On the 30th anniversary of Home Alone, director Chris Columbus reveals that Donald Trump bullied his way into having a cameo in the 1992 sequel.
Chris Columbus, the director of Home Alone and its 1992 sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, has revealed that Donald Trump bullied his way into the sequel. Both films are firm Christmas season favorites for many, and a reboot of Home Alone is currently on the way from Disney.
After the huge success of the first Home Alone film in 1990, a sequel seemed to be on many people’s wish list. Fortunately for fans, Columbus delivered, finding another way to make the concept of Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) being accidentally left behind by his family work again. In fact, among Home Alone fans, there’s a substantial number who feel that Home Alone 2 is the superior movie (with neither of the later sequels meriting consideration). Home Alone 2 finds Kevin mistakenly boarding the wrong plane at the airport and, rather than joining his family for a Christmas in Florida, he ends up alone in New York City. Things go from bad to worse for Kevin when he discovers that his old nemeses, The Sticky Bandits (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern), have escaped from prison and are also in the Big Apple.
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Aside from a setting in one of the most electrifying cities in the world, Home Alone 2 also contains a cameo from a very controversial figure. Donald Trump can be seen in the film as Kevin wanders through the Plaza Hotel lobby, in need of directions. For some, Trump’s inclusion is the perfect little addition to a great film. For others, it’s the worst thing about an otherwise great film. Regardless of where one stands on the cameo, however, while speaking with Insider, Chris Columbus revealed that Trump bullied his way into the sequel:
Like most locations in New York City, you just pay a fee and you are allowed to shoot in that location. We approached The Plaza Hotel, which Trump owned at the time, because we wanted to shoot in the lobby. We couldn’t rebuild The Plaza on a soundstage.
Trump said OK. We paid the fee, but he also said, “The only way you can use the Plaza is if I’m in the movie.” So we agreed to put him in the movie, and when we screened it for the first time the oddest thing happened: People cheered when Trump showed up on-screen. So I said to my editor, “Leave him in the movie. It’s a moment for the audience.” But he did bully his way into the movie.
Whether a Trump cameo would receive the same reaction from an audience today is debatable, but back in 1992, audiences seemed to have been generally thrilled by it. The moment is an extremely quick one, and aside from an incident involving the cameo being cut from a Canadian broadcast of the film, the scene has remained a permanent part of the sequel.
With the 30th anniversary of Home Alone being marked this November, it’s strange to see just how much public perception has changed toward Trump. Few could have guessed back when Home Alone 2 first arrived that the man with the cameo would go on to become the president of the United States. It will certainly be interesting to see how the cameo is regarded in another 30 years’ time.
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