No, it’s not Jennifer Grey.
Molly Ringwald is The Guardian newspaper’s new agony aunt, filing her first column as in-house advice-giver last weekend. Redheaded Ringwald was the emblem of teenage angst in the 1980s, a kind of clean-cut, sensible Lindsay Lohan minus the troubled stage parents. She won her icon spurs in iconic teen movies, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, and Brat Pack extravaganza The Breakfast Club. More importantly, she got to kiss Andrew McCarthy, the cultural equivalent today of making out with all three Hemsworth brothers. Now, at age 46, the author, singer and mother of three is trying her hand at solving other people’s domestic issues. If you’re wondering what exactly makes her such a great choice…well, so is she.
In her first column for the UK newspaper, Ringwald expressed confusion at being asked to pen the column in the first place. But, perhaps sensing she’s undermining herself, she rallies with this justification: “I’ve been told, on occasion, that I’m not always the best at taking advice, which is what really makes me the most qualified; I’m great at giving it.”
An admission of hypocrisy isn’t the best way to frame yourself as an agony aunt, but maybe even advice-givers need to be cut some slack, especially on their first day. In her debut column, she tackled the class divide. A teacher asked the actress if she should accept her richer friends’ offer to take her on vacation, all expenses paid. Her advice was pretty straightforward and went along the lines of ‘don’t take the offer, because nothing ever comes for free.’ Commenters took her to task for offering what appeared to be a slightly cynical response. But regardless of your feelings on her advice, it definitely got notice. Nearly 500 people commented on the column.
Ringwald isn’t the first celeb to play Ann Landers. Before Wild, best selling author Cheryl Strayed made her mark as Dear Sugar on the website The Rumpus. Her advice was so popular (read, addictive), it was turned into a book that later became something of a cult fave.
Rolling Stone has also played with the “Ask A Celeb” format, most recently getting rapper Rick Ross to offer up words of wisdom on love, relationships…and smoking weed. (“Break up with her” Ross told the guy who claimed his girlfriend didn’t like how much pot he smoked.) Previously, Rolling Stone looked to such train-wreck celeb wisemen as Ozzy Osbourne—who offered health advice.
Who’s on our shortlist for other potential celebrity advice columnist? Well, I’ve got to admit it’s a pretty short list, indeed. How’s this: Billy Bob Thornton and Jane Fonda (both based on their appearances on Oprah’s Master Class), and Robert Downey Jr (because he doesn’t pull any punches).