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8 Behind the Scenes Secrets of 'Ferris Bueller’s Day Off'


July 26, 2022

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 8 Behind the Scenes Facts From Ferris Bueller's Day Off

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Ferris Bueller certainly lived by those words while taking the most epic sick day in high school history. But it’s okay to slow down for a moment while checking out these eight fascinating, behind the scenes facts from John Hughes iconic teen comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

1. Everyone wanted to be Ferris Bueller

Even though it’s tough to imagine anyone but Matthew Broderick playing Ferris, other big names up for the role included Rob Lowe, John Cusack, Jim Carrey, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., and Michael J. Fox!

2. The license plates featured in the film’s many cars have meaning

Most of the license plates spotted in the film are abbreviations of other iconic movies by John Hughes.

Katie’s car = VCTN (National Lampoon’s Vacation)

Jeannie’s car = TBC (The Breakfast Club)

Tom’s car = MMOM (Mr. Mom)

Rooney’s car = 4FBDO (Ferris Bueller's Day Off)

The exception? Cameron’s Ferrari, with a the most fitting license plate—NRVOUS

3. The set was made for love

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey (who played Jeanie, Ferris’s sister) dated and got engaged just before the movie's theatrical release. Cindy Pickett and Lyman Ward, who played Ferris's parents, met on set, got married and had two children. Sadly, Matthew and Jennifer didn’t work out and Cindy and Lyman divorced in 1992.

 4. The Ferrari wasn't real

Yes, Ferris famously convinced best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) into “borrowing” his dad’s Ferrari. But they didn’t cruise around in the real thing during filming. Three replicas of a 1961 Ferrari GT California Spyder manufactured by Modena were used instead. The actual car is one of the most expensive in the world—selling for just under $11 million at auction in 2008! 

5. Charlie Sheenwas all about method acting

How did Charlie pull off playing the strung-out druggie that Jeanie meets at the police station? He reportedly stayed awake for more than 48 hours before shooting the scene.

6. An actual parade in downtown Chicago was crashed

By sheer coincidence, the Ferris Bueller's Day Off crew was scheduled to film their parade scene at the same time as the REAL life Von Steuben Day Parade in Chicago. In fact, the Ferris Bueller's Day Off cast and crew inserted their own float into the lineup without asking for permission. 

7. Matthew Broderick couldn’t do all the choreography he was taught

 Matthew Broderick couldn’t do most of the moves he was supposed to while leading the parade because he hurt his knee while filming the scenes of running through his neighbor’s backyards!

8. Ben Stein was off script

Playing an economics teacher was not a stretch for Ben Stein. He has a degree in Economics! So, when John Hughes directed Ben to present an actual Economics lecture, he gave one that was completely improvised! His famous “Bueller? Bueller?” roll call, however, was scripted!

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