With her dominance of Hollywood in the 1980s and unmistakable auburn hair, it’s no surprise that Molly Ringwald gets recognized all over the world—including, recently, with a bow and arrow in hand in Oman. “My husband and I were taking an archery class in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere,” she says. “And [the teacher] asked if I was Archie’s mother on Riverdale.”
Next up, Ringwald will play Truman Capote’s best friend Joanne in Feud: Capote vs. The Swans, the second season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series, airing this week on FX and streaming on Hulu. She chatted with Condé Nast Traveler about the perks of marrying into a Greek family, her ideal vacation, and why she’s careful about hotel sheets.
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Her old-fashioned view of travel etiquette:
This was a bit before my time, but I miss the days when people dressed up for traveling—because they were representing their culture and were on their best behavior. I wish that would come back. It’s just manners, regular manners! I think you should always behave better in another country than you do your own. It’s like you’re going to somebody’s living room.
On her annual trips to Greece:
My married family is Greek. My husband is 100% Greek, and if you talk to my kids, they would say that they are 100% Greek, even though I was involved in it somehow. They’re very identified with their Greek culture, which I really think is lovely. Greeks, of course, are so welcoming and so full of tradition. [My kids] were all christened in Greece, even though we’re not a religious family, but it was really culturally important to my mother-in-law, and I found that really moving. Our eldest, Mathilda, was christened near Athens, and the [twins] were christened in my mother-in-law’s little village. The entire village showed up and brought them presents. It was so lovely!
We go every year, usually to my [in-laws’] house on the coast. I started this tradition when Mathilda was a baby: we went to the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio. It’s a really beautiful place where people go to watch the sunset, and I started taking pictures of us there. Usually I make everyone wear white until they protested last year and said that we looked like cult members. “Can we just wear normal clothes?” But it was nice to be consistent! I have all these pictures, watching them grow up, and it’s been really nice.
Her priorities when planning a vacation:
For me, it is culture and food. I’m a museum person, but I am definitely the minority in my family. My kids are all about leisure, so there’s a bit of push and pull there. They like to go to Greece and see their cousins and hang out on the beach. I like to go and just walk. I love Paris because I get up in the morning and I walk and walk and walk and I don’t think about where I’m going. My devices think I’ve gone crazy. I never ever stop walking, but that’s how I like to spend my time. I like looking at buildings. I like finding little courtyards and walking into museums and discovering things. Even though I lived [in Paris] for years, every day is like a discovery for me. I love walking cities. I mean, I grew up in California, where everybody had to have a car, so to me, a city that’s set up for walking is a perfect city.