‘We Felt Suddenly Unseen’: Andrew McCarthy on His Upcoming Hulu Documentary About the ‘Brat Pack’
Andrew McCarthy is pretty excited about his upcoming ABC News Studios documentary, Brats. And so are we!
Coming to Hulu later in 2024, the feature-length film will take a trip down memory lane to explore the infamously labeled “Brat Pack” of the 1980s, and how the actors in that group handled the term and newfound fame behind the scenes, as well as the meaning behind the term.
“There’s a little bit in the film where we I go, ‘Who the hell is in the Brat Pack?'” McCarthy mused, as he discussed the project at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour.
“I mean, I’m in [the Brat Pack] and I can’t even tell you who the members are, specifically. I think there’s a certain core group of seven of us that are undeniably in the Brat Pack: Me, Emilio, Judd, Rob, Demi, Ally, and Molly Ringwald, you know.
“I just sort of reached out to people and said, ‘You know, this has had such a profound effect on my life and on my career.’ And it seems so silly. It’s some silly little term, ‘The Brat Pack.’ That was one magazine article [that coined the name], a regional magazine that came out on a Tuesday; and by Friday, the nation was using the term ‘Brat Pack,’ and our lives were different.”
McCarthy, who was initially opposed to the term, has grown to find it more agreeable over the years.
“Now, the Brat Pack has become this iconically affectionate, kind of warm and fuzzy phrase for that moment in pop culture for a certain generation,” he said. “But at the time, it was not the case.
“I think any time any of us are labeled, it can be a limiting thing. And so, we recoiled against that. And it did affect our careers in a certain way. I think we all resisted it and tried to figure out how to position ourselves from it, and some did it more successfully than others. Personally, I just kind of tried to ignore it and run from it, which, as you can see, didn’t work very well.”
McCarthy also discussed the blowback of the term and how it doomed the relationships of those within the group.
“The minute the Brat Pack term came into existence, everyone just scattered. No one would be seen in a movie again together. So, like I hadn’t seen Rob in 30 years; I hadn’t seen Emilio since the premiere of St. Elmo’s Fire; I hadn’t seen Demi in a couple decades. I know they have not been in touch because they were each saying, ‘Have you talked to so-and-so? Oh, how are they doin’?’ So nobody, as far as I could tell, has really been in touch with each other.”
McCarthy also noted that he didn’t meet up with his fellow Brat Packers with any agenda in mind. He did not even prepare interview questions. The scenes between him and those who agreed to be in the documentary are all unscripted and natural.
“One of the things I was exploring about the film is: ‘What’s the disconnect between what was projected upon us in life and what we feel on the inside?’ That was sort of the whole journey of the movie.
“I think all any of us want in life is to be seen. It’s like, ‘See me, see who I am, see me.’ And when that [Brat Pack label] happened to us, we felt suddenly unseen.”