This year would probably be the nth time you’ll be watching the Christmas classic film, Home Alone, yet you’ll be surprised that there are a few facts you still don’t know about the movie. Sure, you’re familiar with the plot – a boy who accidentally got left behind at Christmas when his family goes to Paris for vacation. You sure know that this movie made the nine-year-old star Macauley Culkin who played as Kevin a household name. Yet, here are a few things about the 1990s film you might think are fun to know too!
BOX OFFICE SMASHING HIT!
There’s no doubt it was a big box office hit, raking in $US476 million worldwide. What’s exciting is the movie made it into The Guinness Book of World Records as the Highest Box Office Gross for Comedy film.
Home Alone was for Macauley Culkin
The role of Kevin was written specifically for Culkin. It’s safe to say that he inspired the entire production of the film. The idea actually sparked when John Hughes was making Uncle Buck, which also starred Culkin. In the film, there’s a scene where his character was interrogating a potential babysitter through a mail slot. In Home Alone, a similar thing happened when he was confronting Daniel Stern through a doggie door.
Although, Culkin was the only person in mind while writing the script, that didn’t stop the director from holding auditions for more than 100 pre-teens for the role. In the end, it was only Culkin who perfectly nailed the role.
Joe Pesci Playing as the Villain
Pesci really did a good job at scaring the young Kevin in the film. He even made the movie watchers furious at him, but did you know that he wasn’t the first choice as Harry Lime? The role was turned down by Robert De Niro.
Pesci was a natural villain in his acting that he kept forgetting he was doing a family-friendly movie. He would frequently drop the “F” word during his character’s outbursts. Director Columbus had to suggest that he says “fridge” instead of the big F word.
Also, to be really effective as someone who’s Kevin is so afraid of, he had to avoid the child actor on set. They ended up hating each other especially when Pesci, in character, bit Culkin on the finger while shooting the scene where Kevin was hung on a coat.
The young star admitted in one of his later interviews that he got really mad at him. “I was like, ‘I don’t care how many Oscars you have, or whatever – don’t go biting a nine-year-old! What the heck’s wrong with you?”
Director Chris Columbus Learned a Very Important Lesson
Columbus’ career in directing family movies all started with this film. Since then, he became a preferred moviemaker for films with kids as the starring role. He directed Home Alone 2, Mrs. Doubtfire, and two of the Harry Potter films. It’s obvious that he learned a lot from this film, including one important thing: When you agree to work with a kid actor, you’re also agreeing to work with his or her family.
“We didn’t know much about the family at the beginning; as we were shooting, we learned a little more. The stories are hair-raising. I was casting a kid who truly had a troubled family life.” He found out later that Culkin’s parents soon had a nasty legal battle over his fortune.
Kevin McCallister’s Stunt Double
It would be impossible for the young Macauley to do everything you’ve seen in the movie, especially the stunts. They can’t hire another kid either since some of these stunts are dangerous. What’s the best thing to do? Find a short adult. Then 30-year old Larry Nicholas was the best choice. He’s the right size and happens to be a very experienced stuntman. He worked for films like Jurassic Park, The Matrix Reloaded, and Waterworld.
Remember the Ugly Girl?
The one who’s only seen in a picture frame known as Buzz’s girlfriend? Well, there’s nothing special about her, except that she’s actually the movie art director’s son who dressed up as a girl. Director Columbus felt that it would be too mean to cast a female actor for a ‘portrait’ role.