‘Succession’ star Alan Ruck joins WTOP before screening ‘Ferris Bueller’ at DC’s Warner Theatre

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Alan Ruck at Warner Theatre (Part 1)

Before he made TV history as Connor Roy in HBO’s “Succession,” he donned a Detroit Red Wings jersey as Cameron Frye, playing hooky on a road trip, then reversing the mileage on his father’s red Ferrari.

This Thursday, Alan Ruck hosts a special screening of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” at Warner Theatre in D.C.

“It’s a screening of the movie, then there may be a moderator, there may be somebody asking me questions and I think there will be questions taken from the audience if anybody wants to talk about anything,” Ruck told WTOP. “It was the best part I’ve had in a movie to date, truly, so I’ll be forever grateful to John Hughes for putting me in that movie. I had no idea, I don’t think any of us did, that it would become this sort of cultural phenomenon.”

He said its sweet simplicity is why the movie continues to endure through the generations.

“Good old Ben Stein, who played the history teacher at the beginning of the picture, once said, ‘There’s not a mean bone in the movie’s body,’ and I think he hit the nail on the head,” Ruck said. “It’s a movie about friendship, there’s this guy leading his best life, he’s got the school wired, he’s 17 or 18 years old, living large, he could do anything on his day off but what he decides to do is cheer up his mopey friend … and try to show him a good time.”

Ruck joined a young cast of future stars, namely Matthew Broderick (“Glory”), Mia Sara (“Timecop”), Jennifer Grey (“Dirty Dancing”) and Charlie Sheen (“Major League”).

“I did my first professional play ever with Jennifer Grey, it was a play called ‘Album,'” Ruck said. “Matthew and I had been on Broadway together in ‘Biloxi Blues,’ so I was already pals with both of those people. … It was a happy reunion with Jennifer and kind of an extension of a new friendship with Broderick. … Matthew had such magic at that time, he was instantly likable. … That breaking-the-fourth-wall thing hadn’t been [done often] in the movies.”

It’s also a chance to celebrate the prolific coming-of-age filmmaking of the late John Hughes, who wrote and directed “Sixteen Candles” (1984), “The Breakfast Club” (1985), “Weird Science” (1985), “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986), “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987) and “Uncle Buck” (1989), not to mention writing the scripts for “Vacation” (1983), “Pretty in Pink” (1986), “Christmas Vacation” (1989) and “Home Alone” (1990).

“He was constantly writing all day, every day, it was just a natural extension of who he was,” Ruck said. “He had been writing the ‘Vacation’ movies for National Lampoon. … He wrote ‘Sixteen Candles’ over a weekend for [Molly Ringwald] and he wrote ‘Bueller’ in seven days, so he was prolific, he was fast. That was another reason the movie studios loved him. They were like, ‘John, we’re looking for something like this.’ Bam, a week later he’d deliver it.”

After starring in a pair of Jan de Bont-directed summer blockbusters with “Speed” (1994) and “Twister” (1996), Ruck starred across Michael J. Fox in the TV sitcom “Spin City” (1996-2002).

Most recently, he earned an Emmy nomination as oddball heir Connor Roy on HBO’s “Succession.”

“I almost didn’t audition,” Ruck said. “There was one line that was solid from the very beginning: ‘Dad, there’s this job I want, it’s called President of the United States.’ I said to Adam [McKay], ‘Clearly, he’s putting the old man on, yeah?’ He said, ‘Oh no, he’s deadly serious.’ That’s when I knew that this guy was clearly delusional. … I was given the most inane things to say and there was no wink to it, nothing was tongue-in-cheek, it was straightforward.”

He’ll never forget filming the Logan Roy death episode, one of the greatest in TV history.

“The fact that it happened on Connor’s wedding day, it’s so much unfortunately like life — how death is never convenient,” Ruck said. “My brothers and my sister, Jeremy [Strong], Kieran [Culkin] and [Sarah Snook], they really carried the ball … as well as Matthew Macfadyen, just spectacular work. We decided to do it all in one [shot], we were staged all over the boat, we had ADs and PAs saying, ‘Wait, don’t go, OK, go, go, go!’ We would run into the next position. … It was about a 23-minute take. … When they finally said ‘cut,’ the whole crew erupted in a cheer.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews Alan Ruck at Warner Theatre (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation on the podcast below:

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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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