‘Brats’: Why Molly Ringwald & Judd Nelson Are Missing From the Documentary

Molly Ringwald in 'Pretty in Pink'; Judd Nelson in 'The Breakfast Club'
Paramount / Universal Pictures / Everett Collection

Andrew McCarthy‘s Brats documentary is a nostalgic trip down memory lane as he looks back at the iconic Brat Pack. However, there are two notable members of the group missing from the documentary: Molly Ringwald and Judd Nelson.

Ringwald and Nelson are synonymous with the Brat Pack. Ringwald starred in Brat Pack hits like Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Pretty in Pink. Nelson starred alongside Ringwald in The Breakfast Club and appeared with more Brat Packers in St. Elmo’s Fire.

So, why are Ringwald and Nelson missing from the Brats documentary, except for archival footage?

McCarthy’s Pretty in Pink co-star Jon Cryer asks him during their discussion if he’s spoken to Ringwald. McCarthy says he’s reached out to Ringwald about participating. “She said she’d think about it, but that she would probably just like to keep looking forward.”

Cryer acknowledges that Ringwald wants to “move on” and “taken without the baggage of our pop cultural references as an actor.”

McCarthy, who directed the documentary, tries to reach out to Nelson, who is off the grid. He has to contact Nelson’s manager to get his phone number. At the end of the documentary, McCarthy receives a call from Nelson, but it’s unclear what they talked about.

Ahead of the documentary’s premiere, Nelson spoke out about why he declined to appear in Brats. “It seems strange to have that subject matter be something for edited entertainment,” the actor to Us Weekly in March 2024. “Also, like, he’s a nice guy, but I hadn’t seen him in 35 years. And it’s like, I’m not going to [be] like, ‘Hey!’ No, dude.”

Nelson continued, “It’s like, why kind of rebirth something that wasn’t necessarily fun? … How can we be experts on something that didn’t ever really exist?”

Despite Ringwald and Nelson’s absences, McCarthy was able to talk to several figures connected to the Brat Pack about their experience. The director doesn’t hold any ill will to those who turned down his offer.

“The Brat Pack is an ongoing relationship, you know what I mean? And some people are at different places in their lives to want to or not want to talk about it. I think that just informs it even more. I mean, that’s my takeaway from it,” McCarthy told Entertainment Tonight.

It’s also worth noting that Anthony Michael Hall, who starred in Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club, does not appear in Brats and is not mentioned in the documentary.

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