Transcript:

Interviewer: Custody session?

Matthew Broderick: Yeah, he had that drawing before we even started shooting.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Matthew Broderick: I think.

Interviewer: You did a problem. You came over for publicity, sir. So weird to think you just came over for publicity session. But they shot you and all. That's the advanced and.

Matthew Broderick: All right. That's right.

Interviewer: It's yeah. It's a long time ago.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. And the one lying back with the feet out.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: But then we went. We shot one day at Paramount with you.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. That maybe that's one that's from. I don't know.

Interviewer: Yeah. We're ready.

Matthew Broderick: I still see them because people bring me to sign. You know, I still see all those pictures.

Interviewer: You know, the weird thing is she won because she did Beverly Hills Cop in Good Morning Vietnam. That. And whatever her contract was back then, they had no there was nothing in there for DVD and all that. And she had to sue Paramount. She won a boatload of money because they started using all that stuff. They thought they owned it outright and they actually didn't.

Matthew Broderick: Right. And they are using boxes and.

Interviewer: Everything. Advertising and zanger. So anyhow. So. You've you said, correct me if I'm wrong, but you said that Mel said that your character was based on him to a degree.

Matthew Broderick: Leo Bloom, I don't remember that.

Interviewer: OK. I saw interviews.

Matthew Broderick: Really? Yeah. Let me think. Um. He might have said that it was. I believe it, but I don't I don't RONNEBY, to be honest. Remember it.

Interviewer: All right.

Matthew Broderick: I don't remember any anything.

Interviewer: This ought to be fast, bad.

Matthew Broderick: Anything.

Interviewer: That the film was embedded in your head before you even began?

Matthew Broderick: Yes, very much so.

Interviewer: You. There's another thing you say you can do. Feel free to deny it. Sometimes you would watch the film for reference if you were having a little trouble with something.

Matthew Broderick: Yes.

Interviewer: But what would that do? You remember an example of what that would be?

Matthew Broderick: Yeah, I will. I want, you know, for my memory, is it first thinking we have to reinvent everything etc, which was sort of impossible since I, I know that film so well, the original film anyway. But when we were working on the big, long scene where Max and I first meet, you know, and water, and then when Gene Wilder gets hysterical so brilliantly, that was always a challenge to try to come up to their their level. And at some point you decide to cheat and just steal as much as you possibly can. So I remember doing that. But then we would gradually stuff that didn't I remember at an early rehearsal, Mel, saying it doesn't matter what we like or love if something doesn't work in this version now onstage. Then we throw it out. And don't worry about it. And he really did that. We threw out some beloved lines just because they didn't seem to go with whatever we were able to do.

Interviewer: But in your experience, because I've never heard. I can't think Nathan couldn't think of it either. Another example where you go out of town for tryouts with 17 songs and you come back with seven. She's going to do you. But you come back with. You come back with 17. I mean. Yeah. So you should say, do you know, have you ever had that experience?

Matthew Broderick: I've only done revivals where we had to come back with the same number, I think. But no, I think it's. I've never done a play that seems so strangely ready early on. Yeah, we. Nathan is right. You know, we we didn't really change anything major, I think it just got shortened between Chicago and New York. But it was it it was a. The whole thing was a little like that, like when we rehearsed and then we did a little, we were gonna do a little reading for an audience at the rehearsal hall. Because we were already a little too soon. It kept going easier than it supposed to. So they, like, moved up the time of of people to come see because we sort of needed in a crowd. And even that first little audience of like two or three rows of normal seats was huge laughter. And then I remember. Our first public audience may be Nathan already told us no, but at in Chicago, they invited. They they filled up the mezzanine with people and the orchestra was still filled with technical people and desks and computers and lighting and all that stuff. But we had real people. In the middle balcony fall. A lot of people who worked at the hotel and stuff like that, they would just they kind of gave them out and it was our first real audience. And I still remember that show starting and just hearing the tremendous roar from this little group. And Nathan and I looking at each other and thinking, wow, I didn't think it was gonna be this this funny. Not to say that it was, but they thought it was an. They convinced us, you know. So it was a it was very sort of. Miracle filled little show or start anyway.

Interviewer: Well, it seems like from beginning to end.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah, it was amazing. There were also weird accidents that were bad for some people. Put great for others, you know. Brad, Oscar taking over for Ron Orbach hurt his knee. Then he became Max. They were there were you know, it didn't work perfectly for everybody, you know, but that was an amazing bit of strange luck for Brad. Anyway, feel bad saying that now because.

Interviewer: And had you ever had an opening night like that in.

Matthew Broderick: In New York you mean? Or in Chicago? No, I never had anything like any of it. I mean, from the time I got a call, it know, what happened was I got. Yeah, I understand. Also, I grew up listening to two thousand yo man who doesn't 13 year old man, two Young Frankenstein. I had a record album of which I know by heart. Gene Wilder is my absolute idol. Only Mel Brooks maybe would be more or Carl Reiner or somebody. And then so suddenly I started hearing on. You know, Mel Brooks wants you to be Leo Bloom and but not from Mel or for anybody official, I would hear it like it. Joe Allans or something like that. And then, sure enough, Mel, I managed to meet Madeleine, took him a long time to tell me why we were meeting. And then then that's when it all happened. But the whole thing had a quality of it. It to me, it came out of nowhere and it was like a miracle. Suddenly you're gonna be in this your favorite movie, but you're gonna be in it. And. Sing and dance and Nathan and Stroman, and it's just amazing.

Interviewer: Did you meet him? Was that meeting in the hotel?

Matthew Broderick: Yes.

Interviewer: Can you tell us about them?

Matthew Broderick: Yes. I went for a meeting about another film that Mel was going to act in. And I was going to act in and I thought I'd heard about the producers, but nobody said it officially, so I went to this other meeting and we talked about the script with the producers and the directors and all that. And at the end of that meeting, Mel said, OK, now I'd like to just talk to Matthew a little bit so you can all go. So this poor other movie which had set up the whole meeting, they all left. And. That's when Mel decided to talk to me about the producers because he was happy to have had a free meeting setup. So we went we ended up walking in the hallway of the hotel and we sat at one of those little tables. You know, this fake table and chairs that they put into the elevator. So it doesn't look empty. We actually sat there and had our our meeting and he told me about the. About the movie, and he wrote down where I would come to, you said, come tomorrow, I'll play, you know, the music director, we'll play you, play you the music. And I said, oh, that's that's so exciting, and I said, just tell me when I get there, he's going to play music. And then is you going to say. Matthew, why don't you just sing along with me a little bit? And I'm going to start singing and you're all going to listen to see. Is that why you want me to come hear the music? And he said, no, no, I just want you to hear the music. But that's very smart. But I just want you to come hear the music and. He needed a pen. I recall, to write down where to go. And he went to get the pen from the desk and he kept saying, this is a very, very nice pen. This is such a heavy, good pen. He wouldn't stop talking about the pen. He said, I wonder if I could keep this pen. And I said, well, ask them at the desk, you know, they probably would. And he walked to the desk and talked to them. And he came back and I remember him saying they said they'd be happy for me to keep it happy for me to keep it. He had his pen, and that's my first meeting with him.

Interviewer: When rehearsal started was it difficult for him to sort of suppress the director in him to let Susan?

Matthew Broderick: I think Susan made him comfortable to say whatever he needed to say, so he never felt, you know, it was a Mel brooks, we all defer to him in some way. But he was very good about it was always Mastro's show and. You never felt a conflict of food. It was always stro who talk to you about performance. But you felt perfectly comfortable to say, what do you think, Mel? And he felt comfortable to speak. But he never I never had a sense of any stepping on or boundary issues at all. You know, there aren't any around Mel in a way, any way if he doesn't want them. So. But that was a particularly easy relationship. He and Strauss, it always seemed like to me.

Interviewer: Well, is there any one or more things that you can say that you learned from him through working with him?

Matthew Broderick: He's he's just extremely intelligent. For one thing, which goes with his sense of humor, he is just as fast. Here is quick wit and the way he can re angle something and get you to belly laugh is just his incredible intelligence, I think, in it. And he also has an ability to sort of take distance and. See what's working and what isn't, and Katie has both. He's a. He has a perspective on things, and then he's also he can come up with the moment just incredibly quickly. And when I specifically learn. I don't know. I learned. I remember one time he said we were working on a bit where Nathan and I were trying to go through a door at the same time. And, you know, the old gag where you say after you, after you and then you bang. And we worked on it for a while, then we finally thought we had solved it. And Mel from behind his desk said, Matthew, Matthew, look at me, Matthew. And I looked at him and he went. Stinks. So I take stinks with me. And on whatever show I do.

Interviewer: I guess he didn't solve it.

Matthew Broderick: We didn't solve it. But he also didn't feel bad about not solving it. He was very good at. Keeping it fun, you know, mostly all the time.

Interviewer: It's so lucky that you were smart enough of what I'm learning through doing this is to never say no. Nobody ever says no to him.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: Did you ever hear that story about Joe Bologna? My favorite year.

Matthew Broderick: No.

Interviewer: You know, he said to Richard Benjamin, get Joe Bologna. So Richard Benjamin calls and choices. No, thank you. He goes to Mel and Richard goes to Mel. And Mel says, unacceptable. Go back. She calls him again. No, no, really, I don't want to do this. He goes back. Unacceptable. Wait two days. Go back. He goes back. And don't call me again. I don't want to do this. He goes back to Mel. Messes with two more days. Call him again. I'm telling you, do it. And he he's gone humiliated this one, he waits the two days. Don't kill me. Just Mel, you know, and trouble and it's okay. When do I start? Just like that, you know. It's just unacceptable. Yeah.

Matthew Broderick: He's very forceful, man.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: Yeah. That's. Yeah. When he sort of has an idea.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. He's. Yeah. And you have the sense though I luckily never saw that he can be, he has other ways of getting what he wants to besides being charming and fun. But he's a very forceful. Extremely intelligent guy.

Interviewer: Yeah, yeah, it it's you know, I was watching the recording, the film of the. Of the record.

Matthew Broderick: The record.

Interviewer: And.

Matthew Broderick: By the C.D.

Interviewer: Yeah. And your affection for him is so palpable in the you know. And he certainly. He laid back in it. You know, he's not. But you're you're you know, whenever he speaks or whatever, you just.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: You know it's,

Matthew Broderick: You know, it's genuine. I love him. And I loved him before I knew him. You know, that's the peculiar thing when you have these people who, you know, through their work and it's always strange when you have to greet the real whole person. But this was I I love the real person, so it was quite easy.

Interviewer: So tell us when you first discovered him.

Matthew Broderick: I think I bought the 2013 year old man an album at a record store on 8th Street near my house, because I was leafing through the comedy records and. I had heard of it, I guess, and had this picture of Mel in a in an easy chair. And Carl Reiner next to each other and it looked cool. And I just ended up listening to it the way when you're a kid, you know, you can just over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Then I found that 2000 year old man, and that was my. And then I guess Blazing Saddles was probably the first movie. Which was rated R and I begged and begged and my parents took me to. And. The amount of swearing, of course, was just completely thrilling and. It was sort of my first. You know, he's one of those. Neil Simon, who I also was lucky enough to work with a lot. You know, these guys sort of they're who I learned what was funny from their still what I think of us as humour.

Interviewer: You know, it's interesting, too, in researching this, that. From his era and from his time, like so many of the people he came up with, you know, their concerns over the years sort of shifted in their comedy. It sort of became about the kids who were the next wife or the mother in law. All these things, and he does not go near any of that stuff at all, kind of goes on a different plane. That's something a lot of it through in history and literature, isn't it? You know, I was interviewing Carl and when Carl was doing The Dick Van Dyke Show, know, was essentially out of work. And I said to Karl the other day. Why don't you just hire him to write a script? And he said, you know, I never thought of it. He said, because he doesn't traffic in that.

Matthew Broderick: Right.

Interviewer: Stuff. You know, New Rochelle, a kid.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That's interesting.

Interviewer: I mean, it's really unique.

Matthew Broderick: And I hear he. I also know any Burgmann who who wrote with him. You know.

Interviewer: We interviewed him yesterday.

Matthew Broderick: Oh, you did. Oh, great. Yeah. He said Mel needs like a group of guys to. And then he can be funnier than everybody. And that's how he comes up with comes up as maybe said something different. But that's what he's told me.

Interviewer: Yeah. It's he definitely. Yeah. I mean, that's his training obviously. Did Neil Simon used to tell you stories about your show of shows?

Matthew Broderick: No. Neil was really quiet.

Interviewer: Neil is very quiet.

Matthew Broderick: I never heard. I never heard him mention it.

Interviewer: You know. So when the show opened in New York, it's really not that often that a Broadway show becomes a national phenomenon.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: What what happened?

Matthew Broderick: Well, I don't know. I mean. Yeah. I don't know.

Interviewer: It's unusual for you.

Matthew Broderick: It is. No, believe me, it's become less and less usual. He it was crazy. The show opened and the next day there was lines. The line was so long at the theater that the other theaters to help open their box offices and sold tickets to the producers. So there were two rows of people, you know, on either side of the street, just the cover. The post, as I recall, was a picture of this line, actually.

Interviewer: See that again? Because it's The Daily News.

Matthew Broderick: I'm sorry. Yeah. The cover of the Daily News was a picture of this line of, you know, I felt like it was 1938 or like, you know, it was like Broadway was back. You know, it was like was thrilling. I didn't know people still would rush to the theater and buy tickets. You know, you can buy them at all now anyway. But they there was a real genuine old fashion ticket line. A huge one.

Interviewer: And the sort of goodwill for the whole thing.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: I mean, there's interviews from that time with you, Nathan, we're sure of the Kenny cherry guy. You know, what the hell is wrong with everyone?

Matthew Broderick: We used to so nice we would do something and then get this big laugh and I could tell beneath its eyes and mine because we had been something that we would all thought might fix this someday. This joke isn't but huge. And we'd be like, wow, we get kind of getting away with something. There was just a little twinkle of. You know.

Interviewer: What do you what do you think that having this happen at that time in Mel's life meant for him?

Matthew Broderick: I think it was great for him. It was great for all of us, particularly Mel, who also. Deeply loves musicals and singing, and it's just it's you can just tell he's one of those people who adores it so that he could manage by himself to put together this many songs and really turn that into a genuine musical was, I think, just thrilling for him. And it was great to to watch it. I think it was. And also, I think at that age, to have a kind of a new career, suddenly it's not that common, you know, and it was thrilling. And it was also a reminder of how. I think those lines of people, those people had like me grown up listening to now. There's a whole there's a lot of us. So the fact that Mel Brooks was back and you could go see him and see a good thing of Mel. You know, was thrilling to people, you know, on a very deep level. That's why that's why it was national news, because you realize that he was still he was still national news, you know.

Interviewer: You know, we're having this discussion and talking to Nathan about this this week, because a lot of times Mel will be dismissive of stuff by say, hey, that's a cheap joke. It's a joke. And sometimes they are chief jokes. But I had been interviewing. Tracey Ullman and we were talking about it and I said, well, what's what's your definition of a cheap joke? Because to say it's a cheap joke, a sort of derogatory. And yet people are laughing. Yeah. So, I mean, sometimes you could you knew the laugh was coming. The audience knows the laughs coming even. Yeah. I mean, how would you define it.

Matthew Broderick: A cheap joke. Well, there's the good kind of cheap joke, which is it's cheap but very lovable for some reason. Then you almost laugh at its cheapness. But then there's cheap. That's just not very funny. And nobody bothered to make it funnier. And I don't think he does that very often. But if it's cheap in the way that it's a little bit familiar. I think that's sometimes what we call cheap, because we sort of. See it coming, but they can be very comforting to the right kind.

Interviewer: And that's kind of what she's treacy's. It's a joke where you know the rhythms.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. Yeah. So it seems easy. He had all these cheap joke posters on the set of Max Bialystock. S office, which were so funny. I don't think they're cheap jokes, really. But he had King Lear spelled Lear with a leering king and. The kidney stone. This, too, shall pass. These were all old shows of Max VLA stocks. Death of a salesman on ice.

Interviewer: See, they're laughing, so I stepped on your line, say Death of a Salesman.

Matthew Broderick: Death of a Salesman on ice. That was one of the signs at the end of the show. That's the future of Max and Leo are productions and they keep the big lights. So.

Interviewer: Funny, boy.

Matthew Broderick: Funny boy, yeah. Million. Thousand dollar legs or hundred dollar legs. Something like that.

Interviewer: Was that actually the one that I saw was actually a photo of it the other day. And it made me laugh out loud because, um. Yeah, that thing isn't it. She stoops still.

Matthew Broderick: She steps to conquer. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I can't, I'm, I'm blanking because it's depression. Remember, they're all they're pretty funny though.

Interviewer: Okay. We're gonna reload really quick. They are the really interesting thing to be sort of dismissive of it. Yeah. They're.

Matthew Broderick: Well. Who also think of Death of a Salesman on ice.

Interviewer: Well, you know, this is just the whole.

Matthew Broderick: Unbelievable. I was born in the back of a Duesseldorf boy. I can't remember it. Gary.

Interviewer: Pteropods, Rick, I had to be. He said it just went off to a whole other.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah, it was insane.

Interviewer: Tangent. And also that I guess there was a costume change needed to happen and they needed to expand the song a little. And I guess Mel and Tom maybe went up in, like in 20 minutes, came back with an. I don't know. That's I have to ask. No, is that when they came up with. He came up with the Adolph Elizabeth Hitler.

Matthew Broderick: Adolph Elizabeth Hitler? Yeah, I don't remember. Enough, Elizabeth. When does that happen? I remember that line now.

Interviewer: Somebody says something about the references. His middle name is.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. Yeah, that was his middle. Yeah. The, um, I think France leakin.

Interviewer: Yeah, it's, uh. Yeah. Is there.

Matthew Broderick: Sure, that was a costume. Lots of things are for costumes and shows just to give people time to change. A lot of our favorite moments.

Interviewer: Describer the night of the Tonys.

Matthew Broderick: The night of the Tonys. Yeah, that went by in a blur. Nathan, I hosted that year. So I was very busy. I was more concerned about that. I also knew that I would lose to Nathan because I had that had happened with every single award that season. As it should have. so I was you know, there was that feeling. It was surreal. It was like, imagine I was imagining it. The amount of Tonys it kept winning and the amount of times Mel kept coming up. And I think at one point said, I'll see in a few minutes. It was just, you know, I'll be right back. That's when Nathan said we got to stop him somehow. And I think he. I remember the end of the show, him shutting him up somehow and trying to get Mel to stop. Which is very difficult to do without a tranquilizer dart.

Interviewer: Were you working on the show when Mike was working on the show before he passed away or.

Matthew Broderick: No, I wasn't.

Interviewer: Okay, so that had happened before.

Matthew Broderick: I dont know anything about that? Yeah.

Interviewer: Right. OK. So that was sort of in the.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. They did a reading I think.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. Yeah I think Nathan did. But I was not involved yet.

Interviewer: Did, did anything you do that you remember sort of happily or surprised Mel that you sort of came up with or brought to it?

Matthew Broderick: He was always surprised when I was good. He said that was another of his favorite jokes to me. Is he'd say, Matthew is surprisingly good, which he loved because it was so mean and nice that he would say to me constantly in my dressing room because he knew I. I knew what he meant. He was always sweet to me and always I would do something that people thought was funny and he'd always say, what did he do? What did he do? He always seemed to want to know what I had done. That was that was funny. And it would be explaining him and then he'd be happy. I remember that happening a few times. I always felt well understood by him and and comfortable. You know, I felt I could I could be funny, and I he knew that I. He trusted me because I think to always respect is his writing. I never tried to change anything or I was trying to make the most of his. I was thought of it as his knowledge. Writers usually like it.

Interviewer: It's also. And Susan was saying this also when we were talking about it. And you certainly would have since you had been buying the records and everything since you were a kid. It's sort of having an ear for that rhythm of.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: That style of writing.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: And. Pretty hard to teach somebody that, right?

Matthew Broderick: Yeah, I think it is hard to teach. And it became. You know, I'm from New York and Jewish. I have Jewish. And these were I don't these were my parents, what they thought was funny, too. So. I grew up with that. Those rhythms, I think, and that's what I thought was was funny. And I don't know if you can teach them sometimes it's good to go against them, too, I think. But I. But there is a style, and I think starting with Neil Simon, I did, you know, four things with Neil Simon right when I started acting. So I was. They have a similar sound sometimes. You know, the timing of of it is is similar. I think it's from also watching Jack Benny are countless things that I that I grew up on.

Interviewer: It's a really odd career in that, like you were saying. I mean, so OK. You're a teenager. Probably actually even a little before you were a teenager.

Matthew Broderick: Mm hmm.

Interviewer: And he's with Blazing Saddles. He's like the coolest thing in Hollywood.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: And then he's the coolest thing on Broadway.

Matthew Broderick: I know.

Interviewer: And then before you're even born, he's or you're an infant. He's get smart. He's like the coolest.

Matthew Broderick: Which I also grew up on. Yeah. No, it's quite, quite something when you when you put it all like that.

Interviewer: Yeah. It's the first act. The second act and the third.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. Yeah. No, it's it's amazing and there's. And his comedy is a little different than than Neil or some of the others, too, because he does he has a very unique sort of. Explosive quality. Some tiny it's an unexploded explosive laughter like unexpected. Not the fulfilling. It's like a bam! Kind of laugh that Mel Brooks. Can get in his after sometimes, you know, somebody ride back and get a shitload of dimes. I hope I'm saying that right. Blazing Saddles, would they put up a tollbooth to slow up the posse?

Interviewer: I forgot about that.

Matthew Broderick: That's very unexpected. I don't think anybody else would think of that. You know?

Interviewer: You said that again, because you did get it right. But we have it clean.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. Well, how did I put it? Start with the line.

Interviewer: Yeah.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. Somebody ride back and get a shitload of dimes. Think. What's his name, Slim Pickens says that. I think he might even throw his hat down because his posse has been delayed by a tollbooth. In the middle of a road in the old West. Very unique concept.

Interviewer: Yeah, it's a it's a. Everything skewed.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: Everything's just a lil'.

Matthew Broderick: The hangmen having a new set on the horse along with the man who was on the horse. That's pretty original.

Interviewer: Actually. When Andrew was here yesterday, I don't know if he ever told you that they wrote. Did you hear about this Truman Capote thing?

Matthew Broderick: No.

Interviewer: They wrote a thing where they tried to hire Truman Capote me to come be throwing a party with a pad of paper and a pen and interview. The guy's about to be hung like you did it in cold blood and say, you know a guy. He said, well, I murdered my uncle. Yeah, I murdered my kids. I murdered my aunt and then have to. Do you consider yourself a violent person? And they call Truman Capote and they send him the script and they call them on a conference call. And he said, you know, this is really funny. But he goes, I cannot do this because, you know, I'm sort of taken seriously for this kind of reporting. And then I. Come on. No, I'm not. I want. This is a great idea to have to do it again in the old West. Have Truman Capote come interview.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah, that's great. Yeah. Some of the ideas probably come from Andrew or others too, but it's still Mel. You know, it's it's for mel or it's Mel. You know it's not that different sometimes.

Interviewer: But are there any favorite stories you have about him during the whole process that.

Matthew Broderick: Well, I love stinks. Let me think. Favorite stories. I can't think of any.

Interviewer: Did you. Was there a story about. I think you guys were in Chicago. Did you ever hear this? That is so much have to do with you. But a guy stormed out when Hitler.

Matthew Broderick: I heard something about that.

Interviewer: You know.

Matthew Broderick: I just remember he and Mel almost got into fisticuffs in the lobby.

Interviewer: Right.

Matthew Broderick: About whether it was in poor taste or not. I think essentially, yeah, because he I think the guy tried to say, you know, I was involved. You know, I fought well and certain Mel said, you know, so I'm not that those were fighting words. That's my memory of the story. You know better than me.

Interviewer: Was there anything that you guys during the process were like, OK, we've got to pull that back. We've gone too far.

Matthew Broderick: No, I don't remember that ever happening. I remember Mel for a second thinking. Some joke little old lady land where they shove an old lady off, you know, down a pit or I don't know what they do, but I think that might be a little mean spirited. I remember him having him. He said, well, you know, I sit in the back of the theater, so I see those ladies. I'm I'm back there with them. You guys are on stage. You don't realize it, sir. I'm not sure about that. I think he did trim some piece of. Cruelty to it, too. An elderly lady. That's the time I remember him being. He didn't care about Hitler, gays or anything. Any of that was in poor taste. Thank God.

Interviewer: Did you or did you hear any complaints about that?

Matthew Broderick: I read them very few. A Jewish man who fought in World War Two reacting to Hitler and his way is to me is all right. But I know to some people it it wasn't. I mean, the. There's a shoe next to my house and the rabbi there was. I know he always said he was always so happy. But he's like, I could not possibly go see that, Joe. You know, I could never I can't even bear to see the poster. Like, I can't bear it. So I can't argue with that either.

Interviewer: Right?

Matthew Broderick: But I think it was a brilliant idea to. To turn Hitler into show business. You know, I think in the way he did it, I think that's a very profound idea that that Mel brought.

Interviewer: Profound how?

Matthew Broderick: Well, I think it's an understanding of of. I don't know, over but of Nazis and Hitler that it was a sort of a show business. It was a it was about. Look in style and, oh, I want to be like that guy. You know that it was similar to show business.

Interviewer: Jean came.

Matthew Broderick: A little less violent.

Interviewer: But Jean came to see the show.

Matthew Broderick: He did. That was terrifying. Yeah, I was always worried about that.

Interviewer: We actually should frame it as it should. I was terrified of Jeanne coming. Yeah.

Matthew Broderick: Jeanne came to see this show and. In the back of my mind, I'd always been terrified of that night. He came backstage and I think he was happy. He was very quiet. But I think it's hard to see somebody else play your part. You know, it's always is. I never really enjoy it too much. So I don't know. But I. He's such an idol of mine. Even just talking to him was very exciting. But I was petrified of him watching that show. It's like you put on your your parents clothing and they catch you at it or something. It felt very peculiar. There's another night when there's a knock on the door and I opened it. And Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks were standing next to each other in the. It was that you opened the door an Al Gore or, you know, Alan Greenspan. I mean, everybody came to that show. Clinton twice. It was just like that.

Interviewer: And we should also point out that she's sort of changed the business of Broadway.

Matthew Broderick: I guess so. You mean charging extra for good seats? That's our legacy.

Interviewer: No. I have more of a legacy, but it was.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: It was an interesting.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah, it was. It was insane. I mean, it's one of those. Everybody in it was at their best. For some reason, I don't know why. Sometimes all the things line up properly. Or everybody hallucinated and thought it was all perfect. I'm not even sure, but that's as good.

Interviewer: Anything I'm forgetting.

Matthew Broderick: You know, I wish I could tell more heartwarming stories about Mel there. There are millions of them. Then I'm not. They don't know if they relate to, you know what I mean.

Interviewer: Didn't specifically have to relate if there's.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: She bought your son a teddy bear.

Matthew Broderick: Well, I remember he used to go. It's just interesting about him, I met him once or twice at French Roast. There's a coffee shop in the village. And he couldn't sleep. I think this is after Anne died. And I hope I'm not. I hope you wouldn't not want that known, but he would guess he was lonely or depressed and he would stay up very late and you could go see him sometimes that he'd sit outside and he knew the waiters and waitresses and I had some. Lovely, relaxed evenings with him. You know, when he wasn't so on or. You know, one on one, he could he was a very good. He is a very good. Listener. So I always particularly enjoyed those times. And then we'd walk around the village and. And he'd say, this is where Adam, my first apartment was. Dustin. Dustin's lived in this townhouse and he threw rocks at the our window because he had to drop out of the producers and he was so because he'd been cast in The Graduate and he was so freaked out. And, you know, this is where he got me to open the window and. Talk to him. Not a lot of very touching memories about Ann and their their early time in the village. And we walked by at. A hair stuck, a hair salon that was closing. And they were all coming out and he asked them about their business, how long they'd been there and, you know, was it doing well? And there you can see they're sort of getting the next Mel Brooks. But happy to talk about their at their salon and those moments, I ah, I really cherished it to have this kind of intimate times with them.

Interviewer: It's the thing with him. He's really interested in other people's.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah.

Interviewer: Work and.

Matthew Broderick: Absolutely. Absolutely. Always wanted to hear what I had planned next and always had advice and. It's he's a great man to know.

Interviewer: And you were doing the film version when Ann passed away. Yeah. During production of you, were we?

Matthew Broderick: I think she died during production. Yeah. Yeah. Just toward the end of shooting is my memory. Right.

Interviewer: And from what I. He wasn't really around because of that.

Matthew Broderick: Yeah. And I suppose because she was so ill, I, you know, I everybody gave him his privacy. So I don't know exactly what was happening, but I know he wasn't around and I know nothing but something like that could have kept him from being around.

Interviewer: Right. Right. I think we're good.

Matthew Broderick: Okay.

Interviewer: Thank you so much.

Matthew Broderick: Thank you. Was I as good as Nate? No, not really.

Matthew Broderick
Interview Date:
2012-08-02
Runtime:
0:40:05
Keywords:
American Archive of Public Broadcasting GUID:
N/A
MLA CITATIONS:
"Matthew Broderick, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). 02 Aug. 2012, https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/310
APA CITATIONS:
(2012, August 02). Matthew Broderick, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise. [Video]. American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/310
CHICAGO CITATIONS:
"Matthew Broderick, Mel Brooks: Make a Noise." American Masters Digital Archive (WNET). August 02, 2012. Accessed May 23, 2022 https://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/archive/interviews/310

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