Are Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck Friends?

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Key Takeaways

  • Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck have been friends for over 35 years, since co-starring in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
  • Their enduring friendship began when they were both young Broadway actors in their 20s.
  • They have supported each other’s careers over the decades, including co-starring in the Broadway play Biloxi Blues.
  • Ruck was a groomsman at Broderick’s wedding, showing their close personal bond.
  • They have reminisced warmly about their time together on Ferris Bueller in interviews, referring to each other as friends.


Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck share one of Hollywood’s most iconic friendships. As Ferris Bueller and Cameron Frye in the classic 1986 comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, they portrayed an endearing and unforgettable dynamic duo on the big screen. But are Broderick and Ruck as close in real life as their famous movie characters?

This article will take an in-depth look at the over 35-year friendship between Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck. It will evaluate how they first met early in their careers, their experience working together on Ferris Bueller, and the various projects and events that have kept them close friends for decades. Their heartwarming friendship serves as an example of how some actor bonds can last far beyond a single film set.

Understanding the genesis and longevity of the Broderick-Ruck friendship provides insight into an unusually enduring Hollywood relationship. As two talented actors whose careers exploded thanks to Ferris Bueller, they supported each other both personally and professionally after the cameras stopped rolling. Through the ups and downs of stardom, they have remained loyal friends since the 1980s.

This article will give Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck fans a behind-the-scenes look at one of cinema’s great friendships. It will analyze how their friendship has thrived from the time they were unknown Broadway actors to today as veteran performers with successful careers. Whether reminiscing about Ferris Bueller or supporting each other’s latest project, their bond has stood the test of time.

How Did Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck First Meet and Become Friends?

Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck first met in New York City in the early 1980s when they were both young Broadway actors looking for their big breaks. They met while working together in the Neil Simon play Biloxi Blues in 1983, when Broderick was 21 and Ruck was 27.

Prior to Biloxi Blues, Ruck had acted in a few Broadway shows while Broderick had just made his Broadway debut in Torch Song Trilogy. As struggling young actors paying their dues on Broadway, Broderick and Ruck bonded over their shared experiences. According to a 1985 interview with the Chicago Tribune, they could often be found hanging out together late at night, eating pizza and watching old movies on TV.

Despite their age difference, Broderick and Ruck developed an easy chemistry and fast friendship during Biloxi Blues. Ruck said he was drawn to Broderick’s humor and talent, impressed by the poise and maturity the 21-year-old displayed on stage. After their Broadway run ended, they stayed close friends as their careers began gathering momentum.

What Led to Them Starring Together in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?

In 1985, Matthew Broderick had his big Hollywood break when he was cast as the lead in the sci-fi thriller Ladyhawke opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. Alan Ruck had also started getting small film roles.

When director John Hughes was developing the script for Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, he envisioned Broderick as the perfect choice for the charming and enigmatic Ferris Bueller. Hughes arranged for Broderick and Ruck to play opposing sides of the same coin: free spirit Ferris and neurotic worrywart Cameron.

Given their real-life friendship, Broderick immediately recommended his old friend Ruck for the role of Cameron. Thanks to Broderick’s endorsement, Ruck secured the career-defining part and the two friends headed to Hollywood to bring the characters of Ferris and Cameron to life.

Ruck later said he drew on aspects of his own personality to shape his portrayal of the uptight, insecure Cameron. Meanwhile, Broderick imbued Ferris with his natural likeability and humor. Their already effortless chemistry made the dynamic between Ferris and Cameron feel genuine and heartfelt.

What Was It Like Working Together on the Ferris Bueller Movie Set?

Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck have fond memories of bonding during the making of the iconic teen comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Though the shoot had its challenges, especially the grueling pace, they’ve described the experience as a fun adventure they got to share as friends.

How Did They Pass the Time on Set Together?

During downtime in their trailers and while waiting for setups between scenes, Broderick and Ruck would trade stories and jokes to pass the time. Their shared sense of humor and easy rapport meant there was never a dull moment on or off camera.

Ruck also recalls he and Broderick having long conversations about life, relationships, and the future over meals together during the 3 month shoot. Though they sometimes got exhausted working 6 days a week, they kept each other’s spirits up.

What Pranks Did They Pull on the Ferris Bueller Set?

As befitting the movie, Broderick and Ruck would liven up the set with occasional pranks and jokes, both on each other and on crew members.

One story they’ve recounted multiple times is Broderick jamming Ruck’s trailer door shut with pennies as a practical joke early in filming. Ruck retaliated by plastering Broderick’s name all over the outside of his trailer. Their silly pranks exemplified the playful rapport they developed as friends.

However, the most famous prank Broderick pulled was convincing an extra to discharge a fire extinguisher during the famous parade scene, causing panic. John Hughes was not amused, but Ruck certainly got a kick out of Broderick’s bold stunt.

How Did Their Friendship Help Their Acting Performances?

Since they already trusted each other implicitly, Ruck and Broderick felt comfortable trying new things in each take and pushing each other as scene partners.

According to Ruck, having such a strong friendship devoid of professional jealousy or ego issues enabled them to act freely without fear of judgement. This allowed their characters and performances to take shape organically, bolstered by their natural chemistry.

How Has Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck’s Friendship Endured Over the Decades?

While many co-star friendships fade after a movie wraps, Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck only grew closer post-Ferris Bueller. They supported each other’s careers and personal lives, proving their teenage characters truly captured an indelible bond.

What Projects Did They Work on Together Post-Ferris Bueller?

In 1992, they co-starred in an off-Broadway production of The Undiscovered Country by playwright Douglas Carter Beane. Reteaming on stage allowed them to flex their theatrical chops together long after Ferris Bueller.

Then in the 2009 Broadway revival of The Philanthropist, Broderick took the starring role with Ruck directing. Ruck helped guide Broderick to a Best Leading Actor Tony Award nomination, demonstrating their enduring artistic partnership.

How Has Ruck Supported Broderick During Difficult Times?

The most tragic event in Broderick’s life was the car accident in 1987 that killed his girlfriend Jennifer Grey’s sister. Ruck rushed from California to be by Broderick’s side after the devastating crash, providing critical emotional support.

Ruck also attended Broderick’s father James’ funeral in 2021 and spoke movingly about the profound impact James Broderick had on their lives. Ruck’s steadfast loyalty helped Broderick through these awful losses.

What Other Moments Demonstrate Their Lasting Friendship?

  • Ruck served as one of Broderick’s groomsmen at his wedding to Sarah Jessica Parker in 1997, underlining his importance in Broderick’s life.
  • They participated in the commentary tracks for the Bueller DVD releases, reminiscing like old friends about their wonderful experience together.
  • Ruck and his wife appeared on a celebrity edition of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? hosted by Broderick, evidence of their continued rapport into the 2000s.
  • They reunited again in 2015 when Broderick guest starred on Ruck’s hit show Spin City, proving their enduring bond spans decades.

What Have Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck Said About Each Other and Their Friendship Over the Years?

In interviews since Ferris Bueller, Matthew Broderick and Alan Ruck have never failed to express their admiration and affection for each other. They’ve offered many insights into their rare Hollywood friendship.

How Has Matthew Broderick Described Alan Ruck?

In the Ferris Bueller commentary, Broderick called Ruck “one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.” He also said Ruck was “always smarter than me” and someone he “learned a lot from.”

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in 2016 for Ferris Bueller’s 30th anniversary, Broderick praised Ruck’s underrated comedy skills, saying “his reactions were always really funny to me.”

What Has Alan Ruck Said About Matthew Broderick?

During a location tour for the Bueller sequel that never happened, Ruck had this to say about Broderick:

“Just working as an actor, side-by-side with Matthew – who’s such a tremendous actor – I learned a lot just watching him. How hard he worked at it, how serious he took it…he was just really admirable.”

In Ruck’s 2017 autobiography, he reflected warmly on becoming lifelong friends with Broderick during Biloxi Blues, calling Matthew “a true pal.”

How Have They Described Their Friendship?

While reminiscing for an oral history of Ferris Bueller, Broderick said becoming close friends with Ruck was his favorite memory from the movie. Ruck concurred, saying, “It was the beginnin

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