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Eternal It Girl Molly Ringwald Is Busier Than Ever

A look at the jam-packed creative calendar of America’s most famous redhead–and what she prioritizes in the rare moments of downtime.

Eternal It Girl Molly Ringwald Is Busier Than Ever
[Photo: © CinemaPhoto/Corbis]

Having just wrapped up a packed morning taping talk show The Chew, Molly Ringwald attempts to answer a question about what she’s currently working on. “I’m promoting the film Jem, which was out on October 23, and also doing a television series in Toronto, a single-camera family sitcom called The Wonderful Wayneys where Jason Priestley plays my husband. And I just did a part in a movie with James Franco and Christian Slater called King Cobra. Then the singing, performing at [New York jazz mecca] Birdland with my band in March.” Ringwald has failed to mention that she’s writing a book (another one, that is) . . . her third. Or that she is a married mother of three.

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But for Ringwald, a gah-inducing star for anyone born from 1970 onwards, it’s a pretty standard to-do list.Here’s how she balances it all:

Molly RingwaldPhoto: Collette Lash

The pleasures and pitfalls of running your own Twitter account: The main reason I wanted to is because I felt like I wanted to have a personal connection with my fans. And for better or for worse, no one sounds like me. When I wrote the column for The Guardian and my books, I did it all myself. I try not to get too political, because I feel like if I do, I’m going to get into crazy arguments and it will raise my blood pressure without changing anyone’s mind. Really early on, I commented on this issue with Dan Savage, who I like a lot. And these people descended like locusts. I was on the beach with my kids in California, reading from these hardcore Christians about what a cunt I was. A 24-hour onslaught. I would block one and another one would pop up. Like whack-a-mole. And 24 hours later, they moved on to someone else and I thought, I’m not going to use this forum for expressing these opinions, because this is pointless.

Electronic hoarding is underrated: In one of my books, I actually wrote something about how many unread emails was in this person’s inbox and set it at 15,000. My editor wrote back and said, make it less, that’s not realistic. I’d put less than what I had! My brother gave me this whole system that’s supposed to work to organize them, but if it’s not your system, it never does. And the thing with me is I’m always afraid of not having something that I need. The way that email is set up is so convenient. If you want to know what happened five years ago, you can just do a search, and I know it’s there and I love that. But there are clearly a lot of things I do not need.

Family time is sacred: My husband and I both grew up in households where we had family dinners every night, so we decided we were going to make that work with our kids. I’m shooting in Toronto until November, so I’m not able to do it right now. But he is, and he’s the one who cooks every night.

A fantasy family day: What would be amazing would be to go to a farmers’ market and get fresh vegetables and proteins and have a ton of groceries in this really fancy kitchen with a chef that teaches us what to do with it. What would make it even more fantasy is that this would be in Italy or the south of France. I feel like one of the things that’s hard for me is that I have three kids, but two of them hardly eat anything. Neither daughter is very adventurous with food. I’ve been told kids are less squeamish about food when they prepare it. I think if they had that experience it could have helped them.

My favorite thing to do is spend time in the kitchen, cooking for a big dinner party with friends. If my husband is like the daily diner chef, I’m the fancy chef. I get a complicated recipe and prepare it for days before. The last fancy stuff I made was a delicious bouillabaisse.

Inspiration all around: I get it everywhere and in unexpected places. Graffiti I might see, an overheard conversation, a song I just heard. When you walk through the world that way, when you do all the different things that I do, I always find somewhere to put my experiences.

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About the author

Ayana Byrd writes about people, ideas and companies that are groundbreaking and innovative.

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