Molly Ringwald's Daughter Has Grown Up To Be Her Twin

Molly Ringwald is a mother to three children with her husband, Panio Gianopoulos. The eldest is their daughter, Mathilda Ereni Gianopoulos, who was born in 2003. Fans got a glimpse into Mathilda's life when she stepped out with her mom to attend the American Ballet Theatre Fall Gala in New York City in October 2023. Looking very grown up, Mathilda wore a stunning, sparkly dress and bore a striking resemblance to her mama. But appearance is not the only thing they have in common; they also share a love of reading and a passion for acting.

Mathilda may love films, but there was a time in her childhood when she grew up without a television. "The first few years Mathilda was alive, we didn't have a TV, and then we finally broke down and got one," Ringwald told Mother Jones in a 2010 interview. "But not having had a television for that early time, she is not interested by television at all. She just doesn't like to sit down and watch TV; she's much more interested in other stuff, which I'm kind of pleased about." This is just one of the many interesting things about Molly Ringwald's daughter, Mathilda Gianopoulos, and how she has grown up.

Mathilda Gianopoulos' love of fashion started at a young age

Mathilda Gianopoulos has grown up in a household where she has been free to express herself. This includes experimenting with her style, which she was interested in from a young age. "My daughter is very headstrong, especially with style and how she wants to do things," Molly Ringwald told Babble. "At one point, she almost reduced me to tears because she wouldn't wear these expensive patent leather boots I bought her."

She knew what she liked and what she didn't, and while Ringwald may not have been able to get her way when it came to dressing her kid, she did acknowledge that she had "a great sense of style." Despite this, accepting her child's decisions and letting her take the lead was difficult. "One of the hardest things parents have to accept is that they have to let their children express themselves, to love them and allow them to be different," she said.

Ringwald has also posted a bunch of snaps of her daughter on social media, which show some of her outfits as a child and as a teen. In 2022, she posted on Instagram 

showing a very special fashion choice: Gianopoulos' prom dress, which was simple and elegant.

She's a model

The world is Mathilda Gianopoulos' oyster, and as she decides what she wants to do with her career, one thing she has already tried her hand at is modeling. In 2017, she made headlines when she walked the runway for J.Crew (also joined by Julianne Moore's daughter, Liv Freundlich). The event marked Gianopoulos modeling debut, and her mama was very proud. In an Instagram post of herself and Gianopoulos, Molly Ringwald shared a behind-the-scenes snap from the shoot. "Stage mom," she wrote in the caption.

The actor posted a second Instagram post, this time a video which showed Gianopoulos posing for the camera. "Natural beauty!" Ringwald captioned the post.

In 2020, Mathilda was again working as a model, this time with Andrew Warren's Just Drew for New York Fashion Week. "I always try to use different and unique girls than everyone else to show off my brand and not use the same ones that are doing every single NYFW show," Warren told Page Six. "It's about being different, and that's important to me."

To Mathilda Gianopoulos, her mom is just a regular mom

Molly Ringwald has had an impressive career, starring in iconic films like "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles." You might think this would earn her some bragging rights with her kids, but that's not how it is. "In terms of been a teen queen and being the parent of a teenager, you would think that it would give me some points and make me a little cooler," she said at The Center for Parent and Teen Communications in 2022. "It doesn't at all, it means absolutely nothing to them. To them, I'm just their mom and I'm just as dorky and out of touch ... as every other mom."

This is not the first time she has addressed what her kids, including Mathilda Gianopoulos, think of her. "I thought I would've had a little bit more edge or info or intel or something. But I feel like I'm very often just as confused and perplexed as anyone else," she told HuffPost in 2020.

Mathilda Gianopoulos is following in her mom's footsteps

Mathilda Gianopoulos has shown interest in becoming an actor. She has already landed a role in the upcoming ​​film, "The Idea of You."

She has been interested in pursuing this profession for several years, which Molly Ringwald mentioned in an interview with Yahoo! News. "My elder daughter wants to be an actress. She's pretty serious about it," she said. In 2015, mother and daughter shared a special moment when Ringwald got the opportunity to direct Gianopoulos in the 2015 film "Jem and the Holograms," taking over from director Jon M. Chu for her daughter's scenes. At the time, Gianpoulos was 12, and her part was small. Ringwald, for her part, also appeared in the movie, playing the role of Aunt Bailey.

"She loves acting," Ringwald also told Today in 2015. "We don't want her to do it professionally, but we really loved Jon [Chu, director] ... and so we did it. I filmed it, I actually directed her in it." She added, "It's very daunting to direct your almost-teenage daughter. I think it's the only time that she's ever listened to me!"

Her mom has given her career advice

Although acting was not a career path that Molly Ringwald initially envisioned for her daughter, she understood she needed to support her choice.

"Like most actors that have grown up in the business, I tried to discourage it as much as I could. And then eventually, you know, you can't squash your child's dream. ... So I try and be as supportive as I can," Ringwald said in an interview with the "On With Mario Lopez" podcast in 2021. "[I] just give her the tools to make her the best actress that she can possibly be. ... It's a hard business. I think she knows that ... I think she's going into it with her eyes open."

Ringwald also spoke to People about her daughter's ambitions in 2023. "She learned how to do it before, but it's a hard job, and I think she knows what she's in for," she said. Mathilda Gianopoulos also weighed in to share her mom's advice. "Be prepared to wait and be nice, which you should always be anyways," she told the publication. While that may not be very specific, it's not a bad tip either!

Mathilda Gianopoulos loves books

Molly Ringwald is aware of the differences between her own childhood and Mathilda Gianopoulos', specifically in relation to the advancement of technology and social media. "We didn't have 24/7 Instagram and other social media. I think that makes things very hard," she told HuffPost in 2020. "It makes it harder to focus, so they miss out on a lot of great things. I was really into films when I was young, and I could sit down and watch a long, slow-paced film. But I think kids are sort of losing their ability to do that now."

But one thing Gianopoulos has not lost out on is her love of reading, which she has had since childhood. "Mathilda's really into stories; we can usually distract her by inventing one," Ringwald told Good Housekeeping in a 2011 interview.

"My daughter has amazing taste in books," the "Pretty in Pink" actor told HuffPost. "She loves Kurt Vonnegut, which I'd say the average 16-year-old isn't reading today. She really just gets books." While good taste is subjective, Ringwald is a reader herself, and books played an important role in her childhood. "Books gave me a lot of solace and made me feel less alone in the world. They gave me that feeling that there's something else out there," she said.

Dinner is an important time in her household

In the Ringwald-Gianopoulos household, there is a lot of emphasis on dinner time. In her 2011 Good Housekeeping interview, Molly Ringwald told the publication that this had become a family ritual. She touched on this again in a later interview with HuffPost in 2020.

"We decided family dinner would be the time everybody puts their devices down and hangs out and talks. I think it's really important," the star told the publication. "I credit my husband because he's the one that gets it done. I like to say I'm a fancy chef and he's the diner chef. He can cook a bunch of different things for a bunch of different people and get it on the table. He kind of reminds me of my mom in that way."

In September 2023, the "For Keeps" actor also shared a glimpse into what these special moments look like with a bunch of Instagram photos of herself and her loved ones, including Mathilda Gianopoulos, gathered around a table. "Family dinner," she wrote in the caption.

Of Molly Ringwald's three kids, Mathilda Gianopoulos is the only one who watches her '80s movies

Many people grew up watching Molly Ringwald's films in the '80s, but she was reluctant to let her own children see them decades later. "My 16-year-old has watched 'The Breakfast Club.' I am getting ready to show the other ones the movies, but I'm not quite there yet," she told HuffPost in 2020 of sharing her films with her daughter Mathilda Gianopoulos but not her younger children, Adele and Roman, who are six years younger. "I feel like it's a rite of passage, and I'm just not ready. There's time, though."

Ringwald echoed these sentiments again in a 2021 interview on SiriusXM's "Radio Andy." "It definitely is a different time. But you know, people ask me if I've watched them with my kids, and I did watch the first one ... with Mathilda. And it was such an emotional experience that I haven't found that strength to watch it with my two other kids," she said.

Mathilda was 10 when she first watched the film with her mom, and the moment was shared on "This American Life." But this was not her only experience with her mom's films; Ringwald shared a snap on X (formerly Twitter) showing her daughter alongside a cardboard cutout from her time on "Sixteen Candles," which was on display at their local Target.

Mathilda Gianopoulos has tough conversations with her mom

Molly Ringwald's not a perfect mom, but she tries. In her 2011 Good Housekeeping interview, she admitted to occasionally losing her temper. "I try not to. I always have good intentions that I'll never raise my voice, but I occasionally break that rule," she said. Still, she parents with openness and honesty, tackling tough subjects and having hard, grown-up conversations with her daughter.

In an interview with Baltimore Magazine in 2014, Ringwald reflected on how an Amy Winehouse song created an opportunity her to chat with Mathilda Gianopoulos about drugs. "[W]e were talking about all the young people, the incredibly talented people, who have died from heroin overdoses," Ringwald said. "And we got in this whole conversation about being an artist. And part of what makes you a great artist is how sensitive you are. But then part of being sensitive is sometimes it's really hard to be that sensitive, and people want to do whatever they can to not feel what they're feeling." They discussed drugs and how her daughter would not use them — a big conversation for someone who just turned 11.

Ringwald has a close relationship with Gianopoulos but sets boundaries and makes rules. She revealed this in an Instagram post celebrating Mathilda's 18th birthday in 2021. "Your dad and I love you so much. And just so you know, I'm still going to be annoying and tell you what to do," she captioned a cute throwback.