‘Breakfast Club’ star Ally Sheedy reflects on her life after entering rehab in 1989: ‘I needed that’

Ally Sheedy’s most recent role hits close to home.

The actress stars in Freeform’s “Single Drunk Female” where she plays a mother whose adult daughter moves back home after a stint in rehab.

Sheedy  sought help for her own addiction battle in 1989.

“Oh God, it was so long ago,” the 59-year-old recently told Closer Weekly. “I went to rehab [for] sleeping pills. I started taking them when I was in a really toxic relationship. The person I was with was a real drug addict, and the sleeping pills had something to do with that rocker sort of schedule.”

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Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald in a scene from the film "The Breakfast Club" in 1985.

Ally Sheedy and Molly Ringwald in a scene from the film “The Breakfast Club” in 1985.
(Universal Pictures/Getty Images)

Looking back at her experience, Sheedy has one piece of advice that has stayed with her over the years.

“I would tell my younger self, ‘Be careful about the men you get involved with because it can lead you down quite a rocky road,’” she said. “One of the things that was great about rehab was it also got me away from that person. I needed that.”

Sheedy was just 23 years old when she landed starring roles in 1985’s “The Breakfast Club” and “St. Elmo’s Fire.” She quickly rose to fame as part of Hollywood’s Brat Pack during the era.

“It was a great group,” she reflected on her time filming “The Breakfast Club.” “And working with [director] John Hughes was incredible. He was very open to improv and gave a lot of freedom to us. We were on one set for three months. It became like family.”

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The cast of

The cast of “St. Elmo’s Fire,” directed by Joel Schumacher, 1985. Left to right: Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez, Mare Winningham, Judd Nelson and Andrew McCarthy.
(Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

In addition to still pursuing acting, Sheedy is a professor in New York City and a book editor. But when the script for “Single Drunk Female” came along, she knew it was the right project for her to take on.

“I had been thinking I’d like to do a television series — I’ve never [starred in] one,” Sheedy explained to the outlet. “It was just a question of the right thing coming along. I absolutely loved the script for the pilot. For me, this whole show is about the mother-daughter relationship, even though it’s about a lot of other things, too. That relationship is the rock of the entire show.”

Sheedy noted that audiences could identify with its many themes.

“I’ve been reading a lot of articles, which mentioned there’s been a spike in issues with addiction during the pandemic,” she shared. “I think it has something to do with what’s been going on in this country for the past few years and dealing with COVID and isolation. It’s more common than we would want it to be.”

Today, Sheedy is a proud mom to an adult son who is a science teacher.

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Freeform's

Freeform’s “Single Drunk Female” stars Ally Sheedy as Carol Fink.
(Koury Angelo/Freeform via Getty Images)

“I feel much more settled into myself,” she shared. “I have a kind of satisfaction with the place I am in right now. I love my kid, I think he’s doing really well. I think you get to a particular time in life where there just isn’t all the old drama. Everything isn’t so intense all the time.”

Back in 2000, Sheedy told The Associated Press she felt uneasy when it came to navigating fame.

“To me, there’s a chasm between someone who said, ‘I really want to be an actor,’… and somebody who said, ‘I want celebrity,'” she said.

At the time, Sheedy also described how she was stunned when a cover story in New York magazine labeled her part of Hollywood’s “Brat Pack.”

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Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy are good friends to this day.

Molly Ringwald and Ally Sheedy are good friends to this day.
(FilmMagic/FilmMagic)

“I was in complete shock when that Brat Pack thing came out,” she said. “I was extremely naive on some of those interviews – and actually came off as a little bit stupid. I didn’t see it coming.”

Sheedy also described how at one point, she was told to change her appearance to boost her career.

“That’s Hollywood,″ she said. “I don’t think that many people would talk about it because they want to come off as they were perfect, to begin with, but I was absolutely bald-faced, point-blank told to change practically every single inch of myself. I tried for a little while to do the makeup. I went to this wonderful, sweet man. He showed me, ‘OK, they want you to look glamorous. Here’s what you need to do.’ And he put this stuff on my face and tried to show me how to do it and I practiced at home.”

“It was just so ridiculous!” she shared. “They weren’t just looking for someone with makeup on looking a certain way. They were looking for some sort of persona.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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