truffaut's Les Quatre Cents Coups and Singin' in the Rain.

The last song or album I bought/downloaded… Charlotte Gainsbourg's collaboration with Beck, "IRM".

My greatest regret… is that I didn't take Toni Morrison up on her offer to audit her class at Princeton University.

My secret crush… Stephen Colbert.

My real-life villains… Someone whose identity, if revealed, would result in having my powers stripped, rendering me unable to effectively fight them.

The person who really makes me laugh… is my husband.

The last time I cried… I'm crying right now.

My five-year plan… Writing more books, acting in more films and somehow surviving my daughter's teen years.

A life in brief

Molly Ringwald was born in California in 1968. She has been on the stage since the age of three, had her first professional role when she was 10, and starred in her first movie, Tempest, aged 13. As a teenager in the 1980s, she won fame with now iconic roles in John Hughes' movies Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. Now also a writer and singer, she plays the parent of a problem teen in the American TV show, The Secret Life of an American Teenager. Her novel, When it Happens to You, is out now

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones