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Matthew Broderick says that he and Plaza Suite co-star Sarah Jessica Parker had avoided contracting COVID-19 for so long — and despite other cases in his family — that he began to believe he “was one of these people who doesn’t get it.”
The actor appeared on SiriusXM’s Jess Cagle Show to talk about his experience starring opposite his wife, Parker, in the Broadway production. During the conversation, he opened up about missing several performances of the Neil Simon play after having to quarantine due to testing positive for COVID-19.
“It was really disappointing. We’d been so careful and we both never got it. Our daughter had it and somehow we didn’t get it. Then my son got it around December,” Broderick said, pointing to the rise of the omicron variant. “We still missed it. … I started to think maybe I was one of these people who doesn’t get it, but I was completely wrong.”
Both he and Parker tested positive for COVID-19 days apart while starring opposite one another in their limited-engagement Broadway show. Several performances were canceled as a result.
While speaking to Cagle and co-host Julia Cunningham, Broderick explained that he first noticed symptoms the day he got a booster shot. “I got a booster — a second booster — and that day I thought I must be sick because of my booster, but then I was coughing and every time I looked up side effects from the booster shot, there was nothing about having a cough,” he said. “So anyway, I got a booster and COVID on the same day.”
“So your conspiracy theorists can figure that one out for me and send me a note,” he added, laughing.
Before detailing his experience with COVID-19, Broderick also recalled the night Broadway shut down at the start of the pandemic back in March 2020. The star said Plaza Suite was in its final dress rehearsal when producers came in and announced that then-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was turning the lights off.
“We were in full costume and wigs and everything, but everybody sensed something was happening because, I think, basketball and hockey had stopped and there we were, pretending that the show is going to happen,” he recounted.
Producers gathered the cast in the audience and told the company that it was 5 p.m. and that Broadway had officially shut down. “They said, ‘It’s going to be two to four weeks’ and then the producer said to me, ‘Between you and me, it might be six to eight weeks, but don’t tell anyone. But we’re saying two to four,'” Broderick recalled. “Two years passed and I woke up with a very long white beard, and I was back in the same spot. Same costumes, let out maybe a half an inch.”
The Plaza Suite star went on to joke that “not everybody” had to undergo wardrobe adjustments, but that he eventually got back to his original measurements. “I fit almost everything except my Act 2 pants. They said, ‘We’re going to have to build you some new pants,'” Broderick told Cagle. “But I’m happy to say once I got working again and all, I shrank down to my normal slightly pudgy self from two years earlier.”
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