Andrew McCarthy’s ‘Brat Pack’ Quest To Bring The Gang Back Together in ‘Brats’ Documentary

ST. ELMO'S FIRE, Andrew McCarthy, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Rob Lowe, 1985,
Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

On June 10, 1985, New York Magazine released an article about a group of emerging young actors coming out of Hollywood and writer David Blum coined the phrase “the Brat Pack” in reference to them. At the time, they were the hottest thing since sliced bread, and on trend with all the teen movies coming out. While the interview was initially supposed to be a small feature around Emilio Estevez, it grew to be much more… and the rest is history.

ST. ELMO'S FIRE, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Mare Winningham, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, 1985,

Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

To most, this may seem like just a fun name but to those who lived in the shadow of the moniker it really had some negative effects on their career and psyches. In an effort to close some of the emotional scarring Andrew McCarthy still carries, he set out to talk to the other ‘members’ to see how it has affected them over the almost-40 years since the phrase was coined. He sat down with Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Demi Moore and a few non-members, along with pop culture experts, and even David Blum who started it all. Sadly, Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald didn’t want to be part of the film.

We got a sneak peek of the highly anticipated Hulu doc Brats and here are some of our takeaways.

Were they really friends?

Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore and Ally Sheedy

Barry King/WireImage

While most of the world thought they were this really cool, cliquey group of friends, it turns out that they weren’t. Sure, they may have hung out while filming, but they did not retain social relationships afterward. As a matter of fact, this was Andrew’s first time seeing Emilio in over 30 years.

The term really hurt their careers

Much like being typecast, the group was often looked at like they were Primadonnas, didn’t have to work hard, and all in it for the partying, and well, were just brats. They felt as if they were written off, and no one would take them seriously as professional actors.

The John Hughes factor

THE BREAKFAST CLUB, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, director John Hughes, Ally Sheedy on the set, 1985.

Universal Pictures. Courtesy: Everett Collection.

He loved working with young actors and let them be collaborative with his vision, which they loved. Plus, his movies brought us great soundtracks that defined the generation. But ever wonder why there is no one other than white people in the John Hughes films? That would be because the films took place in rich suburban neighborhoods, and in the ’80s, most schools didn’t have any kids of color.

Outsiders looking in

John Cryer and Lea Thompson

Everett Collection

While not truly connected to the original group, others around them managed to escape the moniker; but did they want to be in it? John Cryer seems like he wanted to be, and Lea Thomson said it best: she was “Brat Pack” adjacent. Others that could have very well been included were Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Robert Downey Jr., Michael J Fox and so on.

Who was the “Brat Pack”?

Since the name came about, everyone has questioned who REALLY was part of it. The documentary tries to sum that up, but even so, it still seems there is confusion. The main consensus is it includes Andrew, Emilio, Rob, Demi, Alley, Molly and Judd.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 07: (L-R) Ally Sheedy, Andrew McCarthy and Demi Moore attend the "BRATS" premiere during the 2024 Tribeca Festival at BMCC Theater on June 07, 2024 in New York City.

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Overall, the documentary was fun, and we learned some cool behind-the-scenes stuff. Also, the eye candy of all the old interviews were blended in really well.

Brats is available on Hulu starting June 13. Will you be tuning in?




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March 2023

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