It’s so sad. John, what a talent! The thing I remember about him as an artist was how much he invested in his characters. These people lived and breathed. He knew all his characters so well. That’s a really special gift. Most screenwriters that I’ve worked with didn’t have so much invested in their characters. I remember that when I was shooting a scene in Some Kind of Wonderful, he came to visit, and he said, “Can I look in your bag?” I had my, you know, my prop bag. And he looked in my bag, and I was so happy that I had stuff in there. It wasn’t just like paper. Because he was interested in if you had worked on your character enough that you actually knew what they would carry in their bag.
They weren’t just teen movies to him. They were people. They were people that he cared about. And I think that’s why people really respond to his movies. I’m still amazed at how many people quote this one line I said in Some Kind of Wonderful. The line is, “I’d rather be alone for the right reasons than with someone for the wrong reasons.” I’m not even quoting it right, but people quote it back to me perfectly. He really touched a lot of people. I’m sorry that we didn’t get even more of his work.
What I loved about my part in Some Kind of Wonderful is that she was supposed to be the most popular girl in school, and yet he made her an underdog. He had a way of breaking down stereotypes and showing how we all feel like the underdog. Even the quote unquote prettiest girl in school feels like that. And that speaks to a real understanding of people.
People keep trying to recreate what he did. And nobody seems to be able to. And that’s amazing. With all the brains and talent and the years that it’s been — I mean, Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, all those movies are, what 25 years old? — trust me, people have been trying to do it, and no one can. So, he obviously had something really special.
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