Busy Bee: Matthew Broderick

Photo: Patrick McMullan

To promote his latest venture, Bee Movie, Jerry Seinfeld has flown off a hotel roof in Cannes wearing a giant bee costume and popped up on 30 Rock to gratuitously announce the movie’s opening date right into the camera. But he can’t do all the plugging for the CGI-animated flick—about a rebel bee (Seinfeld) who sues the human race for running honey-making sweatshops—himself. Luckily, his good friend Matthew Broderick, who co-stars as Seinfeld’s best bee, has proven more than willing to take up the slack. He talked with Jada Yuan.

The publicity for this movie has been rather shameless.
Yeah, Jerry’s a fearless self-promoter.

Did they ask you to don a bee costume, too?
No, but I would be happy to. I really like the movie, in all honesty.

You and Jerry are friends from way back, no?
For a few years now. Not all that way back. He’s been very nice to get to know. I have a new friend late in life. I feel like lately they’ve been going away. So it was nice to fill up the column.

Who wooed whom?
[Laughs] For the friendship? I don’t remember any wooing. It sounds like a great love story. We both kind of don’t like to woo too much, I think. We went to get a few beers at a bar, and I don’t know, we watched baseball games.

How did the Bee Movie discussion come about?
He just called and said, “We want you to play this friend part.” And I said, “Sure.” But I remember thinking, I hope it goes okay. Because when you know somebody, to get into a professional thing can be weird. But, thank God, it wasn’t.

How did you get into the mind-set of a bee?
You know, I probably didn’t do as much research as I should have done. But I did find out recently that bees sometimes eat each other’s heads.

You’re kind of the Everyman bee.
I think I’m a somewhat nervous bee who just wants to conform. Which I guess is common in bees.

Do you think another insect might have suited you better?
I think a bee is pretty good for me. Though I like to think of myself as a butterfly. But I work well as a bee. I’m nervous, and a conformist, and I have a large stinger hidden right beneath my posterior.

You’re playing an animal in another animated movie.
Am I? Tale of Despereaux? Oh, yes! I guess I’m the mouse. You’re absolutely right. I forgot for a moment. I only recorded on that twice. I was also a lion in The Lion King, and I was a live dog in something called Good Boy.

Do you have a kinship with animals?
I like animals.

So, are you and your wife, Sarah Jessica Parker, boycotting honey?
No. You have to keep in mind that this is an animated movie. We don’t care about bees, particularly.

SEE ALSO: More Q&A with Matthew Broderick.

Bee Movie
Paramount. November 2.

Busy Bee: Matthew Broderick