Former child star Molly Ringwald is convinced her decision to develop "interests outside Hollywood" saved her life because it stopped her falling into drug addiction.
Ringwald landed her first TV role at the age of 11 in sitcom Diff'rent Strokes and went on to find fame in John Hughes' 1984 movie Sixteen Candles, which propelled her into the spotlight. She became known as one of the 'Brat Pack' in the 1980s after appearing in a string of teen dramas, but unlike many of her co-stars, Ringwald avoided the temptations of the party circuit and never suffered from drug or alcohol addiction.
The actress, now a 42-year-old mother of three, insists she was too young to follow her older actor friends into bars as a teenager and is adamant her decision to focus on her hobbies instead "saved her life."
She tells Britain's Grazia magazine, "Unlike most of the others (members of the 'Brat Pack'), I was the same age as my characters. So when they were out carousing, I couldn't get into a bar. I was encouraged to develop interests outside Hollywood and I think it saved my life. I knew that if I got involved with drugs it would never stop. I had self-preservation."
And Ringwald admits she feels sorry for young stars in Hollywood today - because they seem unable to avoid the temptations of the industry.
She adds, "I feel badly for teenage stars these days. They seem to get burned out so quickly."