John Hughes’ teen comedies dominated the movie scene of the 1980s. Throughout Hughes’ hit films, several teenage stars were prominent. One of the acclaimed director’s biggest stars was The Brat Pack member Anthony Michael Hall. The Brat Pack was the nickname given to the group of young actors who frequently starred together in 80s films. Other members of The Brat Pack include Molly Ringwald and Emilio Estevez.
Throughout Hall’s career, the actor starred in four of Hughes’ films — The breakfast club, weird science, sixteen candles and National Lampoon’s Holiday. Despite his vast repertoire with Hughes, Hall came close to starring in two more films by the late director. The actor then regretted not having taken on one of these roles.
The first Hughes movie Hall turned down was the 1986 teen romantic comedy Pretty in pink. The film starred Ringwald as Andie Walsh, a suburban teenager who is bullied by her preppy classmates. Alongside Andie is her best friend Duckie, who is madly in love with her, but unable to confess his feelings to her. Despite Duckie’s love for her, Andie ends up with a “richie” named Blane in the end. This was changed from the original ending where Andie ended up with Duckie, who Uproxx said was booed by the test audience.
Even though Jon Cryer played Duckie in Pretty in pink, several other big names were considered for the role – including Hall and Robert Downey Jr. According to The John Hughes Files, Hall turned down the role for fear of being branded a nerd. The actor previously played characters with corny personalities in his four appearances in Hughes films. The same year as Pretty in pink, Hall turned down another Hughes role – this time the lead role in Ferris Bueller’s day off and for a different reason.
Hall spoke to Insider about the role he later regretted not being able to play while promoting the 2021 film halloween kills. “It would be Ferris because what I felt reading ‘Pretty in Pink “was like a ‘Sixteen Candles’ reboot,” Hall said. The actor also felt that Hughes wrote the character of Ferris with Hall in mind. Unfortunately, Hall had scheduling conflicts that kept him from getting involved with Ferris Bueller’s day off, and Matthew Broderick was subsequently recruited. Hall committed to the 1986 action film Off-limits for the lead role of Iowa farm boy Daryl Cage.
After Hall rejected two of Hughes’ films, the pair developed a strained relationship and did not speak until the director’s death in 2009. “It’s one of the saddest things in my life because that I loved that guy,” Hall said. “I was like her third child.” It’s heartbreaking to hear Hall and Hughes stop talking, given their close friendship and how the actor can thank Hughes for his successful career. After Hughes, Hall starred in minor roles in popular productions like The black Knight and ABC The Goldbergs.