The blogosphere is full of John Hughes tributes and remembrances today, but if you’ve somehow managed to miss this one, we’d highly recommend you quit what you’re doing and read it immediately. In 1985, blogger Alison Byrne Fields wrote Hughes a fan letter, and for the next two years, she and the director corresponded as pen pals. Today, in a post, Fields shares bits of his letters, in which the director offers advice on dealing with an English teacher, and solicits her help on his own work (“I can’t tell you how much I like your comments about my movies. Nor can I tell you how helpful they are to me for future projects. I listen. Not to Hollywood. I listen to you”). Most interesting of all is Fields’s recollection of a 1997 phone call with Hughes, who revealed to her why he left Hollywood:
John told me about why he left Hollywood just a few years earlier. He was terrified of the impact it was having on his sons; he was scared it was going to cause them to lose perspective on what was important and what happiness meant. And he told me a sad story about how, a big reason behind his decision to give it all up was that “they” (Hollywood) had “killed” his friend, John Candy, by greedily working him too hard.
Jeez. Seriously, read the whole thing.
Sincerely, John Hughes [We Know When We’ll Get There]