Cryer played Philip F. 'Duckie' Dale in Hughes's 1986 teen movie Pretty In Pink, alongside Molly Ringwald.
Speaking about Hughes, he told Parade: "He had become, you know, the J.D. Salinger of filmmakers by just going off and not really participating in Hollywood anymore.
"I had lost track of him and I hadn't spoken to him in 15 years. It was a horrible shock and I felt very sad at first but, then, I was just overwhelmed with this feeling of gratitude."
He added: "John gave me an incredible chance and wrote one of the best roles that I will ever play.
"John created a great atmosphere on the set where we came up with this funny stuff that wasn't even in the script. He was an amazing talent, and there was a little bit of him in every geek he wrote."