Matthew Broderick: Twins Are ‘More Self-Sufficient’

03/02/2012 at 03:00 PM ET
Dave Allocca/Startraks

Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are well-known for being hands-on, but parenting twins comes with its own set of challenges.

The actor says daughters Loretta and Tabitha, 2½, didn’t make him a better multi-tasker, but they did teach him to resist catering to every whim.

“I’m now used to being unable to give everything the attention it deserves all the time,” Broderick, 49, told PEOPLE after a cabaret show at New York’s Café Carlyle.

“You have to be cool like that sometimes — somebody will be screaming about something and you can’t immediately give it to them. But they get used to it, so it’s sort of nice in a way.”

The actor, who recently paid homage to his famed Ferris Bueller role in a Superbowl ad, admits that his girls couldn’t be more different.

“I know enough that the personality switches. One at the moment is more Type A,” he says, then reconsiders. “They’re both kind of Type A. They’re two. They just run everything, you know.”

Most importantly, they get along like, well, sisters. “They are really very attached to each other. They’re really cute,” he adds.

Broderick — who’s also dad to son James Wilkie, 9 — did master the art of feeding both babies at once as newborns, but notes that they’re more independent now.

“It’s kind of sad with twins; they learn to, like, lie on the pillow because you can’t always hold them both. They’re more self-sufficient. They learn to take care of themselves,” he explains.

— Yelena Shuster

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 67 comments

Rebecca Jayne on

Such good parents. I love this family!

Lau on

Wow, I had never noticed how much Tabitha looks like Matthew! They’re clones!

Marion (I know they call her Loretta, but if her first name’s Marion I think that’s what she should be called! Also, James picked it and I find that very cute. That, and I like the name better) favours SJP, but the resemblance is not as big as the one between Tabitha and Matthew.

Laureina on

Definately agree.My husband and I are on our second set of twins. They definitely get used to entertaining themselves and each other. Fun article. Even though I wouldn’t change a thing love to share war stories of the twin life. We can look back, laugh and be proud how we managed to make it on so much sleep deprivation. You have to see the humor in it all so you don’t go crazy. Haha

Marky on

This couple seems so “normal”, even though they both have very good careers. They seems to understand that marriage is not always exciting, but building that relationship and holding on to it is soooo fulfilling and worth the effort. Their kids seem well cared for and happy when you see them; love the story of their marriage and family.

rachel on

i hardly think you’re in any position to decide what they call their child, lau (actually, i might call you sally, because i like that name better).

Katie on

I never thought of that. Very sad indeed. Sad lying them on the pillow. I can’t let my singleton’s down. Can’t imagine what twins would be like.

katie on

katie- hopefully that changes a bit or your kid will turn into a weird adult!! glad to hear he is so normal with his kids 🙂

Leslee on

I agree, having twins (or higher order multiples) does help you to learn to meet needs and not cater to every want. I do find myself giving in at times just to try and keep up though. No longer having a husband and taking care of two newborns 24/7 definitely helped me appreciate my own mother more.

Anonymous on

They sound like great parents, and I can’t believe how big the girls are getting!

A. on

Sheesh, you don’t have to act like such a c**t Rachel!

Ann on

There is nothing sad about it. I have one and its totally ok if she learns to take care of herself rather than being picked up every single time, no matter how hard it is to resist. I truly believe it will benefit her in the long run (dont worry, we cuddle a lot anyways!)

RKF on

@A. I hardly think Rachel was being a “c*nt”. Ever hear of someone being facetious?

Marky on

Sheesh, A, you don’t have to act like such an uneducated teenager! Are you seriously thinking that sort of comment puts you ahead of Rachel? Anyone with the slightest bit of class knows better than to use that word.

Jen DC on

Yes, A., because engaging in worse behavior definitely taught Rachel a lesson…

I think those twins are adorable and they both oddly resemble MB to me. Like Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen both look like Martin Sheen (their dad) but not particularly like each other, although there is some resemblance there – that’s how the little girls appear to me. But oh, so cute.

Rebecca on

I have three sets of multiples, two sets of twins and triplets along with two singletons so yes, they do not get their every whim, and even as a singleton they wouldn’t because I do not believe that teaches them anything positive other than dependance and as a teacher I see the children who have been babied and cannot do a thing for themselves, so I refuse to have my kids be dependant but thats just me. Everyone has their own opinion, and good luck to them, but for the sake of those of us who are having to deal with your children in the classrooms every day, please teach your child some independence so we don’t have to deal with all the neediness!

Lau on

@Rachel: You’re right, how dare I call their kid by the name they gave her?! You know, no one named ME Sally and then decided to call me something else.

Sure they do whatever they want and I am in no position to (and wouldn’t, really) tell them otherwise. But I, personally, will refer to the girl by her first name, which I see nothing wrong with.

I also will address you as Rachel, because that is clearly your name, even if maybe one of your parents calls you by your middle name.

alicejane on

My mom goes by her middle name and when I was born, wanted to call me by my middle name. She thought Alice Jane had a better ring than Jane Alice and wanted to name me that while calling me Jane (and while I use alicejane for this and that, my dad overruled and my first name is Jane). I can’t imagine I’d appreciate it if someone called me by a name other than that which I go by, whether it be my first or middle. Nicknames aside, of course.

Anyway, Matthew has a beautiful family and I love hearing about them. James Wilkie, Loretta, and Tabitha seem like happy, fun kids, so they’re definitely doing something right.

sat on

Well said, Leslee and Rebecca! Bless your hearts…my best girlfriend is a teacher and single mom of twin girls…TEAM TWINS !!

Shannon on

The same thing can be said of older children (once a sibling comes along). 🙂

Jart on

I know exactly what he is saying. I think people who have never experienced twins assume that 1 + 1 = 2 (I know that it was what I thought). That is simply not the case. It feels more like 1+1 = 4. With only two hands you have to be very inventive and learn to improvise rapidly. Parking them on a pillow is a necessity sometimes. When you are in the midst of changing one that has wet through his diaper, clothes and onto his sheets and suddenly at the same time the other spews his lunch EVERYWHERE and both are understandably upset, it can be a challenge.

I have twin boys who will be 3mos old on March 9th. They are complete opposites. One is very impatient, demanding, intolerant and can’t be still while the other is so calm, laid back and peaceful. I really feel sorry for Mr. Zen because I know he doesn’t get the level of attention as his brother. The reason? He doesn’t demand it. It is the squeaky wheel scenario….and brother squeaks a lot!! I do make a very conscious effort to give him extra attention when time allows.

Kathleen on

Rebecca, I agree with you 100%. And want to send kudos your way: with that big a family, I can’t even believe you had the energy to post! Thanks girlfriend!

scc on

What kids need most, the greatest gift to them, is two parents who love each other.

Matthew’s affair was quickly pushed under the carpet.

I hope he puts his wife first, THEN the children. If you want to stay married…. your spouse comes first.

Take it from someone with experience, and make your wife Priority Number One.

macey on

Like this couple considering most Hollywierd couples are strange this one appears a wee bit more normal. Although nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors…

ruby on

These comments omg o_0

If Rebecca really has 7 – 12 children and works as an educator, she has no business even reading, let alone taking the time to register, sign in and post.

LA on

They are a wonderful family….care so much about their children. I don’t think you ever see them out that they don’t have at least one of the kids with a parent.

Am I mistaken or didn’t they get a surrogate to have these babies ? You can so see Matthew in them….but regardless, adoption, surrogacy….Matthew AND SJP…are BOTH their parents. I remember reading about age and eggs and SJP and then wanting more children.

Regardless….their family is just BEAUTIFUL !!!

Ami on

Love Ferris!

Tazzy on

Congratulations to the family! But, I must say that I paid too much attention to the picture posted…did anyone else notice how Matthew is barely trying to touch Sarah? It’s like he’s not touching her at all.

ALlison on

People Magazine….You constantly call tis poor kid Lorretta and her name is Marion. If your going to sell magazines and make money on reporting stories about her…get a name right,.

Melanie on

Allison, how about you chill out? If you’ve seen SJP or Matthew on any talk shows or read any interviews, you’d know that they call her Loretta and only added Marion to the mix because their son James loved it so much. They’ve never called her that.

Cinder Lou on

@Tazzy – Sarah and Matthew have been married for quite a while. Maybe they no longer feel the need to grope each other in public. They’re probably just very secure in their relationship and don’t have to prove anything to anybody else.

A.A. on

Ruby – Just because Rebecca is a mother and a teacher doesn’t mean that she cannot have personal time – maybe is her guilty pleasure. Not for you or anyone else to judge.

Lau – Matthew and SJP are the parents and are entitled to call their daughters what they want to call them – Tabitha and Loretta are their children, not yours. I would think you should respect that.

Motheroftwo on

Good story, both of my children were very independent from about 3 months on, they refused to let anyone feed them you could hold them but they held their own bottles. Now one is 5 the other is 2 weeks short of his 1st bday and they are extremely independent it is crazy really how much they are alike being so far apart. My friends twins are the same one is type A the other off and on but very self sufficient.

Sunny on

Lau – who cares what you think THEIR child should be called.

Motheroftwo on

@ruby, even if Rebecca has that many children and is an educator she should be able to have a little bit of “me” time. You don’t know her situation who are you to judge her?

Dawn on

I used to go to bed at night wondering if I held one more than the other during the day, especially since one was always a little more clingy than the other. They will be 17 years old next month and both are total Mama’s boys so I guess I did just fine! Same with my 21 year old son.

Ami on

To the octomom who popped out a bazillion sets of multiples, there is such a thing as birth control…

rachel on

Did he cheat on SJP?

CK on

I’m so sick of people thinking they have the right to tell others how many kids they should have. Not using birth control is perfectly okay, and maybe she WANTED her children! Ever think of that Ami? Mind your own business. And for the record, I have 4 children who I love dearly, and wanted every single one of them.

Ann on

“Marion (I know they call her Loretta, but if her first name’s Marion I think that’s what she should be called!”


CK on

Did it ever occur to you, Ami, that she wanted every one of those kids? It’s none of your business how many children someone has, you aren’t taking care of them. Not using birth control is perfectly okay. Children are a blessing whether you only have 1 or whether you have 20. Thankfully it’s not your decision.

JulieA on

James Wilke needs a haircut badly!!!

Commentor on

Rebecca, how did you get to be a teacher without learning the correct way to spell dependence and dependent?

A.A. on

Ami – how do you know that Rebecca “popped out” all those babies? Maybe she and her family adopted or fostered some of these children. No matter how they came into her life, as long as there is enough love and caring to go around for each child, that is what is important. Not everyone believes in birth control and that is their choice, and not for you to tell them how to live their lives.

A.A. on

Commenter – May I suggest you lighten up! People make spelling errors, whether they are teachers or not. It happens – get over it.

Lau on

@Sunny: If you don’t care what other people think, what on Earth are you doing reading anyone’s comments?

Everyone needs to chill, I didn’t say they’re doing something wrong or that my way of thinking is correct and theirs isn’t. If they want to name their child something and call her by her middle name, then that’s what they’ll do and that’s cool, even if it’s something that I’d never do.

This is why, and considering I have no relation to them and never will, I’ll refer to their daughter by her first name, which they still chose to give her, so I highly doubt they’d care if anyone called her that.

@Ann: I’m not sure how to answer to your WTF. I explained already why I said why I said.

anon1 on

ruby, who are you to judge someone that all you know about is one post. maybe her kids are all older now and she has more time on her hands, maybe she like every mom makes sure she has free time to relax and destress. Kudos to her for making time for herself with that many children, i think a parent would lose it and become too stressed if they never got time to themselves in a day.

Jen on

@Cinder Lou, I totally agree with you in response to Tazzy. Only teenagers grope in public. What self-respecting man and woman would allow themselves to be publicly disrespected by someone groping? It’s mostly men at fault, but I bet there are a few women who embarrass their guys too. Men that want to be gropers are just men with a short one in the package department.

@Lau, wtf does your name mean? “Lau”d mouth?

JMM on

While the articles are fun to read, it’s far more entertaining to read the comments. Do you all seriously argue with one another?

Sara on

I also have twins and I totally get the feeling that you’re not giving them as much attention as a singleton. But my twins also have an amazing bond that so many of us miss out on. As soon as my boys could sit up, they didn’t want much to do with me, except when they were hungry. They had a built in playmate and that was all they wanted. In some ways, I think having twins is easier than having one at a time! (Well, except for the beginning, when I didn’t sleep, lol.)

I have so much respect for this family, Matthew and Sarah Jessica seem like amazing parents.

Lau on

@Jen: Why are you trying to make fun of my name? (I can only assume that’s what you’re doing) I’m politely discussing about the comment I made and the nasty replies some people left to me.

And if you must know, Lau is short for Laura, which in Spanish is not pronounced the same way as it is in English. And if by loud mouth you refer to my answering to the nonsense people sometimes say, then yes, I do have one!

Claire on

God. Oftentimes, women make me embarrassed to be a woman. Why do you have to be so mean?

rachel on

WERE THESE BABIES FROM HER EGGS? Why didnt she carry them?

teresa on

You guys know how to put a great spin on things… It is not that twins are more self sufficient, it is that you both were too old to have babies in the house, your both pre occupied with careers and I am sure the Nanny’s don’t jump to every need. Your Children have no choice

Jane on

Poor James Wilkie, his “thunder” has been taken from him, now all the attention is on his sisters, the poor kid, haha! He’s 9 a big kid, with 2 year old sisters, I imagine he’s over it and just rolls his eyes about now! Good luck to HIM!

Kat on

These comments, especially regarding which name Marion/Loretta should go by is hilarious! If my parents named me Elizabeth Katherine, decided to call me by my middle name instead of my first… I was introduced to you as Katherine, and you decided to push the point and call me Elizabeth because it’s the first name on my birth certificate, I’m sorry Lau (and others), that’s more of a reflection on you than me or my parents.

It’s fantastic entertainment seeing the bees that some of the commenters (correct spelling for the person remarking on Rebecca’s spelling) get in their bonnets over little tiny details which they have no business having an opinion about.

Lady Blue Bird on

What I love is how much adopted children end up looking like the family that chose them. I think it makes for a special bond. These guys are great parents.

Ann on

What adopted children?

Ann on

If aliens ever land on the earth to collect a sample of intelligence of its habitants, I sure hope they don’t go on celebrity babies

Rose on

just a little comment about first/middle names to respond to Lau… my name’s Jessica Rose, because my parents thought it had a better ring than Rose Jessica, but I’ve gone by Rose since the day I was born, since both of my parents knew they wanted to call me Rose. my name is Rose, not Jessica. and yes, both my parents and I WOULD care if someone just ‘decided’ to call me Jessica because that’s technically my first name. it’s not my name, it’s not what I go by, it’s not what anyone calls me.

I was enrolled in school as Rose , the name on my desk at work says ‘Rose ‘, I introduce myself as Rose, when I encounter places where my legal first name is written, I respond with “call me Rose, please,” and people do, because it’s polite to call a person by the name they refer to. I borderline don’t respond to Jessica. (as in, if in a situation where my legal first name will be used, I know they mean me, if I’m walking down the street or in a school or at work and someone says ‘hey Jessica’ I don’t even bat an eyelash.)

people on this planet do go by their middle names, and honestly, I find it a little rude that someone would insist on only calling someone by their legal first name. the girl’s name is Loretta. just because you don’t like it, or think it’s weird that she goes by her middle name is really not for you to decide, nor is it your place to call her something that she most likely doesn’t respond to.

Kat on

*round of applause for Rose*

Marky on

Rachel, they were open about the fact SJP had fertility issues and had trouble sustaining a pregnancy, The girls are theirs and it doesn’t matter how they got here.

Jane, really?? How ridiculous! James is seen with his parents all the time, and many kids really enjoy their siblings, I know my kids adored each other and still do, through thick and thin.

teresa, get a grip on your rude mouth! This couple is well known for taking care of their own children, and if they had a nanny, what business is it of yours? That tired ofd comment about celebrities is just that–old!

What is the matter with people? Bickering over everything from names to how their marriage is going. This couple has worked hard on their relationship and they take good care of their own children. Good grief! Do you realize how hateful and full of envy you sound?

Lau, It is embarrassing that you think you should call someone else’s child something other than what they named her, and then say, “that’s just me”. What? Well, why don’t we call your daughter Abraham because we like it better than what you call her? Same thing; we are calling her what WE choose. If she wants to be called Marion as an adult, that’s her choice, but it’s not yours!

Harriet on

I figured I should post by my given first name, even though no one uses it. I didn’t want Lau to get upset. I sincerely hope that she never has a chance to use the name Marion in a social situation. I don’t think using the given first name of a child of she will never meet in conversation will show her intelligence.

Does anyone else think that she posted under the name A when she started calling out ugly names?

Shannon on

Who cares if she carried them? They are the parents. End of.

Kay on

All this talk about calling someone by a middle name!! My goodness, what’s wrong w/you? Going by a middle name is not uncommon.

My name is Wanda Kay. It’s the name my parents gave me. I have been called Kay ALL OF MY LIFE. That is what they intended when they named me! It’s a PITA sometimes, hearing someone call me Wanda when I’ve always been called Kay, but it’s no big deal.

Same w/my sister; her name is Evelyn Jean and has been called Jean from day 1.

I do kind of regret that I did the same thing to my older son. His father wanted his first name to be Matthew or Michael, and I wanted to call him Scott. We named him Matthew Scott and call him Scott (Scotty when he was little; he’s a grown man now).

Did something similar w/my younger son. I named him Charles after my brother (who was dying of leukemia at the time). I didn’t want to call him Chuck b/c that was what my brother was called. And I didn’t like Charles or Charlie, or anything like that. So I decided to call him Chad. It’s not really a common nickname for Charles, but that’s what we called him and still call him (he is also a grown man, most of the time).

Come to think of it, all of us (my siblings and I) were called something different from their given first name. I was called Kay, my brother was named Robert and was called Bob, sister went my her middle name, Jean, and youngest brother was Charles and called Chuck.

However, I think that the person (or parents) preference is what is important, not someone deciding that they should be called by their first name b/c THEY think it’s what they should do!

Patti on

Anyone who adopts a child and provides them with a loving, healthy life deserves respect and admiration. I have always liked these two as a couple 🙂

JMO on

Lau – just curious how do you refer to Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber’s children? Do you call them Alexander and Samuel bc afterall that’s their given names?? If Matthew and SJP have chosen to call their daughter by her middle name then anyone should respect that.

My twin nephews were both premature and one was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. So my one nephew def learned to be more independent and do things for himself. Now at almost 7 the roles are somewhat reversed the one with CP plays nicely by himself while the other twin complains about not having anyone to play with LOL.

Ann on

What adopted children are you all talking about? Do you think these twins were adopted or are you referring to the part of the process when their biological children carried by surrogate have to officially be adopted by the biological couple on the legal side?