Ally Sheedy was an original “brat-packer” and starred in the wildly influential and successful mid-1980s films, “The Breakfast Club,” “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “War Games.” By 1989, her career had taken a nosedive. She made a slight comeback in 1998, when she starred in the Lisa Cholodenko film, “High Art,” playing a lesbian photographer to critical acclaim.
I met Ally at a birthday party in Central Park for my daughter Ruby’s friend Lucy in June of 2000. Ally also had a six-year-old daughter and lived on the Upper West Side, where she grew up. It was a beautiful June morning when Ruby and I arrived. Ally was already there, drinking wine and smoking. I’m not quite sure if she thought I was a “cool mom” like her or if there was just no one else to talk to, but she focused all her attention on me and didn’t let up. I was flattered, since I was a fan of hers ever since the publication of her book, She Was Nice To Mice, when she was 13 and I was 10 (I had read an excerpt in Seventeen Magazine and was jealous that this teenager had already published a book.) Ally wasn’t the type to make small talk. She shared provocative stories with me right from the start. When more guests arrived, she suggested we take our daughters to a nearby playground (it was obvious she wanted me to keep my attention focused on her.) She continued to smoke, and a concerned dad politely asked her not to smoke around the children. She overreacted to his request, cursing and screaming at him in front of a playground full of kids: “This is fucking New York and I can do whatever the fuck I want!” She caused a tremendous scene, then grabbed my hand and said, “Let’s get out of here.” Ruby was in shock, and so was I, but her daughter didn’t flinch.
[Read the rest of Elisa's one-day friendship with Ally, after the jump.] (more…)