Molly Ringwald recalls being told her career wouldn't take off again her 40s

By Maggie Parker
Updated November 17, 2015 05:20 PM
Credit: Brian Killian/WireImage

Molly Ringwald was just a teenager when she became a star with Sixteen Candles. Now she says her 40s are an even more interesting chapter in her life.

She took a break from acting after a slew of highly successful John Hughes films in the ’80s, but released a novel and a jazz album in recent years and resurfaced with roles in The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Jem and the Holograms. She also made an appearance onstage Tuesday for the 15th annual 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, which benefited the Urban Arts Partnership.

“It feels really good. I feel like I’m in this new, interesting place,” the 47-year-old told PEOPLE after she performed in a 15-minute play for the gala event.

“I was always told that things really wouldn’t happen for me again until I was in my 40s,” she added. “It seemed really weird at the time, but I actually think that’s true in a way. I feel like I’m entering this really interesting second act.”

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Who told Ringwald her career would stall after films like The Breakfast Club – and then rise again? “A playwright, actually, named Roger Hedden,” Ringwald told PEOPLE. “I remember exactly where he told me; we were driving along Mulholland. And I was in my 20s at the time and I kind of thought it was sort of insulting,” Ringwald recalled.

“But now I think he was kind of right.”