Your inner ‘80s teenager may have been concerned earlier this week, when Molly Ringwald spoke with Out about her roles as the Brat Pack Queen, and revealed that John Hughes wrote a gay character in just about every movie he made — even if he never came right out and said so.
For Pretty in Pink, that means a second look at Duckie (played by Jon Cryer), whom Ringwald outed: “Duckie doesn’t know he’s gay,” she told the magazine. “I think he loves Andie in the way that [my gay best friend] always loved me. That [original ending, which had them together] fell so flat — it bombed at all the screenings. I didn’t realize it then — I just knew that my character shouldn’t end up with him, because we didn’t have that sort of chemistry. If John was here now, and I could talk to him, I think that he would completely acknowledge that.”
It’s not the first time Ringwald has questioned Duckie’s sexuality, but it still might surprise many who are still nursing 25-year-old wounds over the defeat of Team Duckie to Team Blane. No one was more resistant than Cryer himself. He told Zap2It, “I respectfully disagree. I want to stand up for all the slightly effeminate dorks that are actually heterosexual. Just cause the gaydar is going off, doesn’t mean your instruments aren’t faulty. I’ve had to live with that, and that’s okay.”
Obviously, he’s a fictitious character, so there is really no way of saying one way or another. But the interest today in the BFF character sure is intriguing when we pause and consider the release date. Hughes is known for his stock high school characters in Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and others. But despite Ringwald’s insistence, the one cliche he didn’t really have in his films was the gay sidekick (at least not openly), which now essentially comes standard in most teen romantic-comedies. If the movie was made today, would Duckie be gay? The triangle tension between Blane, Andie and Duckie — not to mention Steff — would change, but that possibility seems likely. Or would Hughes have felt pressure to add another new character to the mix (I’m thinking of Easy A as the most Hughes-esque recent example)? Would the Pretty in Pink we know and love today have existed if it were created in 2012?