TODAY   |  September 18, 2012

Andrew McCarthy: Brat Pack fascination is ‘phenomenal’

Actor Andrew McCarthy stole the hearts of millions of teenagers in the 1980s with his roles in movies like “Pretty in Pink” and “St. Elmo’s Fire.” Now a successful writer, he tells TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie that even though he resisted the craze around the Brat Pack at the time, he is embracing the love from fans.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> if you were a girl growing up in the '80s there's a good chance you had his poster on your bedroom wall.

>> kevin.

>> what do you want to hear in.

>> just tell me.

>> what in.

>> you're ashamed to be seen with me.

>> no, i'm not.

>> you're ashamed to go out with me.

>> he may have broken molly ring wohlied heart in "pretty in pink" but andrew mccarthy had many more teenage hearts aflutter in the 1980s .

>> didn't believe in me.

>> as a member of the infamous brat pack mccarthy was a click of young actors that included rob lowe , emilio estevez and demi moore .

>> like girls.

>> enjoy being afraid of russia.

>> all of whom had a great deal of success in coming-of-age films like "st. elmo's fire."

>> because i am desperately completely in love with you.

>> from comedies like "mannequin" co-starring kim cattrall .

>> oh, right. you two haven't met. roxie, this is emmy. emmy, roxie.

>> to the cult favorite "weekend at bernie's" which co-starred, well, a corpse. andrew mccarthy was on every movie-maker's short list. in addition to his acting career, mccarthy is also an award-winning travel writer . his new memoir is called "the longest way home, one man's quest for the courage to settle down." andrew mccarthy , good morning.

>> good morning.

>> nice to meet you. first question, did you get my letter in 1986 , and why haven't you responded?

>> i did. you didn't get that?

>> no, no, no.

>> the mail.

>> yes.

>> in all seriousness, there's a generation of women who probably still come up to you with or without their copy of "tiger beat" and feel that they know you and have something to say to you.

>> now they introduce their kids to me.

>> yeah. just interviewed molly ringwola few weeks ago and there's a brat pack phenomenon. some actors were a part of it or resisted it and had to come to terms with it. do you deal with that?

>> i felt like i resisted it and now it's become an iconic affectionate term in a period of time in a bunch of movies that mean a lot to people. it's fantastic now.

>> you are part of this cultural phenomenon .

>> so weird. i never thought of myself this way, and i am embedded in this cultural moment in time, yeah.

>> here you are sort of part of this pack. one of the things you write about in your book you is feel like you're kind of a loner.

>> well, yeah. always one of the ironies to me that i was in this brat pack and always sort of separate and i lived here and never hung out. that an odd experience for me.

>> the memoir is really about two journeys, the literal journeys around the world and also your figurative journey to settle down and finally find love in a real way. i mean, why was that a good device for you?

>> well, like you said, i became this travel writer in the last ten years, and i found travel a real way to sort of get in touch with who i am. i sort of found myself when i was on the road, and as i was leaving to go on one of my trips, my now wife and i had just decided to get married, and i was really sad to be leaving. i was sitting in the back of the cab all kind of weepy to be going, and in the same instant i was thrilled to be leaving and i couldn't reconcile the two parts of me, one that wants to be with you and the other part that needs to go be me so i thought there was a nugget for a book there to try to wrangle and wrestle with that theme of intimacy and commitment and how does a guy do that?

>> some people kind of called it the eat, pray, love for men.

>> do you like that?

>> falling in love was great, but it's an internal emotional journey that plays out over the executive locations and stuff so that's the comparison i would welcome. i thought that was a terrific book.

>> you're pretty blunt. talked about a struggle you went through, a struggle with alcohol. you wrote there was one time you woke up in amsterdam, fell asleep in berlin or vice versa .

>> i don't really remember it very well. it was the '80s. part of this is the stew that makes up who i've become, so it all goes in there. you know, i talk about the movies and some of the drinking stuff, but it's more about that sort of emotional coming to terms, coming of age , you know.

>> you've done all this travel. you write about the places you've visited. what's a place you would definitely go back to and a place you would never return to?

>> i loved patagonia. i'd go back to patagonia in a heartbeat, and i found luxembourg quite boring.

>> sorry, luxembourg.

>> finally, most importantly, don't you feel in some ways that ducky was the better man than blaine?

>> this is an outrageous theory that you people entertain all of these years, and i'm sorry for you is all i can think of.

>> blaine was better looking but ducky had the heart.

>> but what are you going to do with ducky? that wears thin, doesn't it?

>> can you tell me to get a life. that's fine.