It’s not easy to find a good record store these days — though if you’re going to reunite the cast of the 1986 teen classic Pretty in Pink, what better setting? For the film, the late screenwriter John Hughes created a fictional record store called Trax that served as a home base for Pink’s outcast heroes: poor-but-proud high school senior Andie (Molly Ringwald), her eccentric best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer), and Trax manager/walking fashion risk Iona (Annie Potts). And thanks to Hughes’ impeccable music-geek taste, the film’s soundtrack introduced now-unforgettable songs to the ’80s music pantheon, like OMD’s ”If You Leave” and the Psychedelic Furs’ title track.
When Ringwald, 42, Cryer, 45, and Potts, 57, gathered at L.A.’s Vacation Vinyl last month, a different iconic musical performance came up in conversation: Cryer’s lip-synched rendition of Otis Redding’s ”Try a Little Tenderness,” a Kenny Ortega-choreographed spin through Trax that Potts calls ”the scene where I went, ‘Boy, this is awesome. This is gonna work.”’ Twenty-four years later, it’s still blowing minds. ”I think the first time we saw him do the dance was the first time they filmed it,” says Ringwald. ”I was so stunned! Duckie turned into Mick Jagger! It’s such a fantastic scene, and it really holds up. My 6-year-old daughter hasn’t seen any of my movies, but I did show her that scene on YouTube. And she agrees.”
Though it’s been a quarter century since Pretty in Pink finished shooting, the three actors still have an easy chemistry, aided by the fact that Potts recently did a guest spot on Cryer’s sitcom, Two and a Half Men. Today, they chat casually, and while flipping through the stacks of records, Ringwald rests her head on Cryer’s shoulder, taking him back to the day an under-the-weather Ringwald fainted during a slow dance while filming the climactic prom scene. (”Wow, it’s been 25 years since she laid her head on my shoulder,” Cryer jokes. ”Hopefully this time she won’t end up projectile-vomiting.”) Cryer and Ringwald saw each other under admittedly more somber conditions earlier this year, too: They both appeared at the Academy Awards as part of a tribute to Hughes after his 2009 death of a heart attack at 59. ”I was really glad that everybody seemed to recognize what an incredible contribution he made to filmmaking,” Ringwald says. ”He had a very love/hate relationship with Hollywood, and I think it would have really meant a lot to him. Just the effect that he’s had on countless teenagers and people coming of age throughout the world is pretty phenomenal. I have women come up to me saying the line ‘I just want them to know that they didn’t break me’ with tears in their eyes, saying how much that line meant to them.”
Potts agrees. ”There’s been no one to take his place. I mean, I loved Superbad, but it didn’t have the kind of moral core that John had to help teenagers put their lives together.”
So, what about prom? The cast answers this burning question at ew.com/reunionsvideo