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Joe Pesci Gets Candid About Filming ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’ 30 Years Later

Photo Credit: Paul Archuleta / Getty Images and HarperSeven/ Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStillsDB
Photo Credit: Paul Archuleta / Getty Images and HarperSeven/ Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStillsDB

Home Alone is undoubtedly one of the most iconic Christmas movies to watch during the holiday season. It saw incredible success after its theatrical release and in the many years to come. It was so popular that a sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, was quickly created. It featured many of the actors from the original, including Joe Pesci. Thirty years after its release, he’s commented on his role and an unfortunate accident that occurred while filming.

‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was released in 1992, two years after the first movie in the franchise. Kevin is again alone on Christmas, this time after being separated from his family by getting on a plane to New York City instead of Florida, where everyone else went. The Wet Bandits from the first film happen upon him after breaking out of prison.

Macaulay Culkin in a hat and jacket looks down at a map while Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern stand behind him staring down.
Publicity still of Macaulay Culkin as Kevin, Joe Pesci as Harry, and Daniel Stern as Marv in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. (Photo Credit: murraymomo/ Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStillsDB)

The movie starred Macaulay Culkin in the lead role, as well as Daniel Stern, John Heard, Tim Curry, Catherine O’Hara, Brenda Fricker, and of course Pesci, who again took on the villainous role of Harry. Pesci agreed to an email interview with PEOPLE in honor of the 30th anniversary of the film’s release. He recalled the experience very fondly, as he knew it was a worthwhile sequel.

Thoughts on the sequel

Pesci touched on many different elements of the film’s production. Of working with Culkin, he said, “I remember Macaulay as being a really sweet kid and, even at his age, very professional. I intentionally limited my interactions with him to preserve the dynamic between his character, Kevin, and my character Harry.” He did this because he didn’t “want it to come across on the screen that we were in any way friendly. I wanted to maintain the integrity of the adversarial relationship.”

Joe Pesci in winter clothing and a hat, and Daniel Stern covered in a white powder, with startled expressions on their faces.
Publicity still of Joe Pesci as Harry and Daniel Stern as Marv in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. (Photo Credit: HarperSeven/ Twentieth Century Fox/ MovieStillsDB)

Pesci also recalled how enjoyable it was working with the same cast from the original movie. This gave the production “the same, if not more, energy and enthusiasm” than Home Alone. It also led to “more spontaneity and creativity on the set.” Yet he recalled one of his most iconic scenes much less fondly, when his character Harry’s hat was lit on fire by the mischievous Kevin.

Hazards of the job

While trying to stop the bad guys, Kevin sets up numerous traps and tricks. One of these involved Harry’s hat being set on fire. Although Pesci had professional stuntmen do “the real heavy stunts,” as he called them, this was not one. Not only did he have to complete the stunt himself, he ended up getting injured while doing so.

He recalled: “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.” Regardless of the injury, he expressed that he enjoyed the change of pace provided by the slapstick comedy.

Joe Pesci in a black suit, tie, and white collared shirt with sunglasses and a black hat.
Joe Pesci attends the premiere of The Irishman at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, October 24, 2019. (Photo Credit: Frazer Harrison/ Getty Images)

More from us: How ‘Home Alone’ Influenced The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Pesci wasn’t involved in any of the other franchise movies as the storyline included an entirely new cast. That’s not to say that he has completely shut the door on taking part in another Home Alone movie. “Never say never,” he said of future involvement, yet added that he doesn’t think it would be possible to recreate the feeling of the original films in further sequels.

Rosemary Giles

Rosemary Giles is a history content writer with Hive Media. She received both her bachelor of arts degree in history, and her master of arts degree in history from Western University. Her research focused on military, environmental, and Canadian history with a specific focus on the Second World War. As a student, she worked in a variety of research positions, including as an archivist. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the History Department.

Since completing her degrees, she has decided to take a step back from academia to focus her career on writing and sharing history in a more accessible way. With a passion for historical learning and historical education, her writing interests include social history, and war history, especially researching obscure facts about the Second World War. In her spare time, Rosemary enjoys spending time with her partner, her cats, and her horse, or sitting down to read a good book.