Molly Ringwald on How Andrew McCarthy's Son Gave Her "A Window Into How He Might Have Been"

'All These Small Moments' Cast at Tribeca Film Festival - H Getty 2018
Getty Images

The actress plays the mother to her 'Pretty in Pink' co-star's child in her new film, 'All These Small Moments,' which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Molly Ringwald has a Pretty in Pink reunion of sorts in her new movie, All These Small Moments, which had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival.

The actress plays the mom to two sons, one of whom is played by the son of her Pretty in Pink love interest, Andrew McCarthy.

For Ringwald, working with Andrew McCarthy's son, Sam, helped her better understand her fellow '80s teen star.

"I never knew Andrew when he was that age, so it was sort of a window into how he might have been," she told The Hollywood Reporter.

Sam McCarthy makes his feature-film debut in All These Small Moments, and, ahead of the film's Tribeca premiere, he still didn't quite know what to make of working with his dad's former co-star.

"I'd seen Pretty in Pink," he said. "I hadn't met her before we did this film. It was a cool experience."

All These Small Moments, written and directed by Melissa Miller Costanzo, centers around a teenager (The OA's Brendan Meyer), who's dealing with a crush on a girl (played by Jemima Kirke) as well as some family drama. Ringwald and Brian D'Arcy James play his parents and Sam McCarthy plays his brother. The film also stars Harley Quinn Smith, Kevin Smith's daughter, as one of Meyer's character's school friends.

Costanzo said she drew on different parts of her own life to craft the multi-faceted story.

"Everybody in this movie is a different part of me," Costanzo told THR. "I could point to a lot of different things and say, 'Oh yeah that totally happened to me.' Or, 'That happened to me.' It's very personal in a way that I don't think everyone will ever really understand — it's like the shattered personality of my life."

Costanzo explained that she got the idea for Meyer's character's crush on a girl he sees on the bus out of her own bus-ride musings as she would see a group of kids on their way to school as she was going to work.

"Not like in a narcissistic way, but I was like, 'I wonder how I fit into their lives. Like, do they not notice me at all or am I the pinnacle of their world?'," she said. "So I was really interested in that dichotomy and in exploring those forbidden crushes and relationships. I think people come across each other in their lives, and you might be in a monogamous relationship or whatever, but there's someone that catches your eye and you know that you're not supposed to do anything but it kind of takes over you for a bit and it goes away, so [I was interested in] exploring that. And I'm also married, and I've been with the same person for almost 20 years, so [I'm] also exploring marriage as well because it's not so easy."

To play half of the troubled married couple, Costanzo said she wanted an appealing person to play the not-necessarily-likable role.

"I didn't want to have someone who was like the 10 moms we always see. Also the way I wrote the character, she's not the most likable mom, like she talks to her kids in maybe a way that you're not supposed to talk to your kids. She's very candid," Costanzo said. "So I wanted someone who had an appeal and a likability going into it because I knew that the character was a little harder to take in. People know her, so you're coming in with an affability that's built in."

For Brian d'Arcy James, who plays Ringwald's onscreen husband, it took a while to get over being starstruck.

"[I spent] the first couple of days of trying to snap out of the fact that I was working with Molly Ringwald and my familiarity with her as a young moviegoer and now as an adult working with her, so that took a few minutes to shake me out of that," James said, adding that once he got that out of his system, she was great to work with. "She's a terrific actor, very generous, collaborative, really intelligent, and we worked really hard at trying to create a couple that loved each other but was coming to terms with the fact that maybe they shouldn't be together."

As for why Girls alum Kirke was right to play the object of Meyer's teen character's crush, Costanzo said, "I needed to find someone who was fractured too or could play fractured because I need the audience to understand why she's interested in a teenager, so there was a lot going on there and a lot of complications that I needed them to portray, Brendan and Jemima."

Kirke too was attracted to the complexity of the script.

"I sort of liked that her script was this sort of generic coming-of-age story of a boy having a crush and then also she's interested in drawing the darker sides of that and the gray areas of right and wrong and the things that can happen when you're growing up," she said.