Why Jon Cryer Thinks His ‘Pretty in Pink’ Co-Stars Disliked Him: ‘They Were Irritated by Me From Day One!’

Jon Cryer‘s portrayal of Duckie is arguably the most iconic aspect of Pretty In Pink. His outlandish dance moves at the record shop will forever be ingrained in our souls, and Duckie’s eccentric style of clothing continues to inspire us to this day. 

But even though his character is a fan favorite, Cryer admits that he didn’t get along too well with the rest of the actors. He even believes that his co-stars were “irritated” with him from the very first day of filming. 

Jon Cryer during the "Pretty In Pink" Premiere
Jon Cryer during the “Pretty In Pink” Premiere | Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

The role was initially intended for Anthony Michael Hall

When John Hughes wrote the script, he imagined Anthony Michael Hall for the role of Duckie. This makes sense, considering Michael Hall had starred in several other Hughes films where he plays the geeky guy who’s in love with Molly Ringwald’s character.

Anthony Michael Hall
Anthony Michael Hall | The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

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(We’re looking at you, Sixteen Candles.)

Yet, according to the Brat Pack memoir titled You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried, Michael Hall turned down the role due to redundancy. He didn’t want to play the same character he felt he had already played before.

“It was just a redundancy issue,” the actor revealed in the memoir. When he read the script, it “felt like a rehash” of Sixteen Candles because “the girl with the two guys, that whole thing.”

“How are you going to compete with Michael Hall?” the film’s director, Howard Deutch, questioned. “Michael Hall after Breakfast Club was, like, the greatest kid in the universe. And Duckie was Michael Hall. But he wouldn’t do it.”  

Other contenders for Duckie included Robert Downey Junior and Michael J. Fox.

But ultimately, once Cryer auditioned, they knew he was destined for the role. 

“He walked in,” says Deutch, “and he was my guy.” 

Jon Cryer didn’t get along too well with his co-stars

Jon Cryer attends the premiere of "Pretty In Pink" on January 29, 1986 at Mann Chinese Theater
Jon Cryer attends the premiere of “Pretty In Pink” on January 29, 1986 at Mann Chinese Theater | Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Cryer reveals in his memoir that he is a lot like his character, Duckie. He is extremely extroverted, and coming from a background in theatre, he is used to a different culture where the cast mates are close-knit.

But it took him a while to realize that when it came to his film co-stars, they weren’t in it to make friendships. It was more about showing up to work rather than creating lasting friendships. 

“I think they were irritated by me from day one,” he admitted. “Molly and Andrew were very reserved people, and I’m a very outgoing person. That could have worked out great, that dynamic, but it didn’t.”

Molly Ringwald
Portrait of American actress Molly Ringwald, Los Angeles, California, January 30, 1985 | Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images

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He revealed to Access Live, “I came from New York City, and I’m kinda a loud-mouthed New Yorker… and Molly and Andrew were both very kinda reserved people,” he said.  

“I came from the theatre, where everybody knows everybody and has these outsize personalities, and you’re all crammed together and have to work together, but a movie’s not like that; you show up, and you do your job, and then you go home…”

Andrew McCarthy admits that he didn’t get along with Jon Cryer

Andrew McCarthy
Andrew McCarthy | The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

McCarthy, who plays Cryer’s rival in Pretty in Pink, admits that he didn’t get along with his co-star. “Jon was very Duckie-like when we were making that movie,” McCarthy said, according to the Brat Pack memoir. “He was very sweet and very needy, and I had no patience for it.”