BootLeg Betty

“Home Alone” Turns 25 Today

Biography
THE MOVIE’S CAST COULD’VE BEEN VERY, VERY DIFFERENT
November 18, 2015

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Remember Uncle Frank, who calls Kevin a jerk after his fight with Buzz? That part was originally written specifically for Kelsey Grammer, but he turned it down and Gerry Bamman took it on, even reprising the role again in Home Alone 2: Lost In New York two years later.

While it’s hard to imagine the movie now without Joe Pesci as bandit Harry Lime, his part was originally offered to Robert De Niro, who said thanks but no thanks.

Joe Pesci as bandit Harry Lime. Pesci really wanted Macaulay Culkin to be afraid of him, so he steered clear of the young actor when they weren’t shooting “Home Alone.”

Joe Pesci as bandit Harry Lime. Pesci really wanted Macaulay Culkin to be afraid of him, so he steered clear of the young actor when they weren’t shooting “Home Alone.”

The actors considered to play Kevin’s parents were among Hollywood‘s biggest names. Considered for Kate McCallister, played by SCTV vet Catherine O’Hara, were Diane Keaton, Jodie Foster, Jessica Lange, Carrie Fisher, and Bette Midler, among others. And the dad could’ve been Kevin Costner, Sean Penn, Chevy Chase, Tom Hanks, or Jack Nicholson; any of those choices would have made it a very different movie. John Heard ended up in the role, and initially complained about it; a few years later when they were shooting the sequel, he broke character to apologize directly to director Chris Columbus for his bad attitude, and since the cameras were already rolling, Columbus has his apology recorded.

Even though John Hughes wrote the Home Alone script specifically for Macaulay Culkin, Columbus still auditioned over 100 actors for the part; just to make sure he really had the right kid.

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