It's not often that a director lets an actor play around with a movie script. But when that director is the legendary youth comedy king John Hughes, you get to have some fun.
It's been 30 years since Alan Ruck played the role of Cameron Frye in the '80s cult classic "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off," but he has some great memories from the experience. "I'm very pleased that I was involved with something that people love and that people kind of carry with them," Ruck tells "Oprah: Where Are They Now?." "I'm proud of the whole thing and I'm happy that people still enjoy it."
Playing the role of Broderick's neurotic best friend wasn't much of a stretch for Ruck. He says the two already knew each other in real life. “We didn’t have to make anything up,” he explains. “We were friends. We share the same sense of humor.”
That led to a lot of goofing off behind the scenes -- and one hilarious, improvised moment when Cameron pretends to be Sloane Peterson's (Mia Sara) father. In the memorable scene, he calls the high school principal to get her out of school for the day.
"John [Hughes] just said, 'Do a voice. Do a dad voice.'" Ruck recalls.
Ruck says the inspiration for his voice was Broadway legend Gene Saks, who directed Broderick and Ruck in "Biloxi Blues." "We'd make him so mad that I was convinced we were going to give him a heart attack, and I was like, 'We're going to be responsible for this man's death' because we were just these young guys just constantly screwing off," Ruck says. "But Matthew used to imitate Gene constantly."
So when Hughes told Ruck to do a "dad voice," he used it as an opportunity to make his buddy laugh. "I decided to imitate Matthew imitating Gene," Ruck says. "But I didn't tell Matthew I was going to do it because I wanted to see his reaction."
Lo and behold, his quirky imitation made it into the movie. "So it was little stuff like that that was really fun," Ruck says, going on to note how actors don't always get that kind of freedom. "It was mostly because John was so confident that he let us improvise. Some of it worked and some of it didn't."