If you haven’t seen Home Alone, did you even have a childhood? The classic 1990 movie starring Macaulay Culkin as 8-year-old Kevin McCallister — whose parents mistakenly leave on a trip abroad while he’s still asleep in bed — is a Christmastime staple.
And it features some of the best on-screen moments in cinematic history, thanks to Culkin and his on-screen nemeses, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern.
Oscar winner Pesci, 79, who stars as con man Harry in both Home Alone and the 1992 sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, knows the staying power the franchise holds. Yet, he also remembers the injuries he suffered on set, particularly the “serious burns” he sustained in that epic breaking-and-entering battle between Harry, his sidekick Marv (Stern), and Kevin.
After realizing Kevin is, in fact, home alone in a beautiful mansion, Harry and Marv make plans to break in on Christmas Eve, only to be terrorized by the mischievous 8-year-old and his makeshift traps.
"In addition to the expected bumps, bruises, and general pains that you would associate with that particular type of physical humor, I did sustain serious burns to the top of my head during the scene where Harry's hat is set on fire," the actor told People.
Pesci noted that he did the stunt work required for that particular scene himself, but “was fortunate enough to have professional stuntmen do the real heavy stunts.”
The Easy Money, Goodfellas and Lethal Weapon 2 star added, "It was a nice change of pace to do that particular type of slapstick comedy. But the Home Alone movies were a more physical type of comedy, therefore, a little more demanding.”
Home Alone 2 follows Kevin one year after the events of the original film as he accidentally boards a flight to New York City when his family goes on vacation to Florida for Christmas. Sure enough, he runs into criminal pals Harry and Marv and hijinks in Manhattan ensue.
Pesci told People that although Culkin was a “really sweet kid” and “very professional,” he intentionally didn’t spend too much time getting to know him as he wanted the dynamic between their characters to remain true.
“[I did not] want it to come across on the screen that we were in any way friendly,” he said. "I wanted to maintain the integrity of the adversarial relationship.”
And, thankfully, he did. It’s one of the most nostalgic hero vs. villain collaborations of all time. Sorry about the burns though, Pesci.