It’s been a little over thirty years since the 80s instant classic, The Breakfast Club, graced us with its presence, and yet it’s still one of the most relevant films you’ll ever watch in your life. Starring the infamous Brat Pack, The Breakfast Club follows five high school students, all from different cliques, stuck in detention together. But, as their day passes by, they learn they have much more in common than they initially thought.
This humorous portrayal of stereotypes and friendship is perhaps one of the most quoted to this day, and even as it ages, it still holds up. But with a cast as close-knit and talented as this one, it begs the question: where are they now?
10 Emilio Estevez (Andrew Clark)
Emilio Estevez plays Andrew Clark in The Breakfast Club, perhaps more obviously recognizable as the jock stereotype. And from here, Estevez’s career refused to stop. He appeared in St. Elmo’s Fire in the same year, then went on to star in Young Guns (1988), The Mighty Ducks (1992) and their subsequent sequels, alongside many other films and shows as well.
Now 53-years-old, Estevez is still very much active in Hollywood — though he's distanced himself somewhat from the spotlight — as an actor, writer and producer. Though his last film was released in 2012, Estevez is currently in a post-production project that he acted in, directed and wrote: The Public, which is an ensemble drama set in the Los Angeles Public Library. Could we be in for a spiritual sequel of some sort?
9 Paul Gleason (Richard Vernon)
Paul Gleason was a character actor that was best known for playing the “tough guy” or the “sleaze ball.” His role in The Breakfast Club didn’t stray much from this archetype: Gleason played Richard Vernon, the school principal that seems to have it out for these “trouble-making” students and doesn’t exactly have a redeeming quality at any point in the film.
Gleason also appeared on numerous television shows and in big hits such as Die Hard (1988) and Van Wilder: Party Liaison (2002). Unfortunately, Gleason passed away in May 2006 of cancer. After his death, his last two films were released posthumously: The Book of Caleb (2008) and The Passing (2011).
8 Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Johnson)
Forever the nerdy kid, Anthony Michael Hall’s Brian Johnson was a lovable dweeb that we couldn’t help but identify with, even if only on some level. Hall has also appeared in such popular films as Sixteen Candles (1984), Edward Scissorhands (1990), The Dark Knight (2008), and National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983).
Now, Hall still has a prominent career in Hollywood, both as an actor and producer. His last film was released in 2015, and he stars in four more films that are currently in post-production, including War Machine (starring Brad Pitt) and Something About Her. Also in post-production, a little film called Live By Night, which has an all-star cast including Zoe Saldana, Ben Affleck and Sienna Miller.
7 John Hughes (Producer/Director/Brian’s Father)
The man that brought the brat pack together, John Hughes will go down in history as the best teen movie creator ever. At least he will to the many moviegoers that fell in love with his films. In The Breakfast Club, Hughes produced and directed the film, but can also be seen in a cameo in which he plays Brian’s father.
The list of hits behind Hughes is truly unbelievable, including such films as Uncle Buck (1989), Sixteen Candles (1984), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Home Alone (1990), Pretty in Pink (1986) and National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), just to name a few. Unfortunately, the last John Hughes film we’ll ever see 2015’s Vacation, in which he helped write the characters. Hughes passed away back in August of 2009 at the age of 59.
6 John Kapelos (Carl)
An actor and producer most famous for his role in The Breakfast Club, John Kapelos is the instantly respectable and lovable janitor named Carl. Kapelos, now 60-years-old, is still around in Hollywood, doing a lot of work on television shows and in smaller roles in film.
Kapelos currently acts in three films that are in post-production: The Taker, First Round Down and 22 Chaser. You’ve also may have caught Kapelos in his appearances on popular television shows such as Chuck, House M.D., Modern Family, Castle and CSI, just to name a few. So while Kapelos may not be the leading man in all his appearances, he’s still very much around, just as he was in The Breakfast Club.
5 Judd Nelson (John Bender)
The stereotypical bad boy, Judd Nelson’s portrayal of John Bender is often considered his finest work. Playing an adolescent that has a problem with authority and an obvious lack of a support system, the audience can’t help but like this rough around the edges character.
Nelson also appeared in such films as St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) and Airheads (1994) and has made appearances on several television shows as well. Nelson is still around in Hollywood, with three films currently in post-production (Kreep, The Downside of Bliss, and Billionaire Boys Club). The now 56-year-old actor, writer and producer doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
4 Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish)
Better known as the goody-two-shoes preppy girl, Molly Ringwald (Claire Standish) is memorable for both her innocence and for her ability to put on lipstick with allure. Ringwald is also famous for her leading roles in Sixteen Candles (1984) and Pretty in Pink (1986), but her resume includes much more than that.
However, what most modern audiences (who are apparently among the very few who haven’t seen any of these iconic films) will recognize Ringwald from is the ABC Family show, The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Unfortunately, Ringwald was also a part of the flop that was Gem and the Holograms (2015). But with upcoming projects such as the post-production film King Cobra (starring James Franco), her career might come out on a big upswing.
3 Ally Sheedy (Allison Reynolds)
Playing Allison Reynolds, the gothic, “other” girl, Ally Sheedy gave us the typical “transformation” sequence present in most teen movies, and it was fantastic. Viewers will also recognize Sheedy from such films as Bad Boys (1983), St. Elmo’s Fire (1985) and WarGames (1983).
Sheedy, now 53-years-old, still acts and produces. Her latest film is 2016’s Little Sister and she also appeared on popular television show, Psych from 2009 to 2013 as Yang. As for her production role in Hollywood, she was an associate producer on the documentary, Cover Girl Culture: Awakening the Media Generation. Sheedy’s career may have slowed down a bit, but she’s still around.
2 “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds
The song made famous by The Breakfast Club, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” became an anthem of the '80s, and is of course still well known to this day. The song’s biggest claim to fame is its appearance in the ending credits of the film, where Judd Nelson thrusts his fist into the air in a freeze frame. And since that iconic film moment, everyone (even those that haven’t seen the movie) knows that it’s the only acceptable dance move to the song.
The song has appeared in large, modern films, such as Pitch Perfect (2012) – performed in the end of the film by the Barden Bellas in an a cappella mix that features the fist thrust – Easy A (2010) – Emma Stone and Penn Badgley ride off on a lawnmower with their fists in the air – and even in American Pie (1999). So to say the song has made an impact on even the film industry is an understatement.
1 Maine North High School
Best known as the high school in which The Breakfast Club was filmed, Maine North was a school in Des Plaines, Illinois that closed in 1981 due to a shrinking population. In the spring of 1984, the school was used to film The Breakfast Club. Though, as many '80s film buffs will tell you, that isn’t the only popular film to take place in this school. In 1986, the school was also used for scenes in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Now, the school serves many functions, including: a headquarters for Illinois State Police, a communications center for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department, an Illinois Lottery payment office, an office (the largest) for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, and several other Illinois state agencies. Most importantly however, the old school now houses a neighborhood youth center.
Surprised to find out where The Breakfast Club alums are now? Let us know in the comments!
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