Molly Ringwald

Got a minute? The queen of eighties teen cinema is all grown up and moonlighting as a jazz singer (check her out on Peter Smith's album Here It Comes). But don't call it a comeback—she's being doing it for years.

Q: This isn't your first jazz album—you did a Dixieland record at age 6 or something crazy like that.

A: Yeah, my dad's a jazz musician, and I have been performing with him since I was just a toddler. I did an album with him when I was 6, and then I actually sang on his album a few years ago, too.

Q: How did you hook up with Peter Smith?

A: Peter and I were in a play together in New York a few years ago called Modern Orthodox, and I'd been looking for someone for a long time to put together a band with. There were like two weeks left in the play, and we were at a party with a piano. Peter sat down and played, and I was like, Oh my God—I had no idea he was a jazz pianist; he had no idea I was a jazz singer. It was like, "Where've you been all my life?"

Q: What took you so long to record together?

A: We started performing together in New York and then he moved to L.A., and then I moved to L.A. a couple years later. And I looked him up and said, "Well, I'm here now—let's get it together." So we put a band together, and we started playing around town. Eventually I wanna do my own album with these same musicians, just with me singing more of the songs.

Q: Were you singing all through your John Hughes years?

A: Well, when my film career started catching on, I focused on that. But I was still singing, like, with my dad's band, and I was singing with my friends the Rave-Ups. And I would do stuff with Susanna Hoffs and Belinda Carlisle. You know, I would do little things, but I wasn't pursuing it as a career or anything.

Q: Are there any songs you refuse to sing? Because I'm sure someone always requests Simple Minds or the Psychedelic Furs?

A: You'd be surprised. People that come to see the gigs are really jazz fans. I mean, certainly I have fans from the movies I've done, but usually when people come to the shows . . . it's not just about me, it's about this amazing group of musicians. So I really don't get a lot of requests like that.

Alex Bhattacharji


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