- Ally Sheedy, The Breakfast Club, 1985. In writer-director John Hughes’ previous Brat Pack film, 16 Candles, Molly had snatched the role that Ally craved. Vice versa, this time. In both cases, they were compensated with other's roles.
- Laura Dern, Blue Velvet, 1985. "Let me know if I should read them," she asked her mother about a bunch of scripts. Returning home, she found mother furious with Ringwald's agent Hildy Gottleib. "How dare you? This is awful. It's... it's... about S&M and... bugs!" The “graphic content” would ruin her darling’s career. But no, Molly managed that all by herself… Lynch turned to Dern - her mother was an actress. Made all the difference! The Lynch experience sure didn’t harm Laura. She went on to make two more for him: Wild At Heart, 1990, Inland Empire, 2006.
- -Lea Thompson, Some Kind of Wonderful, 1986. John Hughes hated his 1985 Pretty in Pink ending (as much as Ringwald hated the dress). He respun it for yet another teen triangle number. However, Ringwald cut loose. The star discovery of his first three hits wanted to move on from high schooldaze. “I can’t be 16 forever.” Hughes was furious and never worked with her again. Eric Stoltz recommended Thompson - and she fell for director Howard Deutch, wed him, and had two daughters. Free at last, Molly sent up the Hughes canon in Not Another Teen Movie, 2001.
- Winona Ryder, Beetlejuice, 1987. Finding Betelgeuse was easier for director Tim Burton than unearthing Lydia. He saw Ringwald, Justine Batman, Jennifer Connelly, Diane Lane, Juliette Lewis, Lori Loughlin, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields. And fell for Winona. Didn't we all. She was sweet 17 at the time.
- Jodie Foster, The Accused, 1988.
An awful thing to say. Except it is true. Jodie Foster would never have won her (first) Oscar for this trenchant drama - if actress Kelly McGillis had not been raped in 1982… At first, the role of the rape victim Sarah Tobias was written for Andie MacDowell. She passed. The Paramount suits then saw 34 other young actresses for the (real life) victim. Or, for their own rape bait fantasies - including 16-year-old Alyssa Milano! Foster was refused a test because she was “not sexy enough”! And, anyway, the studio had decided upon McGillis, a high flyer in Paramount’s Witness and Top Gun. And, naturally, she refused point-blank! She knew what it was to be brutally raped and Kelly had no wish to revisit the horror and agony of her own assault six years earlier. The suits were annoyed. They needed her. She was hot at the box-office, their box-office. They had made her a star!! Eventually, McGillis agreed to play Sarah’s defence attorney - on condition that unsexy Jodie played Sarah! The suits caved, tested Foster and the rest is Oscar history… So is the huge list of talent also seen for Sarah. Starting with the Fatal Attraction also-rans: Rosanna Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Kim Basinger, Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Grey, Melanie Griffith, Linda Hamilton, Darryl Hannah, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Diane Keaton, Demi Moore, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Jane Seymour, Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Debra Winger. And moving on to the younger Ringwald, Melissa Sue Anderson (trying to break her Little House on the Prairie image), Justine Bateman, Valerie Bertinelli, Phoebe Cates, Jennifer Connelly, Joan Cusack, Judy Davis, Kristin Davis, Bridget Fonda, Annabeth Gish, Mariel Hemingway, Kelly LeBrock, Virginia Madsen, Brigitte Nielsen, Tatum O’Neal, Mia Sara, Ally Sheedy, Brooke Shields, Uma Thurman. Oh, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, said the suits, was “too nice.” Rape victims shouldn’t be nice? Oh, Hollywood!
- Kim Basinger, Batman, 1988.
- Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally... 1989. Too busy for the movie, but she playedSally in a London stage production, 2004.
- Emily Lloyd, Cookie, 1989. "Somebody said it takes five years to recover from a Time magazine cover," said Molly ofher 1986 honour.
- Emily Lloyd, In Country, 1989. All too swiftly, after three hits earning $110m, Molly’s career was in heavy doldrums. Emily’s career did not fare any better. Emily won more screen roles despite battling her Tourette's syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, mild schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder and chronic insomnia.
- Nicole Kidman, Days of Thunder, 1989. When Robin Wright proved unavailable for Dr Claire Lewicki,a dozen actresses were seen, from Molly to Madonna. Having seen Dead Calm, Tom Cruise voted for Kidman - and wed her: 1990-2001.
- Demi Moore, Ghost, 1989. Auditioned for the lead role -also called Molly. Demi was aanother a member of the so-called Brat Pack.
- Julia Roberts, Pretty Woman, 1990.
- Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear, 1991. Among the many- the very many - Christina Applegate, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Connelly, Shannen Doherty, Nicole Eggeret, Bridget Fonda, Jodie Foster, Helen Hunt, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Jennifer JasonLeigh, Alyssa Milano, Demi Moore, Sarah Jessica Parker, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Brooke Shields, Tiffani Thiessen, Reese Witherspoon - consideredby Steven Spielberg and, later, Martin Scorsese fortheteen daughter of Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange: Danielle Bowden.(Nicole in the 1962 original). Some found it too sexy and, indeed, few could have equalled the on-heat musk of Juliette’s totally improvised - and one take - seduction scene with Robert De Niro.
- Courteney Cox, Friends, TV, 1994-2004. As if anyone else could have been Monica... After her John Hughes’ bubble burst (The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles), Molly was eager to start anew in TV. She was onthe March 7, 1994 reading list forwhat the creators pitched as “searching for love and commitment and security... and a fear of love and commitment and security.”Molly had always maintainedher best screen kiss was in Pink with Andrew McCarthy - up for Monica’s Chandler.
- Neve Campbell, Scream, 1996. Kevin Williamson adored her and wrote Sydney Prescott for her. Too late! She told him, she'd rather not play a high school girl. Not at 27!
- Kirsten Dunst, Spider-Man, 2001.
- Nicole Kidman, Bewitched, 2004. Who wants to play wriggly-nosed Samantha? Me, me, chorused... Jennifer Aniston, Kim Basinger, Cameron Diaz, Heather Graham (who would have been quirkily Angelina Jolie, Lisa Kudfrow (perfect!), Tatum O'Neal, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Alicia Silverstone, Hilary Swank, Naomi Watts. Among 35 possibles. Over the years.
- Sienna Miller, Factory Girl, 2005. Back in the 80s, Linda Fiorentino was set for… well, not exactly this script, but the same tragic life of the drug addict, kleptomaniac, celebutante, mental patient and Andy Warhol “superstar” Edie Sedgwick. Also in the 80s, Warren tried to persuade director Bob Fosse to make the bio-pic with Michelle Pfeiffer (or Ringwald) and Al Pacino as Warhol. Bio-wise, Fosse was satisfied with just one, his own, All That Jazz, 1979 - refused by both Beatty and Pacino. Mike Nichols and Natalie Portman also discussed a film about the poor little rich girl, then collaborated on Closer, instead. Vogue’s “youthquake” was dead at 28.