Let’s just get this out there – even though plenty of us grew up loving this film, it’s pretty obvious if you try watching it with your kids (or even alone) that it hasn’t aged well. The racism, the sexism, the date rape jokes…it’s not good.
That said, it’s still considered a classic, and it never hurts to have all of the facts in your corner in any given situation – so here are 12 to keep in your arsenal!
12. John Hughes loved Molly Ringwald before he even met her.
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Hughes picked her photograph out of a stack of pictures of young actors, and wrote Sixteen Candles with it tacked up on his bulletin board.
He wrote the script in a single weekend, aided by chain-smoking and blaring music.
11. Viggo Mortensen was almost Jake Ryan.
Though Mortensen thought his kiss with Ringwald during the audition process cost him the part, she says that wasn’t it. “He made me weak in the knees, he really did,” she confessed to Access Hollywood.
10. Jake was too old to be in high school – or college, for that matter.
Michael Schoeffling was 23 when playing high school “it” guy Jake Ryan – both Ringwald and Hall were 15. He quit acting after starring in 1991’s Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken.
9. Ted was specifically written for Anthony Michael Hall.
Hughes loved Hall’s performance in Vacation and knew he would be the perfect “Farmer Ted.”
8. Filming on location was pretty boring for the underaged stars.
There wasn’t much to do that wasn’t drinking in Skokie, IL, though Hall and Ringwald do recall crashing a Bat Mitzvah in order to pass the time.
7. The actor who played Long Duk Dong didn’t even speak Korean.
Gedde Watanabe is Japanese-American, but he never learned any language aside from English – he borrowed a friend’s Korean accent for the audition.
6. He also claims to not “get” why people find the performance racist.
“It took me awhile to understand that. In fact, I was working at the Met, and I was accosted a couple of times by a couple of women who were just really irate and angry. They asked, ‘How could you do a role like that?’ But it’s funny, too, because at the same time I laugh at the character. It’s an odd animal.”
5. It’s 1 of 10 movies that include both John and Joan Cusack.
Fun fact: John and Joan were set to star in The Breakfast Club (as Bender and Allison, respectively), but Universal wanted Sixteen Candles made first.
4. They were sweltering the entire time.
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Yeah okay so story time, in preschool there was this really pretty girl named Zoe, I thought she was so pretty so I wanted to be friends with her. Everytime I got the job of setting placemats for lunch I would put ours next to each other. We never really became friends though, I was awkward even then. Now, many years later, it turns out that that girl from preschool is actually one of my best friends. ITS SO WEIRD THAT ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS TURNED OUT TO BE THAT GIRL AH I TELL THAT STORY SO MUCH. Thanks for coming to my ted talk.
Both the gym and Sam’s bedroom sets were without air conditioning and easily over 100 degrees during filming.
3. The Rolls Royce would be worth even more today.
It’s a 1974 Cornishe and would cost over $66k today (it belonged to Hughe’s friend’s father).
2. Ringwald’s mother had a say in the script.
In the original script, Sam’s dad asked what happened to her underwear during their heart-to-heart, but Mrs. Ringwald thought that was a weird thing for a dad to ask his teenage daughter, so they cut it.
1. Molly Ringwald was interested in a sequel.
In 2005, Molly said she read a Thirty-Two Candles script that she liked, but no word on whether or not that’s ever coming down the (hopefully more socially aware) pipe.
The more you know!