We’re All Pretty Bizarre: Behind the Scenes of The Breakfast Club

Regarded as one of the greatest high school movies of all time, The Breakfast Club’s long-reigning legacy is due to the eclectic cast of teenage archetypes. Director John Hughes’ characters weren’t just stereotypical teenagers found in your everyday high school movie.

Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall
Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall. Photo By Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

From Claire dealing with social pressures that came with being the pretty girl with a rich father, to Bender’s abusive father, the Breakfast Club cast had genuine, human problems. The chemistry of the cast breathed life into these emotionally rich characters, making the movie that much better.

While the film is considered an ‘80s classic, there is still a lot of behind the scenes details that even the biggest fans don’t know about. Let’s check them out!

The Cast Went Undercover

To play authentic high school characters, director John Hughes had the entire cast to go undercover as students at his old high school, Glenbrook North High School, in the Chicago suburbs. Things were going well, that is until actor Judd Nelson (aka John Bender) wild antics started to get out of hand.

Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, on-set of the Film, 'The Breakfast Club,' 1984
Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson, on-set of the Film, ‘The Breakfast Club,’ 1984. Photo By Universal/Kobal/Shutterstock

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Nelson said that all of the students believed that he was actually a high school student who used a “fake ID” to buy alcohol. Nelson would buy the kids beer in exchange for a ride to his hotel, where the rest of the cast was staying.

Most of the Dialogue was Improvised

Hughes encouraged the cast to improvise their lines, and oh, did the cast deliver. They brought out sincere aspects of their characters through their own personal experiences. The most crucial moment of improv was when the cast was asked to tell their own detention stories.

The Breakfast Club, Paul Gleason, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez
The Breakfast Club, Paul Gleason, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez. Photo By Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock

This scene of everyone gathered around swapping stories became one of the film’s most iconic scenes. Actor Judd Nelson was also known for coming up with his one-liners on the spot, including his “Neo-Maxi Zoom-dweebie” insult thrown at Brian.

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