Alan Ruck Says His Career-Defining Role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off 'Got to Be a Pain in My Ass'

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
alan ruck
alan ruck


Alan Ruck is reminiscing about his acting career, including a difficult period that came after what is arguably his most iconic role.

The Succession star, now 65, chatted with Marc Maron for his WTF podcast on Thursday, and Ruck's role as lovable goofball Cameron from 1986's Ferris Bueller's Day Off came up.

Particularly, Ruck recalled how the role became so strongly associated with him that it was difficult "to scare up any work" afterward –– so much so that he resorted to working at a Sears warehouse at one point.

"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 the period after the Matthew Broderick-starring film came out, which lasted into the early '90s.

Ferris Bueller, directed by John Hughes, is a classic 80s-era teen comedy that launched Broderick's career, featuring memorable turns from Jennifer Grey, Mia Sara, Ben Stein and of course, Ruck.

Alan Ruck
Alan Ruck

Steve Granitz/WireImage Alan Ruck

RELATED: Ferris Bueller's Day Off Star Alan Ruck Plays a Grown-up Version of Cameron Frye in New Ad

"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 [ahead to series]. 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.'"

Later on in Los Angeles, Ruck recalled working on a Nell Carter pilot that bombed and didn't pay him anything, which led to him being so "flat-ass broke" that he called a temp agency to find work to help make his car payment.

RELATED VIDEO: WATCH: What's Your Favorite Moment From 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'?

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

That led him to working at a Sears warehouse in East Los Angeles for three to four months. Of that time, the actor said he "showed up" and felt "humble," trying "to make myself invisible" so that no one would notice him from the movies.

Things eventually turned around for the star, after spending some time bartending. He went on to score a role in the 1994 Keanu Reeves action classic Speed, before landing a series regular part in the hit ABC sitcom Spin City that ran for six seasons.

Much more recently, of course, Ruck has played older half-brother Connor Roy on the Emmy-winning HBO Max Succession for two seasons, opposite Kieran Culkin, Sarah Snook and Brian Cox, with the third season premiering this Sunday.

RELATED: Succession Cast Members Speculate How the Roy Family Would Endure Quarantine Together: 'Death!'

At the premiere event for the series in New York earlier this week, Ruck and his costars weighed in on how the embattled dynasty at the center of Succession, the Roys, would fare if they had to quarantine together in a pandemic.

Ruck didn't miss a beat, answering the question with only one word: "Death!"

Succession follows the Roy family as they prepare for the next phase of their media conglomerate, Waystar RoyCo, amid family patriarch Logan's (Cox) declining health.

Following the cliffhanger-filled conclusion of the Emmy Award-winning show's sophomore run in October 2019, Season 3 began filming in New York City last fall, before being teased with an explosive trailer this summer.

Succession's third season premieres this Sunday, Oct. 17, on HBO.