Judd Nelson on The Breakfast Club’s Bad Boy John Bender: “I’m Now That Kid’s Dad”

Judd Nelson
Judd Nelson played bad boy John Bender in 1985's The Breakfast Club. Buyenlarge/Getty Images; Michael Bezjian/WireImage

Eat his suit and tie? Thirty years after John Bender showed his cigar burns and told off The Man, his real-life counterpart, Judd Nelson, comes no where close to resembling the rebel bad boy from The Breakfast Club

The now-55-year-old actor celebrated the iconic film’s big anniversary with Savannah Guthrie on the Today show on Tuesday, March 10, declaring, “I’m now that kid’s dad.” 

Wearing a suit and tie, the graying ‘80s actor now sports a beard and glasses, making him entirely unrecognizable from his long-haired teenage self. 

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When Guthrie asked what his famous line “Eat my shorts” means, Nelson replied, “I think it means five more detentions.”

The Empire star — he plays rival record label executive Baretti on Fox’s breakout smash — admitted he didn’t predict The Breakfast Club’s success from the get-go. 

“You always hope on every project that it’s special, that it will stand the test of time, but you never really know,” he said of John Hughes’ classic. “I’m surprised, but pleasantly.”

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