Brats (2024) | Transcript

Centers on 1980s films starring the 'Brat Pack' and their profound impact on the young stars' lives.
Brats (2024)

Brats (2024)
: Documentary
Director : Andrew McCarthy
Stars : Andrew McCarthy, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Jon Cryer, Lea Thompson, Ally Sheedy

Plot : In the 1980s, Andrew McCarthy was part of a young generation of actors who were set to take over Hollywood after a string of successful teen movies. However, when the New York magazine cover story in 1985 dubs them the Brat Pack, stars in the making suddenly find themselves losing control over the trajectory of their careers. Now, almost forty years later, McCarthy looks to reconnect with peers and co-stars — Emilio Estevez, Jon Cryer, Lea Thompson, Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, and Demi Moore — so that together they can reflect on their respective legacies.

* * *

[electricity buzzing]

INTERVIEWER: Are we doing a disservice to the individuality of you and the rest of the young group that, by calling you the Brat Pack and by sort of putting in one group and stereotyping all of you as young actors who’ve made it and who now sort of control a lot of Hollywood?


Oh, I wouldn’t say control, but–

INTERVIEWER: But are part of the sort of–

Well, I think it’s easy to just group people together in any level.

So it’s just an easier way to get a handle on people, but I think all of us are very different.

[keyboard clacking]

INTERVIEWER: Does it offend you when they talk about the Brat Pack?

ANDREW: I kind of let it-try and let it, like, slide off your back. I mean, it happens.

And that stuff will sift itself out, I think.

INTERVIEWER: Now, you’ve met early success.

Lots of people struggle for a long time.

Is this an uncertain period for you?

ANDREW: [laughs]

If you were coming of age in the 1980s, then the Brat Pack was at or near the center of your cultural awareness.

I mean, we were who you wanted to hang with, who you emulated or envied, who you wanted to party with.

But for those of us experiencing the Brat Pack from the inside, it was something very different.

INTERVIEWER: Is it overwhelming?

Is it ever overwhelming, the– what you have in front of you and what all you can do?

Right, um…

And perhaps the pressure, too, there?

You’re 22 now?


[interviewer whistles]


I thought I was gonna get used to it,

and I don’t think I ever quite got used to it.

And we fit a niche that needed to be filled

in pop culture at that moment, you know?

And what was that? What was the need to create us?

We were a group of young actors

who were trying to have careers,

and we were suddenly bonded together indelibly

forever as this unit.

However much sort of truth or not truth is involved in it,

it doesn’t really matter.

And I think that’s what some of us

resented so much at the beginning is that,

this isn’t the right perception of who we are.

This isn’t the reality of our experience.

[dramatic music]

[Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”]

? ?

IAN: ? When routine bites hard ?

? And ambitions are low ?

ANDREW: When I was 17, I moved into New York City,

and I lived on the fourth floor of this building

right off Washington Square Park.

In 1980, New York City was a completely

different place than it is now.

? ?

[police sirens wailing]

People always say that about the past, don’t they?

[laughing] But it was.

It was scary. It was thrilling.

It was dirty.

And I spent most of my time right here

in Washington Square Park because I was at NYU.

And when I was cutting my classes,

I used to play frisbee in the park every day

and buy two joints every day from the same Rastafarian

playing soccer right here. I’d smoke them.

I’d go home and watch The Rockford Files.


I was not exactly the guy most likely to be

in the movies two years later.

ROSCOE: Oh, whoa! Jeez, oh, God!

Great, douche bag.

ANDREW: And then suddenly the fortunes

of a group of young actors, including me, soared.

[Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll”]

Hollywood discovered the box office

potential of a young audience.

BOB: ? Just take those old records off the shelf ?

ANDREW: They aimed their moneymaking

tractor beam directly at it.

BOB: ? Today’s music ain’t got the same soul ?

? I like that old-time rock and roll ?

It’s the Hollywood class of 1985.

A crop of young movie actors

that’s giving young audiences a whole new generation

of heroes to root for.

It’s an incredible time to be 22, 23 right now

and to be a young actor because the films are catering to us.

But right now, it’s great.

The movies are being made about my age of people.

That’s the audience that’s going.

ANDREW: Audiences, they–

they couldn’t get enough of us.

It seemed that every weekend,

there was another movie, and another movie,

and another movie about and starring young people.

In the history of Hollywood, it had never been like this.

This sounds like a dream come true.

You are all in your early 20s, and you’re stars.


Welcome, if you will, Molly Ringwald.


And then on June 10, 1985, New York Magazine

published a story called “Hollywood’s Brat Pack.”

It was originally intended to be this small feature

on Emilio Estevez.

It took off and became this whole other thing.

The hottest stars in the movies today

are officially known as the Brat Pack.

[The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”]

? ?

REPORTER: And so we return to the week’s new releases

and St. Elmo’s Fire, which stars a group of young actors

who are fast becoming known as the Brat Pack.

A card-carrying member of the Brat Pack.

A cover titled the Brat Pack.

They’re the Brat Pack.

What is the Brat Pack?

REPORTER: Everyone in this group

is a most-likely-to-succeed.

They are ambitious, committed, and many of them

have real talent.

? ?

ANDREW: Within days, news outlets

around the country were using the term “Brat Pack.”

There’s a big article in New York Magazine…


About something called the Brat Pack.

Right, right, and I heard that you wanted to join.

I’d like to be in this group.

Yeah, right.

ROBERT: ? Show me, show me, show me ?

? How you do that trick ?

? The one that makes me scream, she said ?

? The one that makes me laugh, she said ?

Is this the future-what is–

are these the Brandos?

Well, talk to Brando.

You would replace Katharine Hepburn tomorrow.

? I promise that I’ll run away with you ?

? I’ll run away with you ?

? ?

I just remember seeing that cover and thinking,

“oh, fuck.”

I just thought that was terrible instantly.

And it turns out, uh, I was right.

[laughs] It was–

the article was scathing about all these young actors.

And the phrase, being such a clever,

witty phrase, you know, it caught the zeitgeist

instantly and burned deep, and that was it.

From then on, my career

and the career of several other people

was branded without any wiggle room

as the Brat Pack.

I’m really sorry that article had to come out.

You know, it was just when, you know,

kids, young, you know, adults

were beginning to find their place,

you know, in this business.

INTERVIEWER: It’s a clever line,

“Brat Pack.”


INTERVIEWER: But what does it mean, really?

You know what?

It-it was a term created by the media.

It was a nice, generic term.

You know, you don’t say a “Tylenol.”

You say an “aspirin.”

You don’t say a “Rob Lowe.” You say a “Brat”.

Do you know what I mean? That’s how it was created.

INTERVIEWER: Are you offended by it?

Very much so.

ANDREW: I don’t really think it’s a valid thing.

I mean, we all don’t go to the same bar every night,

and talk about chicks and, you know,

throw back a few brews.

I mean, I don’t think it exists per se.

They thought I was their friend.

Well, you know, the honest truth is,

you know, we’re not friends, and I never said that we were.

I’m sorry he didn’t realize that or that he was operating

under a different set of ideas about

what the relationship between a journalist and a subject is.

It doesn’t apply.

It never did. INTERVIEWER: Yeah?

And it was just some writer’s

silly imagination or label

that he could sort of stamp on this young group of actors

that he didn’t have any other explanation for.

The name alone–

the term alone always brings up this defensive quality.

And so–

INTERVIEWER: Did you ever feel a part of the Brat Pack

that you’re so closely associated–

No, I felt a part of a group of young actors

that worked continually with each other.

The Brat Pack is an image that somebody thought up

who doesn’t know anything about us.

That I can’t trust anyone now.

That’s what I learned. That’s what I learned.

[soft dramatic music]

ANDREW: That changed my life.

And that changed everyone who was involved’s life.

Once the Brat Pack thing happened,

everyone just sort of, poof, scattered.

Because it was-it was such a stigma

early on that we didn’t want to be associated with it.

I’ve never talked to anybody about what that was like.

It certainly was a defining thing in my life,

and I imagine it was in theirs as well.

So I thought it might be interesting to try and contact

everyone who was in the Brat Pack

or who might have been associated with the Brat–

and sort of see what their experience was at that time

and what it’s come to mean all these years, decades later.

[bright orchestral music]

? ?

I think the first thing we need to establish

is, like, who is in the Brat Pack, right?

[laughs] There’s me.

There’s Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy.

Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald.

It’s a moveable feast, I think.

Anyway, so I know it started with Emilio

because it was the article about him

that created the whole thing.

So I’m calling Emilio.

[line trilling]

Hey, Emilio Estevez.

This is Andrew McCarthy calling you.

That was nice, to just hear your voice there.

I hope you’re well. Long time.

Give me a call if you get a chance.

I’d love to talk to you about something.

I think I’ll call Ally,

but it could be 30 years since I’ve seen Ally.

I got her number from a friend of mine.

Let’s call her up.

[line trilling]

Hey, Ally.

This is Andrew McCarthy calling you.

Hey, Molly. Nice to hear your voice.

Andrew McCarthy calling you up.

How are you?

It’s so strange to hear people’s voices again.

I haven’t been able to find Judd Nelson’s phone number.

I don’t know anybody who knows his phone number.

I asked his manager about it.

But we are Brat Pack brethren and–


[upbeat jazzy music]

? ?

Hey, Demi.

This is Andrew McCarthy calling.

How are you?

Listen, I’d love to chat with you about something.

If you get a chance, give me a call back.

That was Demi. I left her a message.

Let’s call Rob.

[line trilling] Ugh.

VOICEMAIL: Automated voice message system.

Hey, Rob. Andrew McCarthy calling you.

I’d love to chat with you if you have a chance.

Give me a call. 917–

[phone ringing]

Are you ready to go on the camera?

CAMERAPERSON: Uh, yeah, rolling.


SPEAKER: Andrew?



Hey, man.

How are you? [laughs]

How has your life been the last 30 years?

[laughs] [phone ringing]

How are you?

[laughs] [phone ringing]

So where are you now, Demi?

DEMI: In LA right now, but I’ve been going

back and forth between here–

ANDREW: We were such a select kind of group of–

you know, this happened to all of us.

And it fell down on all of us in such a way,

and I’ve never talked to anybody about it,

and it affected my life so massively and–

right? And so I would just love

to get your perspective. [phone ringing]

Judd Nelson.

So Rob just called me back here.

I’m in a hotel in Chicago.

I’ve just landed here. SPEAKER: Hey.

Hey, man.

How are you? [chuckles]

Well, you know, you, Rob, me, you know, Ally–

whoever is actually in the Brat Pack.

And I wanted to sort of make a documentary about it.

Well, that’s the whole point of talking about it,

so we don’t get triggered by these things anymore,

you know?

Oh, my gosh, there’s my dog, who weighs 75 pounds.


Do you think Willow weighs 75 pounds?

No, the dog, not Willow. Anyway.

When would you want to do it?

When would you want to do it?

Oh, don’t tell me any of this now.

Don’t tell me now. I want to get it all on film.

[laughs] So could I come out to Malibu,

and sit down with you with a camera

and chat about it?

[Steve Winwood’s “Back in the High Life Again”]

? ?

When I was 22 years old, I bought my first toy.

I bought a 1967 red Camaro convertible.

Now, here I am, 59 years old.

I’m driving a red rental Camaro convertible.

What makes you a cool kid at 22 makes you a fool at 59.


STEVE: ? I’ll be back in the high life again ?

? All the doors I closed one time will open up again ?

? I’ll be back in the ?

ANDREW: Heading up to see Emilio here in Malibu.

I haven’t seen Emilio since maybe the premiere night

of St. Elmo’s Fire.

So what’s that, 30-odd years ago?

I am Bob, yeah.

ANDREW: Yeah, I haven’t seen him since.

Then you know good.

I love your stuff, Bob.

Hey, thank you.

Take care.


ANDREW: I always felt like he was sort of

an insider in some club.

And I always felt like the guy on the outside.

You know? I lived in New York.

All the other guys lived here.

And Emilio seemed to know more than anybody,

like, what the deal was.

So it’ll be great to see him and get his take on all this.

Because I know Emilio hasn’t talked much

about the Brat Pack in all these years.

Hold on, dude.

Take your time.

I missed the grid. I missed the grid.

What number is that? I don’t know.


[laughs] There’s Emilio.

[laughs] EMILIO: How are you?

I’m so glad to see you.

This is Ed. This is Emilio.

Emilio. Nice to see you.

Good morning. Nice to see you.

Are you good? Are you rolling?


Have you seen this in 30-odd years?

I probably have online.

Well, I had seen it online when I did–

but there’s all the artwork

and everything to it, you know?

And it’s interesting.

Have you read it in the past ever years?

EMILIO: No. ANDREW: I mean, it’s–

EMILIO: Massive feature.

ANDREW: Massive story, isn’t it?


ANDREW: Well, the first question I–


This might end our conversation right now.

There’s just-no, there’s just so much, Andrew.

First of all–

It’s like, what the fuck were you thinking?


Well, I wasn’t.

And I had had some experience and had done some press

but nothing to the extent of, like, a real sort of profile,

which made me uncomfortable.

It was naive of me to think that this journalist

would, in fact, be my friend.

I think the most upsetting about it–

because I had already seen a different path for myself,

and I felt derailed.

Emilio Estevez is the son of actor Martin Sheen,

but he has made a name for himself on his own.

Do you have any feeling as to which direction

your career will take?

EMILIO: The opportunities are just–

are endless. Very exciting.

REPORTER: At 23 years old.


Ah, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

ASSISTANT: There’s also juice if you need it.

OK, thanks.

ANDREW: I mean, the fallout in my recollection is

it was immediate and big.

You and I didn’t do a movie because of it.

ANDREW: This is what I thought.

And I thought we were going to–

And this was Young Men with Unlimited Capital…


Which was one of the best scripts

I had read in a long time.

You were gonna do it.

And they wanted me to do it too,

and then they told me that you didn’t want me to do it,

and I just assumed at the time–

it hurt my feelings a lot, but I assumed

it was simply the Brat Pack fallout.

I didn’t want to have anything to do with any of us.

Do you know what I mean?

Yeah, yeah.

I just-I didn’t want to do any–

I wouldn’t-if it were Judd, I would have said

the same thing.

To be seen again in another film

would ultimately and could potentially

have a negative impact.

Working together just almost felt like we were–

we were kryptonite to each other.

ANDREW: My understanding-you were not interested

in talking about the Brat Pack for years and years.

I’m asked to do retrospectives all the time,

whether it’s Repo Man, or The Outsiders,

or Young Guns, or Breakfast Club.

I turn everything down. There was an opportunity–

ANDREW: How come you’re talking to me?

Because you called me.

Because you asked. You called me.

And I also thought it was time that we sort of clear the air

on a couple of things.

And that Young Men with Unlimited Capital

was something that I’m glad we were…

ANDREW: Oh, me, too.

Able to talk through it.

ANDREW: Because I feel chills right now.

It’s like-you know, it’s nice.

You know, one of the reasons

I started to want to make this movie–

wow, I really-it’s very touching.

You know, it only happened to a handful of us,

and it really affected my life.

Which is probably why I don’t–

I’m not interested in revisiting,

which is why I’m not interested in, you know,

dredging up the past

because I think if you’re too busy looking

in your rearview mirror and looking at what’s behind you,

you’re going to stumble trying to move forward.

ANDREW: But it’s an interesting thing.

Because if you’re confronted on a however often basis

by people going, “Oh, the Brat Pack movies,

I love St. Elmo’s, I love Breakfast Club,

you’re gonna be-it’s not like you can

just sort of put it in the past and leave it there.

You’re gonna be reminded of it on a weekly,

almost daily basis.

Daily basis, yeah.


We learned to be gracious and put on a thing.

Of course.

ANDREW: But it’s still picking at whatever it’s picking at.

And do people say to you,

“Do you ever see the old gang anymore?”

Well, the assumption is that we’re all still friends.

That’s all you would read about is,

the Brat Pack went here and did this.


The Brat Pack ate a sandwich together.

The Brat Pack went swimming somewhere.


Are you tight with Molly and the rest of the guys?

Well, you know what’s really strange

is they sort of assumed that because we work together,

we would hang out together.

I haven’t attended the latest Brat Pack meeting.

So, I mean, I don’t know. You know?

You guys don’t get together all the time

and make fudge and–

Make fudge?


Well, we make cookies and stuff, yeah.

And do you think there will ever be a big reunion where

they get-you guys are all in your 80s or something,

and they get you guys together, and you–

It could happen. You never know.


Well, we’ll wait.

We’ll look forward to that 60 years from now.

That’s gonna be good.

ANDREW: I find it important somehow

to go and try and connect with people in the now

seems of value, and I’m not sure why.


If you could have the Brat Pack name not exist,

would you?


That’s a different-I think a difficult question

to answer because it’s–

you can only know the known.

And was it something that we benefited from?


But in the long run, I think we did not.

I think there was–

I think there was more damage done by it than good.

I perceived it to be very harmful career-wise.

Because I didn’t think–

Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg

is not gonna call up somebody

who is in the Brat Pack, you know?


You’re not wrong.

No, you’re not wrong.

And it-I think it created a perception

that we were lightweights,

that we didn’t take it seriously.

Well, that’s what that article was about.


And what’s-it’s just a name. Who cares?

It’s just-what’s it matter?

But it did matter,

and it did affect how I was perceived in the business

certainly, how I was perceived in the world when people would

stop me on the street, and how I perceived

myself for many years.

Oh, yeah.

ANDREW: And to reposition that or rewrite that history

in some way to turn it into an asset as opposed

to something that’s just still dragging around, to me,

is a-you know, before my dad died,

I went to him.

We did not get along for my adult life.


ANDREW: And I went to him as he was dying.

And I can’t say we cleaned up our past,

but we just put it down,

and there was something that was so meaningful to me

about just–

I’m here with you, you’re dying.

He’s my dad, and I loved him.

So to get back to that was a beautiful thing,

and I’m not saying this is on that scale at all,

but it still-it is something.

It doesn’t have any power anymore except what we give it.

What we give it, yeah. ANDREW: You know?

Yeah. Yeah, like any of our demons, right?

ANDREW: Like anything, right?

And so-and why should that be a demon?

And I know anything else about emotional things,

the more we just sort of push them aside,

they’re not going any-they’re still there.

They’re still-you’re still gonna react to them.

I don’t want to be reacting to it anymore.

You know what I mean?


And so to see you, for me, is a beautiful thing.

I just want to go, “Ah.” You know?

I always thought we’d be friends forever.

Yeah, well, forever got a lot shorter suddenly, didn’t it?

[bright orchestral music]

? ?

ANDREW: Will you look through that camera

and see if my head’s chopped off

between those two lines?

ALLY: It’s a little-the white line is going right

across the top of your hair.

OK, all right.

I got it. Have a seat back down.

ALLY: You need to just-it’s, like, a smidgen.

ANDREW: I got it. ALLY: What is that?

Oh, that’s a two shot? What is that?

ANDREW: That’s my iPhone.

I know.

But what are you filming on it?

You and your couch.

Oh, it’s another angle.

It’s another angle.

Oh, OK. ANDREW: I have a memory.

You drove me home from I don’t know where.

I seem to think it was a rehearsal of the movie

when we were doing St. Elmo’s Fire,

when we rehearsed for those few days on that soundstage.

But you were just driving me home to my hotel,

and I was staying at, like, the Sunset Marquis, I think.

ALLY: Yes, yes.

And it’s one of the happiest memories of my life.


There was something about it.

We were-there was no reason. Nothing happened.

We were just being friendly, and laughing, and just driving,

and you were driving me home.

And-but there was something about being young

and life was just happening. ALLY: Yeah.

It was thrilling.

And the top was down on your Jeep.

And it was like a scene out of St. Elmo’s Fire, frankly.

And it was just so–

all these years, it’s stayed with me.

It’s this wondrous experience of youth and the moment.

And I was aware in the moment of how happy I was,

and that hasn’t always been my experience with life.

Yeah, that was when I had that thought,

wow, I really actually–

I finally belong somewhere,

and I have friends.

What do you think about our relationship as an outsider?

I want you to be honest. Really.

KEVIN: You want me to be honest?

I think I hang around you guys so much

personally because, well,

you’re all I think about.


And I am desperately, completely in love with you.


[soft dramatic music]


I had a crush on you back in the day.

You did not, Andrew. No, you did not. No.

I was so scared that I was busy being so aloof.

Yes, you were aloof.


You were aloof.

ANDREW: You said something to me on the phone,

that The Breakfast Club was a gift that keeps on giving.

Can you talk about that?

The Breakfast Club is the gift that keeps on giving.

ANDREW: What does that mean?

It’s just–

I was really, really happy that entire experience.

I can write with my toes.

I can also eat, brush my teeth–

With your feet?

There’s a lot of me in Allison.

The feelings, and the fears and things

that she’s going through, I–

I know that they were coming right straight from me.

So in high school, I did not have

many close friends. I didn’t fit in.

I was really lonely.

I couldn’t wait to get out of New York,

and just go to California, and get my acting career

happening. That was the plan.

So when Allison came along in The Breakfast Club,

I felt like, ah, that’s it.

This-and I wanted to-and John Hughes

was great about this.

I wanted her to look on the outside the way

I always felt on the inside during high school.

So he let me do that.

Go away.

Where do you want me to go?

Go away.

It still astonishes me how many people

found themselves in that film,

are moved by that film, enjoyed the film,

remember that film fondly.

And yes, it is really tied up

in their high school experience.

It’s become a rite of passage for teenagers

to see these movies. It’s become an adolescent rite.

You read Catcher in the Rye.

You watch The Breakfast Club. ALLY: Right.

You know what I mean?

And that’s just kind of amazing.

I mean, that was before-right before,

I think, the article came out.

And then, of course, the article just changes…

ALLY: Right.

Everything. ALLY: Right.


And then all that stopped in a sense, in a very real way.


Yeah. It all stopped.

And it-we kept working.

Everybody kept working,

but there was this feeling of–

it was just sort of like being shell-shocked.

These young people were all doing the same thing

at the same time, and it’s thrilling,

and it’s exciting, and wow.

And then–

What do we do now, you know? Now what?

I started feeling the kind of weird vibe in the room

if I went in to meet somebody or audition for something–

just a weirdness.

Oh, yeah. I felt that.

We worry that you’re gonna be spoiled.

We worry that you’re getting too much too soon.

And now, you know, the circle turned around.

And now, everybody has to–

I don’t know-pay the price, pay the piper or something.

You know?

I do.

I very much felt like that.

And I felt there was a certain glee in that the wheel turned,

and you’re now under.

OK, glee.

There was a glee feeling. Yeah.

There was–

I mean, that’s not the word I would have used,

but that that strikes me-yeah, schadenfreude.


Yeah, I’d say that too.

It was trite–

something very trite about the Brat Pack.

It felt like it was just like,

let’s just write off everybody’s lives

and their experiences and their work.

Let’s just-you know, it’s just getting

all sort of written off.

It felt 100% like that.

I, in 35 years,

have never talked to anybody about it.

So to hear you articulate exactly what my experience was,

exactly what I know Emilio was experiencing,

you know-exactly the same.

And so to like-ALLY: Yeah.

Yeah. ALLY: Yeah.

When you grow up, your heart dies.

Who cares?

I care.

When that article came out, I recall being

really taken aback by it.

Because there had been so much excitement

about all of the young actors that were showing up.

Because there was this startling group of

really talented young people,

and that was the first time that it felt like

that had curdled, that people were going,

“You know what? They need to be knocked down a peg.”

And I also felt a little weird because there was

some sort of effort because Pretty in Pink came out to–

it was like, you have to decide.

Are you part of that or not?

Blane? His name is Blane?

Oh, that’s a major appliance. That’s not a name.

Just because I’m going out with Blane

doesn’t mean I can’t be friends with you.

Writers are addicted to narrative.

Brat Pack allowed a new narrative to take shape.

You know, these kids have the world on a string

because they’ve got this enormous amount of talent

at a time when the industry is really ready

to tell great stories about teenagers,

and let’s fuck with that a little.

It felt like water had been thrown on all of you,

and you had to walk into a room more apologetically

for having been part of that dynamic.

You guys were it.

You would have walked in with a different swagger

before that article.

And then they were free to have their kind of judgment.

The resentment could then morph into, see, we knew.

We know what you guys are.

Which you guys weren’t at all.

You were young, vulnerable, excited,

proud-of-your-work actors who literally got the rug

taken out from underneath them.

It was condescending.

And I don’t think anybody had thought

of all you wonderful actors in that way

until he coined that phrase.

And I could see you walking around with a lot of–

not specifically you, but I can see a person

walking around with a lot of resentment from that.

I was, you know, mad for you about that reductive wording.

I thought it was rude. I was very protective.

[bright orchestral music]

All right, we are Upstate New York here,

far from the madding crowd. [laughs]

And we’re hunting down Malcolm Gladwell,

who I am hoping can give me

some insight into how the Brat Pack label

caught fire like it did, and caught the zeitgeist,

and took hold.

I mean, this is right up his area of expertise,

this kind of social science,

and I’m hoping he can illuminate this for me.

MALCOLM: But the Brat Pack is signifying

that a generational transition is happening in Hollywood,

and we’re gonna call it this.

The explicit reference to the-the pun on the Rat Pack

is obviously huge.

So it’s no longer a term.

It’s a metaphor, right?

Whenever a term makes that journey to metaphor status,

it has a chance to kind of endure.

And, you know, it’s also funny.

The Rat Pack and the Brat Pack in sensibility

are polar opposites, right?

One is anxious, and immature, and trying

really, really, really hard to figure out

their place in the world,

and the other group doesn’t give a fuck,

But that’s sort of part of why it’s funny, right?


We didn’t find it funny.

No, I can imagine. It was funny for–

not funny.

Not “ha ha” funny, but funny in the way

that sticks in your mind.

Phrases endure when they have a kind of cleverness,

like it’s quoting “Rat Pack,” and when

they have some truth to them. This has truth.

It is. If it was just–

if you were doing it about, like,

three rando actors today who were in some indie movie,

it wouldn’t work because it’s not true

that there’s a generational transition

going on in Hollywood, but there was then, right?

There was a big transition happening.


I mean, it is when youth movies took over.

At the time, I was tremendously invested

in the pop culture that was aimed at me.

ANDREW: That’s how we communicate,

and how we identify, and how people talk

to each other when we’re in our 20s

is through that, really.

It’s the easiest, quickest shorthand to communication,

isn’t it?


Oh, did you see that, dude? You know.

Well, and possible then in a way it’s not possible now.

So nothing like that can happen anymore.

You can’t have a cultural touchstone that everyone

in their 20s can refer to.

If you gathered 100 17-year-olds at random

in America in 1986, 90 would have seen

or at least be conversant about Pretty in Pink.

No question.

They wouldn’t even have had to see it to be able

to hold a conversation about it.


There is absolutely no cultural phenomenon

at the present time of which that can be said–



Well, because things have been fractured.

We’ve gone from a relatively unified youth culture

to a youth culture that looks like every other aspect

of American society, which is everything’s

all over the place. There’s no common denominator.

I was 13 the first time I saw Breakfast Club on VHS,

and I remember watching it.

It was this-around eighth grade–

and thinking I had never seen anything

that was so like my life.

You know, movies were about grown-up things,

either serious grown-up things

or silly, funny grown-up things.

I couldn’t believe that here was The Breakfast Club.

Here was a movie about the exact things

that I was concerned with at that moment in my life.

This was pre-Facebook, pre having a sense

of kind of what everyone around the country

was feeling until I literally got to college

and met kids my age from all over the place

who knew and loved all of these movies.

IRA: That was before social media.

If you were a teenager living anywhere in the world,

and you’re watching The Breakfast Club,

you’re watching Pretty in Pink, you are imagining a world

that you’re not a part of.

For a teenager now, they can see that world

by opening up their phone.

This was this moment where it seemed so surprising

to have a movie like The Breakfast Club,

which is really just basically a therapy jam

for about an hour and a half,

if you really want to break it down.

It was just so powerful.

I mean, we’re all pretty bizarre.

Some of us are just better at hiding it.

That’s all.

BRET: I think ensembles had something to do with it.

A group study is always very enticing to audiences.

And a group study of these people

in this particular moment in 1985

was kind of like catnip.

These are considered the golden age

of youth cinema, these movies.

I mean, The Breakfast Club is in the Criterion Collection.

BRET: I remember seeing it the first weekend

it came out, really not knowing what to expect,

and I was very affected by it.

I was very affected by how seriously

they took these kids.

I was very moved by their ultimate plights.

Growing up in the ’80s, it felt very aspirational.

And yet, most of those movies also

felt very realistic in that they took

young people’s lives seriously.

SUSANNAH: We used these films as kind of a prism

through which to look at our lives.

We would talk about people in our lives

in terms of the characters from the movies.

You know, he’s such a Blane, he’s such a Duckie,

he’s such a Bender, whatever it was.

Still to this day, people would come up to me

and go, “I was team Duckie.”

I was team Duckie.

You were, really?

Of course.

What do you mean “of course”?

My idealized sense of what my role was

in my high school was Duckie.

I wasn’t actually that, but that’s

what I would have liked to be.

And I’m gonna use that to build my own identity.

So when I’m watching the Duck Man,

there are things in him that I would like to acquire.

So when you look back 20 years later,

you do see yourself in the movie.


But you’ve forgotten that you acquired–

You took it from there.

You took it from the movie.

IRA: I connected to Molly Ringwald a lot.

I connected to characters like her’s that sort of felt

like they weren’t being listened to by adults,

didn’t feel like they fit in.

INTERVIEWER: Have you ever had any of those insecure feelings?

All the time. All the time.

I’m always doubting myself, which is OK.

I mean, I have a certain amount of confidence,

but I also have-it kind of balances out

with all my insecurities.

There was this feeling that there were these young people

who were in different kinds of movies exploring

what it means to be young.

And it’s just so powerful to see my own feelings,

my inchoate feelings about what it means to be young

and a teenager and having my own troubles

and seeing it reflected in the screen.

That was extremely powerful.

When these movies came out, the parents were

really pushed to the back.

We were seeing friendship being treated in the same

kind of heady, exciting, sweeping, cinematic way

that normally had just been reserved for romantic love.

Everybody, but especially young people,

so want to connect

and so want that group of close, tight-knit friends.

And to see on screen something that represents that dream,

it’s such a powerful feeling.

This was when malls were becoming huge.

Malls are a very natural place for teenagers to go.

And they’d see movies with their friends

over, and over, and over again.

BRET: The effort that we put getting a ticket for a show

that starts two hours later, and you got to get

into the line because there’s no advanced seating.

You were investing in something.

It wasn’t just flipping on Spotify

or watching a movie over four nights on Netflix.

That moment-as a young person,

you’re like this sponge taking in everything

and reacting to everything.

And you’re so much more interested

and invested in a way that you’re not at 42.

LEA: I think we were in a very unique period in history.

And I boil it down to this.

It was the first time you could hold a movie,

and you could buy it,

and you could put it in your thing

and play it over and over again,

and it was a very small part of time.

Our first television set. Dad just picked it up today.

Do you have a television?

Well, yeah. You know, we have two of them.

Wow. You must be rich.

Oh, honey, he’s teasing you.

Nobody has two television sets.


ANDREW: Yeah, we were the first generation

where that was happening.


ANDREW: And who was renting movies but young people?

And what movies were they watching but those movies?

And they could watch us in their basement.

Over and over. And it’s not like that now.

Nobody owns movies. No–

you know, it was the same thing with albums and album covers.

You could look at the album, and you could look

at the cover, and you could put it in,

and you could play it. It meant something more.

It was physical.

[static hums]

[John Parr’s “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man In Motion)”

[cheers and applause]

Do you guys know this song?

Or you’re all too young for this song?

JOHN: ? Growin’ up ?

? You don’t see the writing on the wall ?

ANDREW: The music video,

we had to all go be a part of it.

It was like, oh, my God, this is so

of that instant in time.

And so it really does bring back

such specific memories to me of, like–

? I can hear the music playing ?

? I can see the banners fly ?

? Feel like you’re back again ?

? And hope riding high ?

? Gonna be your man in motion ?

? All I need is these pair of wheels ?

? Take me where my future’s lying ?

? St. Elmo’s fire ?

? I can see a new horizon ?

MICHAEL: Something that unites a lot of those movies

that people don’t always talk about

is how much the soundtrack mattered.


And you think about St. Elmo’s Fire.

And it wasn’t just the John Parr song.

It was also, like, the “Love Theme” instrumental

was a hit song.

[David Foster’s “Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire “]

? ?

Like, that literally charted.

And with Pretty in Pink, you’re always going to think–

if you think of Pretty in Pink, the song playing is going

to be OMD, “If You Leave”.

[Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark’s “If You Leave”]

SINGER: ? Oh, if you leave ?

SUSANNAH: These movies changed the kind of music

that American teenagers were listening to.

The idea of, you know, random Midwestern teenagers

knowing every word and loving, you know,

new wave British synth pop,

that’s because of these movies.


SUSANNAH: It’s true.

That’s because, basically, John Hughes loved these artists

and put those-those songs in his films.

I like doing it.

I like working with young actors.

I like to use music a lot.

And it’s a very receptive audience.

Hughes just allows himself to remember,

and to think, and to feel about those times.

EMILIO: I liked the fact that he was very collaborative.

It was like he’s-he invited you into the process.

“What do you think?”

I’ve never had a director say “what do you think?”

ALLY: I mean, to have a director there

who just trusts you-go ahead, improv till the–

till you hear the sound of the film, like,

slapping around in the canister.

And it’s just sort of-we ran out of film, reel film.

He’s got a lot of different levels to him and things.

He’s very enthusiastic about the work,

and he’s got a really creative,

quick mind, which I really like.

MOLLY: I admire John because he is a writer,

and yet, he’s not really overprotective about his work,

you know? He’s real good

about letting people come in and kind of

form their own character.

JOHN: I think one of the mistakes that’s commonly made

in Hollywood teenage pictures is that it’s just–

they’re going for the bucks,

and they’re not going for the heart.

And, you know, I try to make a movie that’s gonna last.

KATE: I mean, I still think that John

is the ultimate teenage drama filmmaker.

When he was making these films,

he was tapping into his own adolescent emotions and angst.

And John, I think, remembered what it felt like,

for better and for worse.

The glaring thing when we look back

on Brat Pack movies now–

with our perspective now–

is that John Hughes doesn’t deal at all with race.

I mean, the history of media, and Hollywood,

and films has been white characters for…


Forever, you know?

And so when you aren’t white, and you’re consuming media,

you are sort of used to the media being white.

You know, and you sort of build up the ability

to, you know, empathize with and connect with–

you know, I think it’s never really

been a problem for non-white people

to watch, like, a Pretty in Pink

or a Breakfast Club and sort of connect

with those characters because we are–

you’re used to consuming it.

Even now, when there’s a lot of diverse options,

the majority of the media is still sort of white-leaning,

you know, despite people protesting that it’s not.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, he’s a kid from

the northern suburbs of Chicago.

If you watch it and you’re like,

oh, he’s reflecting the way the world was in the ’80s–

you know, the Brown decision is ’54,

which is the legal end of educational segregation

in this country,

but the country just resegregated after that

just along kind of residential lines.

So it’s like, the reality of being a suburban,

upper-middle-class suburban kid from outside Chicago

in the 1980s is that there were–

there was, like, one Black kid in your class.

That’s the reality of it in that era.

So, like, I don’t know.

We can watch those movies and just be reminded that’s what–

that’s what America was.

MICHAEL: But I think that what John Hughes

was interested in in a real way was class.

I want to show this girl that I’m as good as anybody else.

CLIFF: So what, are you gonna impress her with money?

You think that’s the solution, Keith?

Dad, didn’t you ever have guys at your school

that didn’t fit in?

CLIFF: Yeah, of course.


[chuckles] Well, I’m one of those guys.

[orchestral music]

? ?

ANDREW: When I first heard the term “Brat Pack,”

my memory is being in your office, which was–

my memory is also, you were just across the hall

from John Hughes there.


ANDREW: And you’re the first person I remember

saying, “They’re calling you guys the Brat Pack.”

And you seemed to think that, like, that’s cool.

Yeah, it was a good thing. It distinguished us.

It took us out of a whole year of movies.

It put us in the forefront.

I mean, you have to realize when people saw

St. Elmo’s– young people–

they wanted to be part of the St. Elmo’s Brat Pack.

[both grunting]

[together] Boogah, boogah, boogah.

Ah, ah, ah! [laughter]

LAUREN: Here’s what I understood.

I understood that the guy who wrote it, in all deference,

was jealous of Emilio and all of you guys.

He termed “Brat Pack” as a bad term,

and I thought it was fabulous.

I thought it was-aren’t these guys lucky,

and aren’t they talented?

They made their luck.

If we had perceived it that way,

all our careers and lives would have been different.


I think we perceived it as you’re spoiled fucking brats.

Yeah, I know. I know.

Are you in the Brat Pack?

I’m Brat Pack-adjacent.

That’s what I would say.


I’d say you’re Brat Pack-adjacent. Exactly.

And did you want to be in the Brat Pack?

LEA: I did. I did.

And I was like, “Aw, I would have liked to have

hung out with you guys.”

But we never hung out.

I know.

It was an illusion, like all of Hollywood.

Well, they’re the cool kids.

They’re the people you want to hang out with.

And I think it just, like, continues the fantasy.

You wouldn’t want that to end when the movie is over.

You don’t want everyone to, like, go back to their trailer

and not talk to each other.

You want them all to be young, and cool, and fun

on screen and off screen.

JON: You know, everybody always wants

to be part of the cool group.

You know, there was always a part of me

like, “Yeah, whatever.”

They’re-you know, “They’re not so great anyway.”

Oh, the Brat Pack.

I-I think people just want to put people in groups.

I don’t-the only-I don’t–

I mean, of the Brat Pack, I don’t really–

I certainly don’t think I’m a part of it.

I mean-[laughs].

I hope not.

So have you spoken to Molly?

ANDREW: I, of course, asked Molly

if she’d like to speak, and she said

she’d think about it

but that she would probably just like

to just keep looking forward. And so–


I think Molly, you know, wants to move on, wants–

we all want to be taken without the baggage

of our pop cultural references as an actor.

We want to just act.

Does it make it difficult for you

to work with that group of actors because

of the publicity attendant?

I think that the most reprehensible thing

about it all is that it portrays us

as not being serious about our work.

Regardless of how our personal life may be portrayed

by those people who aren’t in our personal lives,

our professional life should be painted in the true picture.

It should not cost us professionally

because of a point of view that’s outside of it.

[Lou Reed’s “Ride Into the Sun”]

? ?

LOU: ? Looking for another chance ?

? For someone else to be ?

? ?

? Looking for another place ?

? To ride into the sun ?

ANDREW: When we first started this,

I thought, you know, the biggest problem

with this is going to be getting everyone to say yes

because I know there’s still such post-traumatic stress

associated with it for some of the gang, you know?

And our past lives on in us.

As much as we try and leave things in the past,

they don’t get left there, you know?

It’s like that Eugene O’Neill line.

“The past is the present.

It’s the future too”

LOU: ? Ride into the sun ?

? Where everything seems so pretty ?

? But if you’re tired and you’re ?

ANDREW: So we’re out here in the sticks

to track down Tim Hutton.

I met Tim in the early ’80s

before the Brat Pack of it all.

He was in Ordinary People in 1980,

won the Academy Award-deservedly so.

He was spectacular in that movie.

And you could argue that the origins of the youth film

started right there.

Obviously, Ordinary People was not a youth–

or a teen movie in any way, but he was a teen.

And it took young people,

his character in that movie, very seriously.

Oh, I think that was it.

I think I just passed it.

So, yeah, it’ll be great to see Tim.

I haven’t seen him in forever.

And I’ll get his take on all this.

Because he was certainly in the heart of it,

in the center of it back then, yet somehow evaded

the Brat Pack label.

Hey. [laughs]

I’m wandering up to some random house

hoping not to get shot.

[laughs] TIM: Welcome.

ANDREW: Hello, Tim. TIM: How are you, man?

Good to see you.

ANDREW: Nice to see you. TIM: Yeah.

ANDREW: Hi. Thanks.

TIM: Yeah, absolutely.

ANDREW: You look great. TIM: I got bees.

Those are-that’s-ANDREW: Are you beekeeper?

Yeah, 60,000 bees.

ANDREW: Jesus, dude. TIM: Yeah.

ANDREW: Look at you.

I see you now.

I still feel like, in a way, your showbiz younger brother.

Because you were one of the first people I met.

You seemed to take me under your wing.

And like, you were living in upper west–

what street? Do you remember what street

you lived on in that–


OK, you were living in that place,

and we used to go down to Arthur’s restaurant,

the pizza place–




Yeah. And anyway, and then we did that show,

the Steven Spielberg–

TIM: Amazing Stories. ANDREW: Amazing Stories.

TIM: Yeah.

ANDREW: I so looked up to you and admired you

because, you know, if Lou Reed was the godfather of punk,

you’re like the godfather of the Brat Pack…

[laughs] ANDDREW: In a certain way.

You know what I mean?

Because we did-we all stood on your shoulders.

During that time, there was a lot

of really interesting scripts by interesting filmmakers.

It mostly featured young people

in their 20s during that time.

ANDREW: Yeah, it was an amazing time to be that age,

and we were there, you know, at the center of it.

Do you remember where you were the first time

you heard the term “Brat Pack?”

What do you remember of that time?

I just thought, you know, that it was honestly

kind of a cheap-both of those words,

“brat” and “pack”–

I felt like I was just starting my life and my career.

Are you getting offered the kind of parts you want?

Or do the people who make these things up

view you in a certain way that’s limiting?

ANDREW: [laughs] I think you get in a rut–

not a rut necessarily,

but people see you in one way, and they like to keep

seeing you that way because it’s–

you know, people like to use as little imagination,

really, as possible all the time.

I guess I asked that because I–

ANDREW: All we ever want in life is to be seen, right?

See me.


ANDREW: Hear what I have to say and see me.

And I felt suddenly-[claps]

like that happened, where it felt like–

experienced like a slap and then a redirection

that I didn’t turn.

I suddenly felt like I wasn’t being seen.

It was making a comment on, you know,

in a really cynical way, young actors and young people

with tremendous success…


Based on nothing.

It was just sort of like, I’ve decided this.


And then so suddenly, one learns protectiveness.

And that’s-if you’re an actor,

being protective and shut off and closed in

is the last thing one can afford to be

if you’re gonna work properly. TIM: Yeah.

Have you talked to the others about that?

“The others.”

Like, again, it feels like a cult or something.

ANDREW: Well, that’s interesting, right?

I don’t know them, and yet,

I know them because they experienced this thing

and it has been dragging around with them

for 30-odd years.


ANDREW: Branded. We share a brand.

Well, I just didn’t know how to address it or deal with it,

you know? TIM: Yeah.

So I just tried to run and whatever.

And then 35 years later, I guess I sort of

stopped running, and turned around,

and go, “Oh, so you’re still there? OK.

Let’s-let’s look at you.” [laughs]

You know what I mean?

Yeah, yeah.

I’m surprised because I’m not a sentimental person.

I’m not a nostalgic person.

And yet, I’m finding it deeply moving.

Like, I see you, and I’m like, “Wow, there’s Tim.”

[Alphaville’s “Forever Young”]

? ?

I came out here to LA this weekend

to try and talk to some of the gang,

and they’ve proven to be a bit elusive.

Judd is at some undisclosed location and not available.

And Rob, suddenly, was in Orlando.

When I told my wife I was gonna make a movie about

talking to the Brat Pack, she said that it would probably

be very good for my humility.

And now, I understand what she’s talking about.

? ?

I’m not sure I like it.

MARIAN: ? Sitting in a sandpit ?

? Life is a short trip ?

? The music’s for the sad men ?

ANDREW: Ah, good. We’re late.

[laughs] What a shit show, huh?

There you are.

I hope the vicious dogs don’t attack us.

MARIAN: ? Getting in tune ?

? The music’s played by the ?

? The madman ?

? Forever young ?

? I want to be forever young ?

? Do you really want to live forever? ?

? Forever and ever ?

DEMI: Good to see you.

ANDREW: Yeah, how are you? DEMI: Good. Welcome.

MARIAN: ? I want to be forever young ?

DEMI: Do you want to sit here? ANDREW: Maybe so.

Are you guys good?

I’m playing with my hair.

I don’t want my ears sticking out like an elf.

Slippers good? [laughs]

ANDREW: The slippers are good.

I remember the first time I saw you.

You walked into-we were on the sound stage

at Columbia there for St. Elmo’s Fire.

And my memory is you came-Joel kind of

brought you in and presented you

to the room as this–

this creature that he’s created.

And it’s like-and it was just so weird.

And I just remember going, “Oh, why is Joel

treating her like that?” [laughs]

You know, it was–

DEMI: But you know what was so beautiful is he really

stuck his neck out for me ’cause it’s not like

I had any box office draw.

I-we were all just beginning.

I didn’t-I didn’t have anything to really

warrant him sticking by me.

They paid to have a companion, a sober companion with me 24/7

during the whole shooting. ANDREW: Did they?

Yeah. ANDREW: I didn’t even notice.

I didn’t even notice.

And I literally was–

like, they could have easily just found someone else.

Going to treatment, they were like,

“We want you to check in.

I’m like, “No, no, I’m starting a movie.”

And they said, “Yes, but what’s more important to you,

the movie or your life?”

And I said, “The movie.” ANDREW: The movie.

[laughter] Come on.

Come on. What they talking about?

I mean, for me, like, I didn’t have any value for myself.

I think I was so fearful of failing, fearful of losing,

and desperate to kind of fit in, belong.

And my need to please was definitely on high alert.

I think that’s been the nice thing

with Joel’s casting. He’s been real insightful in–

in placing us.

Because it’s-we’re all playing extensions

of ourselves that are real–

are real, you know, inward.

Inward places that we’ve probably not yet looked at.

ANDREW: Do you remember where you were the first time

you heard the term “Brat Pack”?

I remember it coming out and being like, what the fuck?


Why did we take it as an offense?

That’s the thing.

Why did we take it as something bad as opposed to–

Well, because you’re called a “brat.”

You’re called a fucking “brat.” [laughs]

DEMI: I know, and it’s because we were young

that we thought, “Oh, if we’re–“

And we were afraid we were brats, you know?

DEMI: It definitely really irritated me.

I felt like a sense of it being unjust.

I just think it–

I just felt like it didn’t represent us,

and I felt like it was a real limited perspective.

It stayed with me for a while, you know,

just as I did press things.

You know, “The Brat Pack,” blah, blah–

you know? ANDREW: Yeah.

But I don’t know if I took it as personal over time

maybe than as you did-or even the impact

that you may have had from it.

I’m still wrangling with that notion

of, like, I allowed that–

even though I said it didn’t.

But it was like there was a belief that you were

holding underneath that you made that mean something

about you that then created a limitation

in your expression, and that’s-you know, and in–

ANDREW: Say that again. That’s exactly right.

[laughter] No, but that’s exactly right.

Fear was such a dominant part of my life when I was a kid.

And it’s still something I contend with

on a daily basis, right? So-and my fear–

I always felt like I was being stabbed

right between my shoulder blades

by some unknown kind of thing.

And that’s what I felt like when I first heard

the term “Brat Pack.”

I have a similar one in–

in an old pattern.

And mine was the rug being pulled out from under me.

Yeah, Jules, why do I feel like I’m not here by accident?

I have been needing to talk to you.


It sounds like one of our infamous

conversations is coming.

I look at everything as happening for us, not to us.

And you can’t be selective with that.

The fact that that came out and it tried to diminish us

was also an opportunity to rise above it, to say,

“No, I am much more than that.

“I am not, you know, for whatever reason,

the offensive part of being kind of seen as a ‘brat.'”

ANDREW: For me, that’s years in the process

to come to that kind of thing.

That’s really just wise. You know?

That took me years to–

because all I felt is it was negative for so long, and–

But I think that that is a common part of our conditioning

is to see these things that have been, in a sense,

what we hold as against-ness.

It was like an against-ness to us.

It was a-it was. It was a–

ANDREW: Ooh, I like that-an “against-ness.”

DEMI: It was.

Yeah, it was.

But against-ness only provokes against-ness.

And so when we hold things that way, we create…


That pattern.

Like, that idea of being stabbed in the back

is something you related to as something much earlier

in your life. ANDREW: Yeah.

So I’m predisposed to interpret it that way.

Not only that, you’re predisposed

to recreating it until you hit a point where you’re…

Well, yeah.

You don’t want to do that anymore.

You go to enough therapy, and you kind of go–

And here you are.

You’re working through this just with that same purpose.

And now here we are, Doctor. Dr. Demi, listen.


There’s the brink of insanity,

and then there is the abyss…

Kev, there’s nothing to be…

Which obviously…

Ashamed of.

You’ve fallen into.

I had ambition. And yet part of me–

I have one hand that really wants something,

and to this day, I have one hand

that really wants something,

and on the other hand, I just want to go,

“I just want to get the fuck out of here.”

I’m so similar in that way.

The other kind of story I had is, like,

wanting to hide and make myself small.

I think when my life started to become

more important than my career, I started to see–

to step back and have the perspective

on the Brat Pack that it allowed me to do

what we’re talking about now, to see it as

a as a good thing as opposed to–


When I stopped pressing so hard,

I think that shift, which comes with age

and/or failure. [laughs]

The event is the event.

What we make it mean is the value

that it all of a sudden has. Does that–

ANDREW: Yeah, I gave it so much power.

You gave it so-exactly.

When you really look at that now,

we thought we were like so–

And, of course, we thought we were like-yeah.

So grown up. But we were babies.

What? [laughter]




I mean…

[soft dramatic music]

? ?

ANDREW: Things that happen to us when we’re young,

they’re really intense, and they go deep.

You know, had the same thing, the Brat Pack–

if the Brat Pack happened when we were 40,

we would have gone like, “Whatever, dude.”

You know, because you’re young,

you just take it so personally because you’re not sure

of yourself yet, and so I think

that article tapped into doubts and fears

that we had about ourselves.

My God, are we maybe really undeserving of this?

Are we this or that, you know?

If it didn’t touch something-you know, it’s that old saying,

“If it gets you, you got it.”

If it didn’t touch some fear that we had

harbored about ourselves, it wouldn’t have mattered,

you know?

Was it touching truth?

It was touching fear, and fear is a powerful thing.

? ?

So who’s in the Brat Pack then?

I would-[laughs]

No, it’s interesting.

I mean, it’s not–it’s ridiculous.

But it’s-BRET: No, no.

It’s true. It’s–

Because it’s ’80s culture.

It’s you. It’s Judd Nelson.

It’s Emilio.

I’ve been trying to answer this question for years.

ALLY: Yeah.

The Brat Pack was just us.

People would say Molly’s in the Brat Pack.


Molly Ringwald.

I don’t see Demi or Ally being part of that.

Demi. Ally.

Jon Cryer.

I am not in the Brat Pack.

What are the Brat Pack movies?

I don’t know.

Is Fast Times at Ridgemont High Brat Pack?

No dice. [laughter]

Is Young Guns a Brat Pack movie? No.

MICHAEL: The Outsiders,

well, Emilio and Rob Lowe were in that,

but is Tom Cruise in the Brat Pack?

[Yello’s “Oh Yeah”]

I’ve got to do what’s good for me.

Would you put Matt Dillon in the Brat Pack?

I don’t know.

Sean in the outer ring.


Well, you were probably the center of the nucleus

because of the article.

And then you were in the two movies.

But then so was Judd.

Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald,

Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, um…

Who are we forgetting?

Demi Moore.

Demi Moore and me.

And you.


And that it didn’t really exist doesn’t matter.

? ?

All right, we are headed over here

to see Howie Deutch, who directed

a movie called Pretty in Pink.

We’re passing all the hikers going up in–

up for their Sunday hikes.

God, look at them all.

LA, baby.

HOWIE: Andrew McCarthy.


HOWIE: Oh, my gosh.


How are you?

[laughs] Good.

HOWIE: 30 years.

ANDREW: That’s what I was just saying.

I think it’s, like, 30 years.

HOWIE: You’re gonna be out of focus.

ANDREW: Come here. HOWIE: How are you?

ANDREW: [laughs] Good. How are you?

Great to see you. ANDREW: Good to see you.

It’s cool that you’re doing this.

ANDREW: Yeah, well, we’ll see.


So the Brat Pack-what is it about that label?

I don’t know. I mean, the Brat Pack–

I was on the outside of all that.


But my wife, Lea, wasn’t.

And a lot of other actors, like yourself, weren’t.

And I feel like that is, like, the headline sometimes

that they’re stuck with.

That’s the reason I want to do it, why 35–

how many years later? HOWIE: Well, but ask yourself.

Why don’t you want to be included in that?

That’s part of why we’re doing this interview, I think,

this doc.

Those movies–

and our movie included in that–

represent a moment for a certain generation

of people that is their youth.

And they’re like, “I feel just like that girl.

That’s me.”

And taking ownership like that in movies–

that’s why movies are so powerful

because people can identify and connect

and they’re not so alone anymore.

I hated the Brat Pack for decades

because of my own defensiveness of, I’m not a brat.

But let me look at, what does the Brat Pack mean

to me then and then what does it mean now.

And when I-it finally kind of dawned

on me that maybe there’s bounty in that and not just brats.

Everybody’s haunted by something like that.

And sometimes, it makes you do better work, you know,

and sometimes not.

[door rings] BLANE: Jesus.

[soft dramatic music]

? ?

HOWIE: And I remember every time we were

about to do a scene, Andrew, you would say to me,

“OK, tense up.”

Like, that was–

I do remember that.

Jesus, I forgot.

Yeah, you’d say, tense up.

And I’d laugh.

And it relaxed me, actually,

’cause I thought you actually were nervous

and that it helped, the humor.

And action.

ANDREW: So the end of Pretty in Pink–

we changed the whole ending. You know better than me.

HOWIE: The test screening was a disaster.

The original ending was she goes with John.

You have a date,

and they walk into the dance circle,

and they start to dance,

and it becomes a swirl of pink,

and it’s over.

And booing like I’ve never heard in my life–

screaming, booing, you know, yelling,

throwing things. It was like, what?

And that was it. It was just a disaster.

And they gave us one day to shoot all of it,

which you know, which is insane,

but that’s what they did.

And you had to do it on a stage even though–

ANDREW: Yeah, yeah. We did it on the stage.

You were in New York shooting.

Yeah, I was in New York doing a play,

and my head was shaved because I was playing a marine,

so they had to make me a wig, and it was such a bad wig.

I always joked that if they’d known

that we’d still be talking about it 35 years later,

they would have paid for a better wig.

[laughs] ANDREW: It was a terrible wig,

and it just sat on my head like some bird’s nest

and gave me such a forlorn and sad look.

So all I had to do was go up to Molly and say, you know,

“I love you,” or whatever the line was.

I love you.

ANDREW: I just looked so sad

that it did all the acting for me.


ANDREW: You know, our youth is there for us to look at.

You know, and how has it evolved

then over the years, your relationship

to early success?

Because early success is something else.

It’s like, you know, Tennessee Williams wrote

a great article called

“The Catastrophe of Success”

when Glass Menagerie was successful.

And it just, like, blew his whole life up.

It’s fortunate to have it, but it’s also a struggle

to escape being pigeonholed into just

that category and that arena.

There’s an inexplicable thing

that happens when something really cooks and works

like the movie we did.

And it’s funny, trying to get back

to doing something–

sometimes, a little knowledge is dangerous.

That innocence is-yeah, we spend a lot of time

trying to get back to that. [laughs]

HOWIE: Yeah, because you’re using more of yourself.

Honesty is something you really can’t fake.

FEE: This is Fee Waybill for MTV here

at the premiere for Pretty in Pink

at the lovely Mann’s Chinese Theater.

My mother was a reporter for The LA Times,

and she also often covered movie premieres.

I remember going with her to the Pretty in Pink premiere

and walking up the red carpet,

and I got to shake John Hughes’ hand.

Howie Deutch, Mr. John Hughes–

respectively, the director of the film

and the producer and writer of the film.

ANDREW: That same night when we were in that room

together, as the credits started to roll, I got up…

MICHAEL: Yes, you got drunk.

And went across the street to the Hamburger Hamlet…

MICHAEL: Hamburger Hamlet. ANDREW: And got drunk.

I could not sit in that room.

I just found that just so nerve-wracking.

Well, I’ve seen the video of-of you

in the-you and Spader–

Oh, my God.

Yeah, that lives on.

At the after party. Yes.

I just look at that.

And I just-I’m just so lost.

Andrew McCarthy and James Spader.

James is the not-so-good guy.

ANDREW: So I just look at that,

And I go, “Oh, my God, I was just so young, and like–“

You were a living, breathing…


MICHAEL: Public service announcement.


Kids, don’t do this. Yeah.

But-and yet, at that moment,

I am the aspirational–


You know?

Andrew, did you actually go to your high school prom?



Why not?

I couldn’t get a date.

That night encapsulated my entire ’80s career, really–

thrilled, yet terrified, the ambition,

and yet the wanting to run,

and then getting clouded by alcohol.

That sort of-that night was the ’80s for me.

[laughs] MICHAEL: Yeah.

You know?

Party at the Palace continues after these messages.

? ?

JEANNIE: [laughs] Herb, he’s mine now.

Lay off. He’s mine.

[laughs] HERB: Jeannie?

JEANNIE: Yes? HERB: Back off before we start.

? ?

Hey, could I get a cheeseburger

with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle?

Oh, we’re just doing this documentary.

It’s about-that’s a good question.

It’s about looking for people. [laughs]

Oh, yeah?

It’s about a group of actors

from the ’80s called the Brat Pack.

Do you know who they were?

The Brat Pack. You ever hear of that?

Yeah, there you go.

Ancient history. Thanks, man.

? ?

These people I don’t know and hadn’t seen

in 30-odd years, we all share this monumental moment

in our lives together and all had

exact similar reactions to it.

It just lets you know why people need community

and why people don’t live isolated.

Because knowing that everyone else

went through the same thing somehow is, you know…

? ?

That’s good.

? ?

So I’m still trying to pin down Judd,

and I think this is my third or fourth time

trying to meet up with Rob.

When we were young, Rob and I were not close.

I think we were-we were fairly competitive.

I was, like, this New York, serious actor–

or wanting to be.

And Rob was the gorgeous LA, you know,

young movie star.

And we each had our little niche.

I should probably keep my hands on the wheel here.

[laughs] Hey. Hey.

ROB: Hey, there he is. ANDREW: [laughs]

ROB: God, when was the last time I actually saw you?

ANDREW: 30 years ago. ROB: No, it can’t be.

I think. [laughter]

Jonathan, this is my mom.

Uh, very nice to meet you, Mrs. Burroughs.

Hello. Hello.

ROB: We were so lucky to be in the right place

at the right time as the movie business

was beginning the transition

to where it landed and still exists,

which is movies made almost exclusively for 18-

to 20-year-olds.

I mean, every summer movie that’s out

is geared towards that audience.

It wasn’t always like that.

But we were there at a time when that began.

Maybe we had something to do with it,

which would either be the good news or the bad news.

But not only being in the Brat Pack,

but being around at that time not only

changed all of our lives.

It changed what entertainment is.

It’s so weird to talk about this because we’re giving–

because we’re focusing on it, and I’m focusing

on making a movie, but it’s giving it

such import, you know?

But that’s the way it is when you’re focusing on anything.

It’s-ROB: Yes.

And when you-you have to take a step back.

Well, any time there’s a documentary about anything,

it’s very important.


But you’re always been very good

at kind of going, “Dude, it’s not,

you know, curing cancer. It’s the Brat Pack.”

[laughs] Yes.

And do you think it affected your career

on the immediate level?

There’s always gonna be some perception that bumps up

against how you see yourself

and what you think you can do as an actor.

And that never changes, I don’t think.

Did you like the label at first?

I mean, I don’t recall anyone liked it.

No one liked it.

And look, I don’t want to come off seeming

like I’m so Pollyanna that I don’t realize,

or didn’t know at the time, what a fucking disaster

and how mean-spirited and what an attempt that was

to minimize all of our talents. I get why it happened.

There were just too many of us.

So there had to be a catch-all name,

and Brat Pack is a good name.

These young actors and these movies

about these young actors and these people making them

like John Hughes and so forth,

are gonna start to lead the business in a way

where there are gonna be TV shows like Glee.

And there’s going to be–

I mean, look at Friends.

The CW.

There’s gonna be all of these things

that we now take for granted–

don’t happen without the Brat Pack.

They just don’t.

I had never thought

of it like that, to give it such–

to be such a linchpin toward the pivot in popular

movie culture.


I guess I’m just too sort of shame-based to sort of–



To, like-I would just go, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no.”

And not be able to take it in in a certain way,

which is one of your gifts, that you’ve

always been able to do that.

I get this all the time.

It’s like, “Oh, my God, I love those movies. Oh.

God, I was a big Andrew McCarthy guy.”

And I’m like–


What the fuck?

I know.

But that’s because they treat us like we’re not real.

I get all that all the time.

It’s like, “Oh, Rob was so good.”

I’m like, “Dude, no you’re talking to Andrew.”

ROB: Hi, hello?


Ah, forgive me for not getting intimate.

Here, it’s a long ride.

You shouldn’t have.

I know.

It was like being in a group.

I mean, I’m not gonna say we were the Beatles

or anything, but I gotta tell you,

there were some times where the frenzy around it

was certainly up there with anything any of those guys did.

Well, we didn’t fill Shea Stadium,

but I mean, there were moments. [laughs]

We could have. 1985, I think we could have.


It was fun, excitement.

The world is your oyster.

You can’t believe what’s happening.


And it was at the height of the Brat Pack,

and it was super unbelievable.

Agreed. And–

ROB: [laughs]


I don’t believe you one-ANDREW: Even for me.

No, but even for me, agreed.

Like, begrudgingly, like, this is awesome.


OK, good.

OK, yeah. Begrudging, yes.

Yeah, yeah.

All right.

What’s your memory of the night at Sammy’s house?

That happened, right?


[laughs]. Right?

So what’s your recollection?

It started at Spago.



ANDREW: You asked me to come out,

and I was like, “Really?”

We were shooting St. Elmo’s Fire.

And, like, I remember following you over the hill.

And I’m like, “Where’s Spago?”

You’re like, “Follow me.”

Follow me, kid.

Yeah, exactly.


I just remember sitting down next to the person being–

this is Liza.

And I went, “I’ll have a double vodka.”


Yeah you didn’t know Liza Minnelli

was gonna be there.

I’m sorry?

ANDREW: No idea. And it was-she was lovely.

The best. ANDREW: She was lovely.

And-but there came a time where

there’s that moment where it’s clear the evening is over,

and I think we were literally getting up out of our seats.

You went, “Let’s go to Sammy’s.”

So we follow Liza Minnelli to Sammy Davis Jr.’s house.

I mean, who’s not gonna do that?

ANDREW: Right, and you were pretty–

Hi. Come on in.

ANDREW: Cool and savvy and been to some things.

And even you were just like, “Holy shit.”

Holy shit.

He was so gracious.

He was playing-he was long sober,

but he was playing bartender,

and I was getting drunker and drunker.

and me and Sammy were, like, splitting cigarettes,

and he’s like, “I got my eye on you cats.

I love what you’re doing.”

“I love what you do.”

“Keep it up.” You know?

And it’s the only time, in my experience,

that the Brat Pack met the Rat Pack.

ROB: That is when the Brat Pack met the Rat Pack.

When I think of the Brat Pack, I think of nights like that

because that stuff routinely happened,

as it does when you were in that moment.

And you see that moment recycles every generation

with different people, with different names,

and different places, but it’s the same story.

Someone is having that moment.

It can fuck you up, or it can be fun,

or it can be all of the above.

But there are very few people that are ever in a place

to go through that moment.

And yet, there always will be people

who will go through that moment every generation.

And it always pains me when I see some of the other folks

who don’t realize how much love

is infused into the Brat Pack,

and it makes me sad for them.

ANDREW: This is what I’ve come to realize.

There’s so much goodwill there.

By the way, it’s nothing but goodwill…



Where does it end, the Brat Pack?

I mean, does it follow us to the end?

It’ll for sure.

I mean, it should.

ANDREW: The great surprise for me has been how much affection

we all seem to have for each other now

in a way that we didn’t then, and,

you know, the people I’ve talked to.

And so that’s been really nice to kind of–

there’s a lightness that comes with it now

that did not exist back then.

Because back then, we were all just pressurized,

and trying to figure out what to do,

and trying to have a career, and like, oh, my God,

something just happened, and they’re calling us

this negative name, and, oh, shit, what do I do?

Now it’s all just like-[laughs]

You know, who cares?

And if you do still care, it’s–

So if you had told me

10, 20, 30 years ago,

I’d be walking up to see David Blum’s apartment,

the writer of the “Brat Pack” article,

I would have said, “You’re fucking crazy.”

Let’s see what happens. David?

[laughs] Hi.

How are you?


And how are you?

Good to meet you…

Nice to meet you.

At long last.


I’m Dave.

I’m Adrian.

That’s Adrian.

I asked you this the other day, but I–

I was rushing. Do you prefer David or Dave?



OK, Dave. So thank you. Thank you.

Was it a pitch to go do a thing on Emilio?

Or did the mag-were you freelancing in New York?

Or were you–


I was on a contract at New York Magazine,

and I had to do eight stories a year, something like that.

And so it was just gonna be a story

about a feature on Emilio? DAVE: Mm-hmm.

He said, “Hey, we’re having dinner tonight,

me, and, you know, Judd, and Rob.”

They were in full flower, having a great time,

drinking and toasting and nostrovia.


DAVE: You know, a lot of people were coming around the table.

And especially–

you know, no surprise, Rob Lowe

was getting a lot of the special attention,

but everybody was.

I was getting the least attention of all, you know,

which was, you know, fine,

and I was just really able to observe.

Did you like Emilio when you interviewed him?

I really did, all the way through the whole process.

I didn’t dislike any of them.

I thought they were all quite nice.

It’s hard to explain, but I didn’t think at the time,

ugh, these brats, at all.

So you come home to New York then.

DAVE: Well, before I came back–

the night before this all happened,

I had gone out to dinner with some friends who happened

to be in LA, journalists.

We had a very large meal at this dinner.

And one of-this guy from People Magazine,

who was a very funny writer named Alan Richmond,

referred to us as the “Fat Pack,” which

I thought was very funny.

So at some point while I was in LA,

I was driving from one place to another,

and that joke re-emerged in my brain,

and I said, “Brat Pack.”

And then I thought, “Ha, a light bulb has gone on,

and I now have a title.”

I thought, “Well, this is fun. It’s fun.”

I just thought, “Oh, oh, yeah.”

And Emilio did that thing where he got the cheaper ticket.

And I don’t know.

I just start listing all the things.

You know, they said that thing about Tim Hutton.

Oh, yeah. They’re brats.

You know, it’s funny.

It honestly didn’t cross my mind, really,

that it was all that big a deal.

The article comes out, and, you know, the cover–

Hollywood’s Brat Pack,

those guys. It really–

you know, people were like, “Wow.”

And the phrase definitely-people dug it, you know.

Well, one or two people were like, “Wow,”

that’s like really mean.” You know?

I thought it was pretty, like, whoa.

DAVE: Well, you referred to it in, I think, that Today Show

interview as “scathing.” That was the word.

I thought it was-yeah, I did think it was scathing.

Didn’t you?


I mean, I guess in retrospect, yes.

Um, at the time, no.

I was proud of my creation of the phrase.

Look, I was–

I don’t know how old you were then.

I was–

I was, like, 22.

OK. I was 29.

And I definitely knew it was gonna have a reaction.

Yeah. I mean, it certainly was–

my recollection is that it was instantaneous,

and burned deep, and…

I just remember seeing that cover and being like,

“What just happened?”

Really, it hit like that-like a car wreck.

And I felt instantly-and it proved to be

the experience-that I’d lost control

of the narrative of my career.

Well, that’s very well put.

What really upset me about the article

was that it felt like they’re not that interested

in doing the craft of it.

They want to be famous and be-and party.

And what I was-you know, I took offense

at that because I felt like–

Well, you had gone to acting school,

and you had gone to college.

You got-did you graduate from NYU?

I did not. I was kicked out.

Oh, oh.

But I did go to acting school, yeah.

I think part of my point was, you know,

guys like Tom Cruise, who went straight

from a production of A Christmas Carol

to being in–

Being in Top Gun.


It worked out for him.

It felt like to me, and I know to the other people

at the time-putting words

in their mouth-we have to reposition this,

or deflect this, or get away from this,

or whatever because it certainly

wasn’t perceived in the industry as a compliment.

It would take a Herculean ability

to be sort of cool with yourself to,

in June of 1985, go, “Hey, this is a good thing.”

I get that.

I mean, nobody was gonna, like, immediately go,

“Oh, my God, we’re gonna be famous forever.

This is like a–” [laughs]

Who would think that?

To me, when I look back on it,

I actually feel more redeemed than ever

by the fact that I was not wrong.

You were a bunch of talented and interesting people

to write about at a point when Hollywood

had finally decided young adults

should be in movies. Why not?

But in fairness, you didn’t write it

with any affection toward them. You wrote it with more of a–

You were all adults.

I would not have written that story about minors.

Yeah, sure.

DAVE: No, I mean, I felt that I could do that.

And I felt that-this is maybe

not the best analogy, but Woody Allen,

at one point in his travails

of recent memory, said, “I’m in it–

I’m cool with it because of the Knicks tickets.”

[chuckles] And I thought, “Wow, really?”

That’s-you know, for him, that’s what it is,

getting to sit courtside at the Knicks.

OK, and I don’t even know what that means, but–

DAVE: Well, it’s just like, there’s trade-offs

to being a celebrity.


DAVE: And some of it is positive.

You get whisked around the gate to get into the nightclub.

These people wanted to be written about.

These people agreed to talk to me.

These people behaved the way they did.

I’m doing my job as a journalist.

It wasn’t meant to destroy or hurt anyone

but really just to define a group of people

in a clever and interesting way.

There were a couple of things in the article that were

just plain-old not nice, and I’m sure

I should have been scolded by somebody,

and I was. I was just trying to be funny.

And I actually think I may–

I hope I won’t sound too arrogant by thinking

that I might have succeeded.

They were all on Donahue one day

for promoting St. Elmo’s Fire,

and Donahue was, at the time, you know, a very popular show,

and they were all together on stage.

And he’s running around with his microphone.

And Richard Schickel, who was the critic of TIME Magazine…

TIME Magazine, yeah.

Was there, it seemed to me, to attack me.

The article reviewed the life and apparently

followed the so-called Brat Pack for a couple of days.

RICHARD: Could I apologize for my profession for that?


Oh, thank you.

Thank you.

RICHARD: I really thought that was a scurrilous article.


And I’m like, “Really?”

That seems a little harsh, you know?

The film critic at TIME Magazine.

Well, St. Elmo’s Fire became-and, you know,

again, it became a hit.

And ultimately, I think I should have gotten

more credit for helping that along.


Honestly, no, I’m serious.

You know, controversy sells.

Did it affect your career?

DAVE: Not as much as I thought it was going to.

I really thought that I was gonna be suddenly ushered

into Tina Brown’s office. I’ve spent my whole–

honestly, really, whole life, it comes up sooner

or later with people I know. You created the Brat Pack?

I mean, people just literally don’t know

how to process that information.

Like I said, I’m proud of it. It’s fine.

I think-I think I have no regrets,

and I’m glad it’s lived on forever,

but it’s not the great–

I hope it’s not the greatest thing I ever did.

I really do.

When you say that, I hope I’m not known for–

you sound like a member of the Brat Pack.

So if you could wave a magic wand

and do anything different about that article, would you?

No, partially because, you know, you’re 29–

look, I think I can say this to you

and you hopefully will get it, is that you make–

that’s when you make mistakes.


You know?

And even if it was a mistake–

and I still don’t think it was–

you got to take chances and just swing

and do crazy things.

When I talk to you here now,

I have this sort of affection for you in spite–

No, I totally understand.

We have-even though we’ve never met

and never been in contact, we have something.

We share something.

And I actually think you’ve actually

found the emotional beating heart

of the story, which is, you know,

that we all share something.

Who would have ever thought we’d even be here?


It’s crazy.

But that’s cool, I think.

Thank you.

DAVE: It was really great to meet you.

ANDREW: Thank you.

DAVE: Stay in touch, and let me know how this is going.

I will. And we’ll get out of your hair.

Um, but do you think you could have been nicer?



I mean, it’s collateral damage,

in my view, to making the point that

here was a bunch of people

that had become very famous and popular,

and I’m calling them the “Brat Pack,”

and here’s how I’m saying it.

But there was collateral damage?

DAVE: Oh, yeah.

I guess I feel like, you know, sticks and stones.

? ?

ANDREW: We went through something.

ALLY: Yeah. ANDREW: And it was real.

And the fallout was real.

And it affected our lives, my life, profoundly.

Yeah, me, too.

ANDREW: To this day.

Me, too.

ANDREW: And so we’re members of a club

we never asked to join.

And so there is an unspoken kind of like–

just that.

It’s like, oh, hello, hello. ALLY: Yeah.

And I am really grateful for that,

for having the people

that I know I have this connection with.

Do you know what I mean?

The fondness that I feel for everybody,

that’s real.

I mean, that’s-that’s genuine.

You know?

? ?

And, you know, on your tombstone–

I think I heard you say this–

“Emilio Brat Pack Estevez” will be your epitaph.

I did. I said it last year.

Did you? Yeah.

And it’s-EMILIO: Yeah.

And-and what do you think of that?

I think that we have no control

of how we’re remembered.

The toothpaste is-it’s out of the tube.

It’s not coming back.


And so I think for us, it’s like

there’s a-there’s a surrender to it.

ANDREW: It is part of-warts and all,

part of who I, you, we are.

And you, and I, and the other people in the Brat Pack

are in-are bound together–


ANDREW: Inexorably. That’s the word.

It’s true.

ANDREW: But it’s like, I don’t know you

in 30-odd years.

I hadn’t seen Demi in all these years,

and yet, if I saw someone else

I’d been in movies with 30 years ago,

I’d have nothing to talk about with them.

Right. ANDREW: Nothing.

And yet, we have this deep thing in common.

That’s-I don’t-the look in your eye–

No, it’s unusual.

ANDREW: It’s certainly unusual.

At best, it’s unusual.

ANDREW: And it’s-and I don’t know.

I find it a beautiful thing to actually get to go and see you and talk to you about that.

I find that exciting and, like, liberating in a certain way. Thank you.

EMILIO: Of course. Hey, man.

Nice to see you.

ANDREW: It’s great to see you.

And we’re both wearing the same shirt.

In my opinion, it was kind of the end of old Hollywood.

I mean, even the idea– the Rat Pack, Brat Pack– was trying to, like, hold on to the last vestiges of old Hollywood. And you guys were involved.

Well, that’s kind of cool. [laughter]

You know, like Al Pacino because of The Godfather– he goes, it’s taken me a lifetime to accept The Godfather.


If it takes Al Pacino that 50 years

to accept The Godfather, I’m in good company.

Exactly. Al Pacino.

I mean, God bless us, but Pretty in Pink

is not The Godfather. But you know–



We all made it mean something and in varying degrees.

That’s right. We all made it mean something.

And it actually wasn’t even about really any of us.

It was about the person who wrote it

trying to be clever and get their next job.




? ?


My youth, I ran from.

The very thing that I was identified as and/or with,

I dissociated from it because I didn’t

want that to be who I was.

And so to bring that up into my present,

like, oh.

Yeah, that personally of value.

I’m more than the sum of my parts because of being a member of the Brat Pack.

Yes, it gives you cachet.

You were part of the lexicon, and that gave you great cachet.

Maybe not at the time you didn’t think that, but it did.

So we are part of the sort of ’80s cultural lexicon.

Yes, we are. Yes, we are, and proud of it.

You’re awesome. Come here, Lauren.


Listen, to be a part of anything that anybody still talks about 30-plus years is really, really a special thing.

And when we’re 21, 22, you’re just sort of cusping into the world.

Your life is a blank slate to be written upon,

and it’s a thrilling time in life.

And we represent that to that generation of people

who are coming of age at that moment.

And they look at you. They look at me.

And they go, “Oh, the Brat Pack movies.”

And I see their eyes glaze over because they’re

really, in many ways, talking about themselves…

100% ANDREW: And their own youth.

ROB: Yeah.

And we are the avatars of that moment in their life.

ROB: Yeah.

ANDREW: And I’ve come to realize

that’s a beautiful thing.


Something that was so hated by me and I felt did me damage has become a blessing is kind of amazing.

DAVE: Wow.

Sometimes, we need some distance.

We got mixed up with each other on this crazy thing that none of us intended.

It all just turned into tremendous, deep fondness for you and for everybody who was involved in it, you know?

It was a complicated time, a really complicated time.

But the good memories I have are– are deep, you know?

And they’re-they’re in there.

So if somebody said, “Was it worth it?”

Yes, it was.

Oh, yeah.

ALLY: Yeah.

Oh, yeah.

Well, we’re very different people personally.

And if you threw us together outside of

that kind of situation, I don’t know if we’d get along.

But somehow, when we were all there together, the ship kind of balanced itself out.

[Zoe Fox and the Rocket Clocks “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”]

ZOE: ? Won’t you come see about me ?

♫ I’ll be alone dancing ?

♫ And you know it, baby ?

♫ Tell me your troubles and doubts ?

♫ Giving me everything inside and out ?

? Love’s strange, so real in the dark ?

? Think of the tender things that we were working on ?

? Slow change may pull us apart ?

? When the light gets into your heart, baby ?

♫ Don’t you forget about me ?

[phone ringing]

ANDREW: Hello. Judd?

[Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”

JIM: ? Hey, hey, hey, hey ?

♫ Ooh ?

♫ Whoa ♫

♫ Won’t you come see about me ?

♫ I’ll be alone dancing ?

♫ You know it, baby ?

♫? Tell me your troubles and doubts ?

♫ Giving everything inside and out ?

♫ And love’s strange, so real in the dark ?

♫ Think of the tender things that we were working on ?

♫ Slow change may pull us apart ?

♫ When the light gets into your heart, baby ?

♫ Don’t you forget about me ?

♫ Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t ?

♫ Don’t you forget about me ?

♫ Will you stand above me ?

♫ Look my way ?

♫ Never love me ?


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