Alan Ruck has a love-hate relationship with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off — which, for many years, was far more the latter emotion.
A guest Thursday on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, the Succession star talked about his tumultuous career before nabbing a series of solid projects, including Speed and Spin City.
Before he landed the role of Connor Roy on the award-winning HBO hit series, Ruck was best known for playing lovable goof Cameron Frye in the 1986 classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
As much as he loved the role and making the John Hughes film with his real-life pal and star Matthew Broderick, Ruck told Maron it did not take much time for him to loathe the pigeonhole Cameron character.
“In those years where I couldn’t seem to scare up any work, I was like, ‘Oh, well. I guess [Ferris] was my shot,’” Ruck said of his struggles in the late ’80 and early ’90s. “That movie came out in ’86 and then I stumbled around New York. In 1988 I did a pilot in Thailand about a photojournalist in Vietnam, and I really wanted it to go. In a network way, it was like Succession. Things weren’t going great. So, the Bueller thing got to be a pain in my ass when people would bring it up during that period and I would go, ‘I’m done.’”
Ruck moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to try his luck on a different coast, but was met with much the same hurdles, he recalled, saying he finally had to work at Sears for a few months to make his car payment.
However, after a few more turbulent years in the business, and working as a bartender, the clouds finally parted and Ruck began landing roles in solid projects, including the Keanu Reeves blockbuster Speed and then the role of Stuart Bondek in the ABC sitcom Spin City, which ran for six seasons.
The actor noted that landing a role in Star Trek: Generations was also great and far more lucrative than he imagined, telling Maron he was unaware of the advantages of fan conventions.
“You’re a whore,” he said. “You sell pictures of yourself for money. It’s great. Did it for a while. Might do it again.”
Season three of Succession premieres on HBO Sunday.