The Sixteen Candles Star Who Now Works As A Carpenter

John Hughes was responsible for a number of genre-defining teen movies, from "Pretty in Pink" to "The Breakfast Club," many of which featured Molly Ringwald in the lead role. 

"Sixteen Candles" remains one of his most romantic, albeit highly contested, properties, with CBR pointing out that the '80s classic includes racist stereotypes, sexual harassment, and the general mistreatment of women on a grander scale, too. Although "Sixteen Candles" continues to be beloved of female fans, in particular, it's problematic. 

Ringwald was an '80s icon, and, in more recent years, she's popped up as Archie's mom in "Riverdale" and Noah's mother in "The Kissing Booth" series (okay, now we feel old). 

When it came to being a parent herself, though, Ringwald admitted to HuffPost UK that she was "just as confused and perplexed as anyone else," despite her extensive background in teen movies. Ringwald's eldest daughter, Mathilda, has seen "The Breakfast Club" as of 2020, but her younger twin siblings hadn't just yet. "I feel like it's a rite of passage and I'm just not ready," Ringwald said. "There's time though." 

It's been decades since she blew out 16 candles herself, of course, but Ringwald still holds the hit movie in high regard. In the meantime, many of her former co-stars have gone on to bigger and better things, including Anthony Michael Hall, who also appeared in "The Breakfast Club" alongside her. 

However, one "Sixteen Candles" star has pivoted to an entirely different career that's outside of Hollywood entirely. 

Michael Schoeffling has turned his attention to carpentry

As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Michael Schoeffling played Jake Ryan, the hottest guy in school and the subject of protagonist Sam's (Molly Ringwald) affections. Although Jake starts off "Sixteen Candles" with a serious girlfriend, by the end of the movie, he's fallen for Sam. 

Schoeffling appeared in several movies in the ensuing years, including "Mermaids," opposite Cher and Christina Ricci. However, he seems to have retired from acting as of 1991, with his final credit in "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken." 

In keeping with stepping back from the spotlight, Schoeffling now lives in relative obscurity with his wife in his native Pennsylvania, where the former actor owns a woodworking shop. Per Us Weekly, Schoeffling and his wife have two children, Zane and Scarlett, the latter of which followed in her father's footsteps and became a model. 

The "Sixteen Candles" star even cameos on her Instagram from time to time — it's typically in throwback photos, though. Although we know what much of the cast of "Sixteen Candles" looks like now, we'll just have to presume that Schoeffling is still just as gorgeous as ever. 

What Culture clarifies that Schoeffling actually had trouble making ends meet after his initial brush with mainstream fame and pivoted to carpentry to support his growing family. He now makes furniture to order, so, clearly, he's doing well with his chosen profession. 

The former actor is staying resolutely out of the spotlight

Moreover, the retired actor has no interest in returning to the spotlight. The Dishmaster reported that Michael Schoeffling has been approached for "Where are they now?" segments several times over the years, but nobody seems to be able to get a hold of him. Back in 2002, GQ made it their mission to track the "Mermaids" star down but ultimately couldn't, describing him as the "Salinger of male models/actors" (via Gawker).

In 2010, a blogger shared a first-person account of having spotted the man himself while shopping at Schoeffling's furniture store. The '80s star reportedly reacted well to being recognized, laughing and briefly discussing why he chose to take a step back from the entertainment business. According to the blogger, Schoeffling also confirmed that he stopped acting due to a dearth of challenging roles. 

In 2020, Twitter briefly lost its collective mind over the fact the "Sixteen Candles" star was about to turn 60. It's worth noting that the actor beat out "Lord of the Rings" star Viggo Mortensen for the role of Jake Ryan, much to Molly Ringwald's initial disappointment. "He made me weak in the knees," she admitted to Access Hollywood of the audition process. "He really did." Thankfully, Mortensen recovered quite well.

Molly Ringwald spoke out about this dodgy Jake Ryan moment

There are plenty of disturbing things in "Sixteen Candles" you only notice as an adult, and chief among them is the infamous date rape joke. Michael Schoeffling's dreamboat character, Jake Ryan, casually suggests, in relation to his girlfriend, "I've got Caroline in the bedroom right now passed out cold. I could violate her 10 different ways if I wanted to." 

When asked about the uncomfortable moment during an interview with NPR, star Molly Ringwald argued, "Times were different and what was acceptable then is definitely not acceptable now and nor should it have been then, but that's sort of the way that it was."

She also acknowledged that her opinion of some of the movies she did with John Hughes has changed as she's gotten older. "I don't want to appear ungrateful to John Hughes, but I do oppose a lot of what is in those movies," she said. Particularly raising a teenage daughter herself, Ringwald is more concerned about the message of "Sixteen Candles."

In response to news that an updated series based on the film, entitled "15 Candles," was in development at Peacock with Selena Gomez slated to star, Ringwald gushed to E! News, "I really do feel like when people always ask me about rebooting my movies, I am like, 'No those movies were wonderful,' but what they should do is take inspiration from them and do something completely different but inspired, so that just sounds fantastic."