Judd Nelson on Journalist Who Coined "Brat Pack": I Should've Knocked Him Unconscious
"It just seemed like we were like fruit picked too soon, and then blamed for being picked too soon."
Judd Nelson still doesn't like the phrase "Brat Pack" — at all.
The actor of The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire spoke on the matter while on the Sept. 28 episode of The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast, saying he should have punched New York writer David Blum, who coined the moniker, when he had the chance.
"I would have been better served following my gut feeling and knocking him unconscious," Nelson said.
Blum penned a New York cover story back in 1985 after spending a night out with Nelson, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and others and described them as undeserving, uneducated young actors who party and appear in movies together. The piece initially began as a profile on Estevez, but then became a piece that coined the infamous name and has been bashed by Estevez, Ally Sheedy and Breakfast Club director John Hughes, among others. (Blum noted his regrets about the article two years later.)
"I knew there was a problem right away," recalled Nelson of the night out. "When this guy's at dinner, I say to Emilio, 'Who's this guy?' [He said,] 'Well, he's a reporter, he's writing an article on me,' [I said,] 'I don't think he should be here, I don't like him.' He's at the table when I'm saying this."
"This guy, just something about him, he had a stink to him," he continued, "and I think that in retrospect, I would have been better served following my gut feeling and knocking him unconscious. I at least would have felt better about the thing."
Further, Nelson noted, "It was a bad thing that happened as a result of this. These were people I worked with, who I really liked as people — funny, smart, committed to the work. I mean, no one was professionally irresponsible. And after that article, not only are we strongly encouraged not to work with each other again — and for the most part we haven’t — but it was insinuated we might not want to be hanging out with these people. And it was like, I didn’t know that good friends are so easy to come by in this world that they should be tossed asunder.
"And to think that we’re some kind of gang, or group!" he added. "I lived in New York City. I don’t go three thousand miles to have a beer. ... But it just seemed like we were like fruit picked too soon, and then blamed for being picked too soon."
Listen to the discussion in the podcast below, beginning at the 1:20:00-minute mark.