Matthew Broderick Reflects on Being a Dad as He Wins Father of the Year Award (Exclusive)

The actor and his 20-year-old son, James, spoke with ET at the ceremony in NYC on Thursday.

Matthew Broderick couldn't be happier to be a dad.

The celebrated actor walked the red carpet at the 2023 Father of the Year Awards at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel on Thursday, where he was joined by his 20-year-old son, James Wilkie Broderick, who presented him with the special honor at the event.

ET spoke with the father-son duo ahead of the gala, and Matthew, 61, said that out of all the things he's done, being a father "is my favorite."

Reflecting on the unexpected nature of fatherhood, Matthew explained, "It just happens, you know? You don't really know how to do it, and then suddenly you're a dad. But I'm very happy that that happened."

"I didn't really choose for him to be my dad either, in the same fashion," James chimed in with a laugh. "But I'm extremely happy."

Matthew and his wife, Sarah Jessica Parker, welcomed James in 2002. The couple are also parents to 13-year-old twin daughters, Tabitha and Marion.

This is the 81st Father of the Year Awards gala, which is held annually to benefit Save the Children, and Matthew was one of three honorees -- alongside sports broadcaster Michael Kay and Jeff Gennette, the chairman and CEO of Macy's.

"It's thrilling," Matthew said of the honor. "There’s a picture here, my dad was Father of the Year in 1977, I guess, and his daughter -- my sister Martha -- gave him the award."

"I forgot about that. it was 1977," he added. "So now, he's here, so it's kinda similar, yeah. Life repeating itself."

It seems that life may repeat itself in another way as well, as James has gotten his first bite from the acting bug.

"Recently, I’ve tried it out a little bit," James said. I tried it out and really liked it, so that’ll be great. But I have a lot of things that could work out, so I’m not, like, super worried about it. I’m still in college... right now I have time to try things out, but when I get back to school, I won’t have a lot of time to, like, do other stuff, 'cause it's hard."

Broderick, meanwhile, revealed the advice he's shared with James with regard to a potential career in acting, explaining, "Just keep at it as long as you really love it, you know? If you don’t like it, don’t go crazy sticking to it. I always feel funny telling people, 'Stick with it no matter what sometimes,' but people who do stick with it tend to really love it, so I guess that takes care of itself."

"But take it one step at a time and don’t take it too personally," he added.