‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’: Alan Ruck Grew’ Quite Bitter’ of the Movie

Few movies have cultural staying power like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The 1986 high school comedy still reaches wide audiences 35 years after its release. While the film made each of its characters instantly recognizable, not all of them considered this a good thing. Succession star Alan Ruck, who played Ferris’ forlorn best friend, recently shared that he grew resentful of the movie. 

In ‘Ferris Bueller,’ Alan Ruck played a much younger character

Ruck scored the role of high-school-age Cameron Frye when he was pushing 30. The 29-year-old was an unlikely candidate for the part. While the casting director had her reservations, Ruck’s chemistry with Matthew Broderick ultimately won her over. The pair were working together on a play prior to shooting the film.

“I’d just been on Broadway in a Neil Simon play with Matthew and he was offered that movie. Then I auditioned for Cameron and got it and that was just great good luck,” Ruck told Yahoo.

This was Ruck’s most prominent role up until this point, and he was excited to have the part.

“I had started acting in Chicago and had moved to New York, then I got that movie and got to go back to shoot in Chicago so I felt like a big shot,” he explained. “I was feeling pretty good about myself.”

He grew to resent the John Hughes movie

The film was a smash success and the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off cast was thrust into the spotlight. Ruck hadn’t had many major roles up until this point, so he was experiencing an unfamiliar type of attention. Despite all of that, he had an exceedingly difficult time finding work after the movie’s release.

“We made about $77m and were the number 10 movie for the year – but then after that things happened in my life where I just couldn’t seem to get any work,” he said. 

According to IMDb, Ruck found work in a trickle, not the flood that might be expected following such a significant role. He worked on two projects in the two years after Ferris Bueller.

“There weren’t a lot of opportunities for me in films for a few years there and I became quite bitter about Ferris Bueller because I thought, ‘Well, that’s it.’ I felt like I was a one-trick pony and everybody had seen the trick and they were done with me,” Ruck said. “There was a while where people would say ‘Oh, Ferris Bueller!’ and I would say ‘yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever. Don’t want to hear it.’”

Looking back now, however, Ruck said he’s “really pleased” he was in the film because of how much it means to so many people. 

Alan Ruck is thrilled about his work in ‘Succession’

35 years after Ferris Bueller, Ruck is acting in one of the biggest shows on television. On HBO’s Succession, he plays Connor Roy, the bumbling eldest child to the Roy media empire. Ahead of the show’s third season, Ruck emphasized how excited he is to work on a project like Succession.

“It’s thrilling. I’m just so happy and fortunate to be working with some of the best writers in the business,” Ruck said.

The actor also noted that he wouldn’t be too upset if work slowed down after the HBO series as it did after Ferris Bueller.

“I hope this isn’t my swan song but if I didn’t ever do anything else, this would be a good one to go out on – because it’s just so damn good.”

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