Sloane From "Ferris Bueller's" Quit Hollywood a Decade Ago. See Her Now.
The iconic teen movie came out 35 years ago and Mia Sara has a whole new career.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off is one of the most iconic films of the 1980s. The John Hughes classic made Matthew Broderick a household name, and also kicked off the careers of stars in smaller roles like Jennifer Grey and Charlie Sheen. But while those celebrities have continued acting in the 35 years since Ferris Bueller's Day Off was released on June 11, 1986, some of the other leads of the film have taken a different route, like Mia Sara who played Ferris' girlfriend Sloane Peterson and who retired from acting in 2013. Read on to see how Sara feels about playing Sloane in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and to see what she's up to now.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off was Mia Sara's second movie.
Sara, born Mia Sarapochiello, grew up in Brooklyn and got her start on All My Children, according to UPI Hollywood. She earned her first big film role as Princess Lili in the 1985 Ridley Scott children's fantasy film Legend with Tom Cruise.
At 17, Ferris Bueller's Day Off was Sara's third major acting job. Looking back, in a 1994 interview with Conan O'Brien, Sara said watching her teenage self as Sloane in Ferris Bueller's Day Off was "horrifying because myself at 17 was very geeky and strange."
Broderick was in his early 20s at the time and Alan Ruck, who played Ferris' best friend Cameron Frye, was nearly 30, which made Sara quite a bit younger than her co-stars. "Of the main cast, I was the only actual adolescent, so unfortunately for me it was like having your most awkward adolescent year forever memorialized," Sara told Total Film in 2010. "The cast were all lovely but mostly my experience was feeling very out of my depth and, you know, flailing. That's just the honest truth. I wish I could say it was a lot of fun but it wasn't for me. I know, it's a bummer—but it was a bummer to me at the time!"
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Sara retired from acting in the early 2010s.
After playing Sloane in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sara starred opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme in 1994's Timecop and worked steadily in Hollywood. She played Dr. Harleen Quinzel/Harley Quinn on The WB's short-lived Batman series Birds of Prey, which was canceled after one season in the early 2000s. She stepped back from acting in 2013 after appearing in the independent short film Pretty Pretty and The Witches of Oz, an unofficial sequel to the 1939 classic.
"I was a very unhappy actress," Sara told The Cossack Review in 2016. "It was something I felt I could do, and I needed to work, and I got lucky at the get go, however I was never going to be the kind of actress I admire, because I just didn't have the drive for the process."
Sara said she does miss certain aspects of the career. "I miss traveling, I miss hanging around with film crews drinking too much coffee, the hotel rooms, even bad hotel rooms. Most of all I miss call sheets," she admitted. "If I could find someone to slip a call sheet under my bedroom door every night, so I'd know exactly what I should be doing at every point in the day, I'd be a happy a girl."
She's now a poet.
After leaving acting behind, Sara became a poet. "I had always wanted to write and I started taking a class with a wonderful teacher. I didn't know that I was going to write poetry; I just wanted to take this class," she told Yahoo! in 2013. "I was writing all these little things and I was like, 'I don't understand what this is. Why can't I just tell a story?' … Then one day I realized, 'Oh, they're poems. That's what I write.'"
In her interview with The Cossack Review three years later, Sara said realizing she was a poet helped her make sense of her feelings about acting. "Of all those years feeling anxious, unsatisfied, and guilty about it, becoming a writer has been like some spiritual conversion, like all of a sudden I know what gratitude is. Now I understand the artists I love, no matter their medium, because I would write even if I never published a word. I have to write. It's the only way I can figure anything out," she said. "So, maybe all those years of misery and dread were what I needed to overcome, and if so, totally worth it."
Sara's poems have been published in Superstition Review, Helix, poemmemoirstory, The Summerset Review, PANK (where she had a long-running column called "Wrought and Found"), the Write Room, and Barrelhouse Magazine.
She's a mom of two.
In 1996, Sara married British actor Jason Connery, the son of the late Sean Connery, whom she met on the set of the 1995 movie Bullet to Beijing. They welcomed a son, Dashiell Quinn Connery, in 1997 and divorced in 2002.
Some years later, Sara married puppeteer, producer, and director Brian Henson, son of The Muppets creator Jim Henson, in 2010. The have one daughter Amelia Jane Henson, born in 2005, who goes by Millie.
Sara has barely watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off—and her kids are embarrassed by it, too.
In 2013, Sara told Yahoo! she doesn't like watching herself on screen, and said she's only seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off two times in full. Her kids also find it tough to watch. "There was this year that every one of my son's friends saw the movie, and it was horrifying for him and very embarrassing and now it's happening with my daughter!" she told the outlet. "I think it's embarrassing."
But despite her complex feelings about it, Sara understands why so many people love Ferris Bueller's and its characters like Sloane. "John Hughes really had a great take on that kind of outsider/insider, cool-guy persona. I also think that they created this hyper-real, stylized world that doesn't really date. It's kind of like this supernatural suburbia, you know," she told Total Film. "It's still vibrant so that's why, I think."