Molly Ringwald: Pretty in Print

Former teen queen and first-time author Molly Ringwald marvels at the abundance of gay characters in her life and the absence of gay characters in her movies.



When encouraging a woman to enlist friends to help weed through her wardrobe, you write, “If you have a stylish gay friend, skip the girl and go for him.”
Actually, when I first wrote that I said, “If you have a stylish gay friend, skip the girl and go for the gay.” [Laughs] My husband said, “You might want to change that to ‘go for him.’ People who don’t know you might take that a pejorative term.” My gay friends would know the spirit in which it was meant, but I didn’t want anyone to take that out of context and think I was writing something negative about gay people. But I think it’s a great slogan, and my gay friends said it would’ve been fine, but you never know.

In your acknowledgments section, you thank trans performer Justin Bond for “the funniest sidebar that I could not include.” What was it?
I asked Justin to write a sidebar for the style section on how to be the perfect lady. Every time I went to a Kiki & Herb show, I was always astounded by how he moves and how glamorous he can be. Justin just has a certain style — a way of moving the wrist, crossing the ankle — that women have almost forgotten how to do, like a lost art. He wrote something so funny and so irreverent, but I just felt like it was one of those things that wouldn’t be understood by a lot of readers.

You also thank performer Julian Fleisher and Kiki & Herb’s Kenny Mellman. How do you know all these gay men, Molly?
Justin Bond I’ve known for years because he went to Adelphi with one of my best friends, Victoria Leacock. So that’s also how I know Kenny, and Julian Fleisher produced the first Kiki & Herb album, which I sang on with Isaac Mizrahi. It’s pretty safe to say that most of the men thanked in the Acknowledgments section are gay.

According to your book, gay singer-songwriter Stephin Merritt from Magnetic Fields is partially to thank for bringing you and your husband together.
Yes, he is. I was part of this online literary group that a friend of mine had started called “Quip Pro Quo.” I wrote and thanked Panio for contributing a piece by John Cheever, and he responded to some lyrics I had posted from a Magnetic Fields song from 69 Love Songs, so we sort of bonded on that. I actually wrote a profile on Stephin Merritt some years ago, because I’ve always been a huge fan of his, and I told him that story when I interviewed him. He sort of looked mildly startled, like, Oh, my God, I’m responsible for something?

Did you catch Stephin’s off-Broadway musical adaptation of Coraline, which starred Julian Fleisher as the cat and David Greenspan as Other Mother?
No, I was so upset I didn’t get to see it. When I interviewed Stephin, he was just thinking about doing it, so we talked about that. He actually said, “Maybe you’d be good for the Mother.” But he definitely went in a different direction. [Laughs] I just love his lyrics because he’s so smart and clever.
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