Why Jennifer Beals Passed On Pretty In Pink

Jennifer Beals Flashdance Sweater Pose

If you could go back in time and undo a big decision that could have made a huge deal, you'd probably do it in a heartbeat. But some folks, like Jennifer Beals, are not so hasty with re-writing their history. Case in point, the actor was offered the lead role in the John Hughes classic Pretty In Pink, and she decided to reject the offer. And you know what? She totally doesn't regret it at all, partially because she admits that Molly Ringwald knocked it out of the park. But the other part of her rationale came from a very grounded place: her priorities.

Andy Cohen's "Watch What Happens Live" was the venue of discussion, and a viewer submitted question raised the fact that Beals was initially selected for the role, which eventually went to Molly Ringwald, after some careful consideration. One reason in particular stood out, as Beals cited the following as her reasons for missing out:

The funny thing about Flashdance is that I wasn't in school. The character's not in school, so you're not an age. And I thought, 'Well, if I play someone who's in high school, then all of a sudden I'm bracketed there.' And, also, I was going to college.

Seeing as John Hughes was a pretty big name in that point of film history, taking Pretty In Pink should have been a no-brainer decision. However, as Jennifer Beals pointed out, she would have probably been typecast in plenty of other high school movies. Which is oddly fitting, considering this role eventually became Molly Ringwald's third John Hughes high school comedy, with Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club directly preceding this film. But above all else, Beals was dedicated to her college education, which saw her graduating with a B.A. in American Literature.

Honestly, Jennifer Beals probably made the best choice in sitting out Pretty In Pink. Going from a ambitious steelworker with dance moves to spare in Flashdance to a high school wallflower crushing on a preppie would have probably been a huge jump. One that, to be completely honest, might have seen the wrong end of critics and audiences, as folks would have tried to bracket Beals into the confines of that role, rather than open up to a new possibility. Seeing as both Beals and Molly Ringwald have both gone on to have fruitful and varied careers though, this is one of those scenarios where everybody wins.

You'll be able to see Jennifer Beals in the teen thriller Before I Fall, which hits theaters today.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.