Matthew Broderick: Fatherhood Is “Basically Improv”

Life got even busier this past summer for big screen and Broadway star Matthew Broderick when he and his wife of 12 years Sarah Jessica Parker welcomed their twin daughters Marion and Tabitha. The hands-on dad-of-three – son James Wilke is 7 – chats to Parade magazine about fame and fatherhood, and insists of the latter, “I’m just making it up as we go along.”

On what he’s learned about fatherhood: “The father thing is basically improv. I’m just making it up as we go along. I love being a father, but I don’t have any advice about it. I guess I could say the same thing about my marriage, basically. It just develops and changes and I’m very lucky with who I ended up. And we’ve been together a pretty long time.”

On the challenge of twins: “They sleep through the night now. And, basically, they’re very easy to take care of. But they had colds over Christmas and they would wake up every two hours coughing. It’s really hard because one would hear the other cry and start crying too, so that was absolutely exhausting. But I won’t lie, we have plenty of help because you can’t really handle them alone.”

On words of wisdom from his son James: “The other day he was having an argument with me. He was like, ‘Can I just say something?’ I was like, ‘No, I know what you’re gonna say.’ He said, ‘How is it ever possible to know what somebody’s gonna say before they say it?’ And I said, ‘I guess it isn’t.’ So where could I go from there?”

On whether James will get into the family business: “It will all be up to him. I wouldn’t be surprised by his personality. But that’s totally down the line. He certainly should take his time on that decision. He has a whole list of career possibilities already, he wants to be ready in case one doesn’t work out. Astronaut is high on the list and there’s also fireman and maybe being a baseball player.”

On dealing with his – and his wife’s – on-screen sex scenes: “I always insist on one scene in bed. Just kidding. I’d rather be just having tea with an actress because it’s very nerve-racking to be half-naked, pretending to have sex. I don’t get those kind of moments very often in movies. My wife does a lot more than I do. But Sarah Jessica and I are both pretty grown-up about watching each other’s love scenes on the screen.”

On advice from his own father: “God, he gave me so much. I remember I auditioned for something and didn’t get the job and was very disappointed and he said, ‘You always say you messed up. Why does it never occur to you that they might have messed up? Maybe you were the best one but they didn’t recognize it.’ It sounds obvious, but you forget stuff like that.”


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  1. I like him and I like Sarah Jessica and their kids are adorable…but as a mom of twins who has done it without help, you really CAN handle them alone. You just don’t get as much sleep.

    • I agree completely, it definitely CAN be done…my husband and I did it all ourselves. At least he is admitting he has help though, so many people pretend they are “super” parents and have around the clock help! I don’t think by us stating that we had twins and did it alone we are acting like “super” parents. Honestly, unless you have had twins you have NO idea what it is like — it’s a totally different experience carrying, delivering and taking care of two babies at the same time!!!

  2. Well some people do need help, not everyone can be “super parent” and shun help. I see nothing wrong with two hard working parents having some help. It’s their choice, I absolutely adore reading what SJP and Matthew say when they talk about their children. It really shows you just how much they love them, they say such darling things about James and the twins.

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