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Actor Joe Pesci Reflects on Role in Classic Holiday Franchise, HOME ALONE

Poster courtesy of MMPA

Actor Joe Pesci Reflects on Role in Classic Holiday Franchise, HOME ALONE

By Movieguide® Contributor

Actor Joe Pesci recently reflected on his role as the burglar, Harry, in the classic holiday movie, HOME ALONE and HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK.

The original HOME ALONE debuted in 1990, and was closely followed by its sequel in 1992.

After the movie’s 30th anniversary, Pesci said that he knew the second movie in the franchise would have the rare quality of being a successful sequel with “the same, if not more, energy and enthusiasm as the original.”

“It was a nice change of pace to do that particular type of slapstick comedy,” Pesci told PEOPLE of the role. “But the Home Alone movies were a more physical type of comedy, therefore, a little more demanding.”

A portion of Movieguide®’s review of HOME ALONE reads:

HOME ALONE is a delightful movie with good acting, an intriguing plot and a generous supply of humor. There is a minimum of bad language and a very slight sexual innuendo. However, some people will be upset at the slapstick violence and the cartoonish pain inflicted on the bad guys as Kevin defends his home.

On the other hand, HOME ALONE has a strong message of reconciliation and portrays a fairly close-knit family. Furthermore, Kevin appears to be in the habit of attending church. Best of all, Kevin learns from his experience. He learns not to be afraid and to be thankful for his family.

“I remember Macaulay as being a really sweet kid and, even at his age, very professional,” Pesci said of his co-star, who portrayed Kevin. “I intentionally limited my interactions with him to preserve the dynamic between his character, Kevin, and my character Harry. I wanted to maintain the integrity of the adversarial relationship.”

One of the most recognizable aspects of the HOME ALONE series is the elaborate booby traps that Kevin sets up for Harry and Marv. However, Pesci said that he did not always escape the stunts unscathed.

“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,” Pesci recalled. “I was fortunate enough to have professional stuntmen do the real heavy stunts.”

Pesci said that while he would never say no to reprising the iconic role, he said that a HOME ALONE reboot would not be able to maintain the same level of endearment and innocence in today’s culture.

“While you never say never, I think that it would be difficult to replicate not only the success but also the overall innocence of the originals,” Pesci explained. “It’s a different time now; attitudes and priorities have changed in 30 years.”

Movieguide®’s review of HOME ALONE 2 reads:

In HOME ALONE 2: LOST IN NEW YORK, Kevin McCallister (Macauley Culkin) once again separates from his vacation-bound family for a wild adventure that involves defending his favorite toy store against crooks. Although Kevin manages to stick with his family all the way to the airport, he boards the wrong plane. Arriving in New York City, Kevin checks into the ritzy Plaza Hotel, where he lives it up. Eventually, Kevin meets up with the same crooks who robbed his house the year before. He overhears them planning to rob Duncan’s Toy Store at midnight on Christmas Eve. Kevin sets out to thwart their efforts, chasing them to an abandoned, booby-trapped house for a slapstick showdown that mimics the original.