Diamond, now 36 and the sports editor at Rolling Stone, spent a large part of his 20s attempting to write the ultimate Hughes biography — without any qualifications, a publisher or access to the people who actually knew the late filmmaker. Needless to say, it didn’t work out, but Diamond still got a book out of it.
The first John Hughes movie Diamond saw was 1986’s “Pretty in Pink”; his teenage baby sitter showed it to him when he was a kid. “I was so taken by Molly Ringwald’s character,” Diamond says. “She was like my first idol. She’s so cool.”
Diamond was hooked, and he found himself relating to more and more characters that Hughes had created. He was like weirdo Allison in “The Breakfast Club,” while the jocks at his school reminded him of Jake Ryan from “Sixteen Candles.” Diamond began watching “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” every Thanksgiving — a tradition he still keeps. These were the movies that got Diamond through childhood abuse, his parents abandoning him when he was a teenager, and years of depression. Then there was the Hughes biography.
“I had no idea what I wanted to do with that biography,” Diamond says. “I wanted to put the whole kitchen sink in there, plus the cabinet, and the fridge, all into one book.” Diamond still loves Hughes — who died in 2009 at the age of 59 — and the man’s movies, of course, but in a healthier way. (He’s not secretly stalking any actors anymore.)
Diamond now lives in Brooklyn, but he likes to go back to the Chicago suburbs every now and again and drive to Cameron’s glass house from “Bueller” or the church where Samantha’s sister got married in “Sixteen Candles.” “I find excuses to go back there,” Diamond says, adding that he took his wife last year to show her where he grew up … with a stop at the “Home Alone” house.
More things to do in D.C. this week: