Matthew Broderick says he was ‘mugged often’ while growing up in New York City

Matthew Broderick has opened up about what it was like growing up in New York City.

The Ferris Bueller’s Day Off star, 61, recently spoke about his scary experience with muggers during his childhood in Manhattan. Broderick, who grew up near Washington Square Park, revealed that he was “mugged often” for simply being “a young guy” in the city.

“I got mugged often! I’ve been mugged all through the Village, Times Square, Upper West Side,” he explained during a 5 September episode of Bruce Bozzi’s Table for Two podcast. “I never had any money! And people constantly wanted [to mug me].”

Broderick went on to reveal that he was just 12 years old “when it happened a lot,” but it was mostly other boys his age “being bullies and getting lunch money”.

“But sometimes it was somewhat scary,” he added, before recalling one instance when he and a friend were skateboarding in Central Park. “A massive gang came flying out and took our skateboards and I got whacked in the head with some sort of stick,” Broderick shared. “It was not a joke and thank god we all survived it.”

The Broadway actor continued: “You get on the subway and somebody will sit next to you and put their arm around you rather aggressively and say: ‘What’s in your pocket?’ What’s your name?’ - just asking you a lot of questions, just waiting, praying for the train to come out of the tunnel on the platform.”

Broderick - who still lives in New York City with his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker, and their three children - described growing up in Manhattan back in the day as having “less rules”. While he explained that he told his parents “once or twice” about being mugged, he noted that they weren’t as “watchful” as some parents are these days.

“Back then, they weren’t as watchful as we are to our kids,” he said. “They were kind of like: ‘Go to a park and come in time for dinner.’ And that was it.”

Broderick has been married to Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker since 1997. The longtime couple share son James Wilkie, 20, and 13-year-old twin daughters Marion and Tabitha.

The pair met in New York City in 1991 when they were both working in theatre, according to Architectural Digest. Broderick and Parker raised their three children in a townhouse in the West Village, the same Manhattan neighbourhood where her iconic Carrie Bradshaw character lives. She gave fans a peek inside their home, which was originally built in 1905, during her “73 Questions” interview with Vogue in 2014. They listed the townhouse in 2020 for $15m, and snatched two townhomes in the West Village for $34.5m in 2016.

In a recent interview with SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, Parker revealed that she takes the subway in New York City all the time. When asked by host Stern if she’s “petrified” by the bizarre sights of the subway system, the Hocus Pocus star replied: “Oh god, no.”

“I’ve seen it all,” Parker joked. “I think I’ve seen what most people see who are regulars, which is people going to the bathroom, people clipping their nails, people finding pleasure - let’s put it that way.”

When asked how she reacts when fans approach her on the subway, she explained: “I say hi. I have headphones on all the time, and I say: ‘I’m so sorry. I can’t take a selfie.’ Sometimes I’ll say: ‘They won’t allow it… the government doesn’t let me take a picture.’”

“That’s confounding to people, so that is enough time to move away,” she added. “I’m always really nice, but I tell them, ‘I’m terrible at selfies. I don’t take them well but what’s your name, how are you?’ Or I’ll tell them I’m on a phone call, I’m so sorry but nice to meet you.”