Celebrity

The Brat Pack reunites for tell-all documentary

40 years after eight of the biggest up-and-coming actors in the '80s were dubbed the 'Brat Pack', they're sitting down to tell their story.

When a group of up-and-coming actors were dubbed the ‘Brat Pack’ by a New York Magazine article in 1985, it changed the trajectory of their careers for better and for worse. Now, almost 40 years later, they’ve reunited for a documentary series to reclaim the once denigrating term.

Andrew McCarthy, who was a one-time member of the Brat Pack and star of John HughesPretty in Pink, has just released the documentary ‘Brats’. The documentary, which will be released on June 13 is based on Andrew’s memoir Brat: An ’80s Story.

Featuring cameos from all of the original ‘Brats’ – bar Judd Nelson, who refused to be involved, the documentary will be the most intimate look into the world of the Brat Pack. The short film is tentatively described as “a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction and expectations of masculinity.”

Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Demi Moore and Jon Cryer appeared together at the BRATS film debut. Getty.

Coined by New York Magazine journalist, David Blum, the ‘Brat Pack’ was the name that was given to the stars of The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire or Pretty in Pink, who had become the cultural zeitgeists of the decade overnight.  

Though there’s been contention over who exactly is part of the illustrious group, officially, the Brat Pack consists of Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy. 

David Blum was on an assignment to cover Emilio Estevez for an article in June 1985. One night, he was invited by Emilio to join him, Rob Lowe, Judd Nelson and others at The Hard Rock Cafe in Los Angeles. 

The three young actors had grown close after appearing in both The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire together. This camaraderie inspired David to change the focus of his article from Emilio to the clique of young actors which he ceremoniously dubbed as the ‘Brat Pack’.

Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson and Emilio Estevez, on-set of the Film, “The Breakfast Club”, 1984. (Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

“This is the Hollywood Brat Pack,” the original article reads. “It is to the 1980s what the Rat Pack was to the 1960s—a roving band of famous young stars on the prowl for parties, women, and a good time. And just like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis Jr., these guys work together, too—they’ve carried their friendships over from life into the movies. They make major movies with big directors and get fat contracts and limousines. They have top agents and protective P.R. people. They have legions of fans who write them letters, buy them drinks, follow them home. And, most importantly, they sell movie tickets.”

Upon the article’s release, Emilio, Judd, Rob and the other young stars who were mentioned in the article were incensed. The article both alluded to and described moments that David Blume says he witnessed unbridled privilege and ‘brat’ behaviour’ which proved to be extremely damaging to their careers and friendships with each other.

The reluctant members of the ‘Brat Pack’ felt that the term trivialised and degenerated their talent as budding actors. Getty.

“It was a bad thing that happened as a result of this,” Judd Nelson said on the The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast of the infamous article. “After that article, not only are we strongly encouraged not to work with each other again — and for the most part we haven’t –  but it was insinuated we might not want to be hanging out with these people. And it was like, I didn’t know that good friends are so easy to come by in this world that they should be tossed asunder.”

“It just seemed like we were like fruit picked too soon, and then blamed for being picked too soon,” he added.

Meanwhile Emilio told The Guardian in 2020 that ‘Brat Pack’ “Will be on my tombstone.”

Though the various reluctant members of the Brat Pack have spoken about the impact of the article over the years, they’re set to speak utterly candidly in the upcoming documentary with Andrew McCarthy as they discuss how the term affected their careers.

“It did have personal ramifications,” Andrew says, as per People. “Were we brats? We were certainly privileged. But there wasn’t anything great about us. We were just in the right place at the right time and represented that seismic change in pop culture. You’re easy prey when you’re exposed in that way.”

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