Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey Were Engaged While Playing Siblings in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day off’

It turns out John Hughes is quite the matchmaker! In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, several romances blossomed behind the scenes of the film. One of the most prominent relationships to come out of the 1986 movie was shared between Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey.

In fact, the two became so close on set that they got engaged while filming.

Jennifer Grey And Matthew Broderick
Jennifer Grey with actor Matthew Broderick | The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey dated for several years

Broderick and Grey were in a serious relationship in the mid-80s, during the height of their stardom. And although they play siblings/bitter rivals in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, they were madly in love when the cameras stopped rolling.

“It started while we made the film,” said Grey, according to the Brat Pack memoir titled You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried. “It was tricky,” she said, “because it was a secret. No one knew.”

Jennifer Grey And Matthew Broderick
Jennifer Grey with actor Matthew Broderick | The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

They kept it a secret from the rest of the cast and crew to keep things professional. Yet, a love triangle emerged when the actor who played Sloane, Mia Sara, developed strong feelings for Broderick.

“I had the biggest crush on Matthew,” Sara admits. “And I threw myself at him repeatedly, and he very wisely turned me down. I think I was pretty annoying, frankly.”

“Yeah, it was a tough life, back when I was 23 or whatever,” Broderick joked. “Beautiful girls throwing themselves at me. Mia Sara was absolutely lovely and gorgeous. I do not think I wisely rejected her, but I was getting involved with Jennifer at the time, so I couldn’t figure out how to share myself. I couldn’t double it up, you know.”

Matthew Broderick and Jennifer Grey were engaged while filming, which led to some difficulties

Jennifer Grey and actor Matthew Broderick in 1988 at Sardi's Restaurant in New York City
Jennifer Grey and actor Matthew Broderick in 1988 at Sardi’s Restaurant in New York City | Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

Because the two were in love in real life, yet bitter rivals on-screen, it led to some complications while filming. According to Grey, there were scenes she had to shoot where she couldn’t stop laughing.

The Brat Pack memoir best describes the incident:

“While shooting the scene at the end of the movie- when Ferris has made his mad dash home, hoping to get back to his “sickbed” before his parents catch him, and Jeanie helps him escape from the clutches of Dean Rooney- ‘I got the giggles,’ says Grey. It was one of the few scenes she and Broderick shared. ‘I got the giggles so bad that they had to basically stop production. I full-on couldn’t get it together for anything. The producers were like, ‘take a walk around the block,’ and I would, and then it would start again… It was painful.’ The giggling, she asserts, ‘was because of all the energy between us.’

Jennifer Grey called ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ the best experience of her life

Jennifer Grey and Matthew Broderick
Jennifer Grey and Matthew Broderick | Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

And because of their relationship, along with many other factors, Grey considers making Ferris Bueller the best experience of her life. “I maybe had the best experience of my life, maybe of all time,” she said. “We were all very tight, and it was a very special group. We would go to restaurants in Chicago, and we’d go running around in the lake.”