Ferris Bueller Was Dating His Sister in Real Life (Plus 15 Other Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off')

Ferris Bueller Was Dating His Sister in Real Life (Plus 15 Other Things You Probably Didn't Know About 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off')

Jan 30, 2012

A lot of people are buzzing today about that new Honda Super Bowl commercial featuring Matthew Broderick kinda-sorta reprising his iconic Ferris Bueller role in order to skip work, drive around in his Honda CRV all day and pay homage to several scenes in the original Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Some folks think it's cute to see Broderick back in full-on Ferris Bueller mode, while others find it to be a cheap, insulting way to tug at our nostalgic heartstrings.

Regardless of how you feel about the TV spot, it got us thinking about how much we absolutely adore the original film. So, for those who would rather geek out on the real thing than imagine Ferris Bueller growing up and driving around in a boring CRV, we took some time today to uncover a few pieces of trivia you probably didn't know about John Hughes' teen masterpiece.

For example, did you know that Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey (who played Ferris' sister Jeanie in the film) not-so-secretly began dating during production? The two thought no one knew, though everyone figured it out by the time they shot their first scene together outside Ferris' house at the very end of the film. Grey was so giddy during that scene, unable to make any sort of eye contact with Broderick, that she literally dug her nails into her ass until it started bleeding in order to keep a straight face. The two would continue to date after the film came out and were briefly engaged, but eventually parted ways.

Here are 15 other things you probably didn't know about Ferris Bueller's Day Off ...

1. John Hughes pitched the film on a Thursday, finished the script that Monday, and it was greenlit on Tuesday. Part of the rushed process had to do with an impending writer's strike, and Hughes quickly finished the script so he'd have something to work on as part of his new deal with Paramount.

2. Other actors who auditioned for Ferris Bueller prior to Matthew Broderick (who was unavailable when they first went out to actors) signing on included: Jon Cryer, James Spader, Nicolas Cage, Kiefer Sutherland, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, and the guy who was Broderick's runner-up, John Cusack.

3. Alan Ruck (Cameron) couldn't get an audition - they thought he was too old, though he had a past with Hughes because he had also auditioned for Bender in The Breakfast Club. While they looked at other actors for Cameron, including Eric Stoltz and Emilio Estevez, it was Broderick who convinced them to give Ruck a shot. The two had already become buddies while performing alongside one another in Biloxi Blues on Broadway.

4. Hughes wanted an unknown, unproven actress for Sloane. After looking at actresses like Meg Ryan and Kyra Sedgwick, they finally settled on Mia Sara, who, funnily enough, was the only actual teenager among the main cast. Both Broderick and Ruck were in their mid-20s at the time of production.

5. Ever wonder where they got the money to spend during their day off? Well, in a scene that was cut, Ferris convinces his dad to tell him where he's hiding savings bonds that he eventually finds and cashes in to pay for his day off.

6. The final line of the movie -- "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it" --  was actually improvised during rehearsals, and not in the original script. The original line was: "Yeah, life is a carousel. A great big crazy ball of pure living, breathing joy and delight."

7. Ben Stein improvised his entire school lecture. In fact, Stein was supposed to be off screen the entire time, but when student extras began cracking up at his voice, Hughes decided to put him in front of the camera.

8. Cameron's Principal Rooney voice was an imitation of Matthew Broderick's imitation of Gene Saks, the guy who directed the duo in Biloxi Blues on Broadway. Ruck surprised Broderick with the imitation while filming in order to get a rise out of him during the scene, which he did.

9. A lot of the parade scene was shot during a real event  in Chicago -- a German-American appreciation parade -- and they inserted their float, featuring Broderick, into the middle of it. No one knew it was part of a movie, including the Governor of Illinois, who was walking in said parade. In order to finish the scene, they later planned their own parade, and were shocked when 10,000 people showed up. Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) choreographed the scene, but Broderick had to change a lot of his choreography because he blew out his knee filming the climactic scene in which he runs home. The actor could barely stand up on that float.

10. They also filmed a bunch of other scenes around Chicago that were eventually cut. Two of which involved the trio riding on a cruise ship touring the city, with another taking place at a strip club. And during that strip club scene, Ferris Bueller does an Elvis impression at one point on stage.

11. Charlie Sheen's character had an entire running storyline throughout the film that included his parents, who were supposed to be the people Ferris' mom was trying to sell a house to (aka "the Vermont people").

12. The first cut of the film was two hours and 45 minutes

13. Ferris had two other siblings who were cut out -- a younger brother and sister.

14. Ferris smoked and drank in the original script. His character was much darker and angrier, and was a bit closer in tone to Bender from The Breakfast Club. Hughes decided to change a lot of the tone of the film in the editing room, creating the fun-loving Ferris Bueller we all know and love today.

15. The scene where Principal Rooney is on the school bus was originally supposed to be intercut with Ferris running home, but they changed it and, instead, dropped the scene next to the final credit roll so that audiences would stay to see Ferris' post-credits scene.

[Info via IMDB, Wikipedia, Biography's Inside Story, Ferris Bueller Wiki, Various]

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