Ally Sheedy rose to fame early in her career as part of the coveted Brat Pack, appearing in decidedly ’80 films like The Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, WarGames, and Short Circuit. Though the 59-year-old actress has largely stepped away from the camera over the course of the past decade, she now appears in the new Freeform series, Single Drunk Female, as the single mother of a 28-year-old alcoholic who is forced to move back home after hitting rock bottom.
However, in her time away from the spotlight, Sheedy has been teaching acting as a college professor at the City College of New York. Catching up with People this week, she explained how her acting experiences help her guide her students — who sometimes even Google her.
“Some of them Google me, or they have a great filmography in their head and they’ve seen what I’ve done. I’m very open to talking about my experiences. And I have an affinity for them so much because they are the age I was when I was working. I’m telling them everything I wish I knew!”
“It was a different world in the ’80s,” Sheedy understated. “But as far as learning how to handle a set, it hasn’t changed that much.”
Sheedy also explained why she struggled with her career after finding so much success early on.
“When I was in my 20s, roles were coming to me beautifully flowing but there was a period when I didn’t know what I was doing. I wanted to be Debra Winger but I [was offered] one comedy thing after the next.”
Eventually, Sheedy moved back to New York and began working with an acting teacher. And the move seemed to pay off. In 1998, she starred in the independent film High Art, which landed her an Independent Spirit Award for Best Actress. And, one would imagine, the experience likely inspired her to get into teaching herself.