Pesci: One Home Alone Scene Really Hurt

He says he was seriously burned when character's hat was set on fire
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2022 10:45 AM CST

Joe Pesci has fond memories of making two Home Alone movies—and a not-so-fond memory of sustaining a real injury from one of the many booby traps Macaulay Culkin's character set for the bumbling burglars played by Pesci and Daniel Stern. In an interview with People to mark the 30th anniversary of Home Alone 2, Pesci said he was injured in one of the movie's most iconic scenes. "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," he said. Harry's hat was also set on fire in Home Alone, which came out in 1990, CBS News reports.

Pesci tells People that in the scene where he was injured, he did the stuntwork himself, but he "was fortunate enough to have professional stuntmen do the real heavy stunts." Pesci said he remembers Culkin as 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," Pesci said, because he "wanted to maintain the integrity of the adversarial relationship" and didn't want it "to come across on the screen that we were in any way friendly."

The franchise continued beyond the first two films, but Home Alone and Home Alone 2 were the only ones to star Macauley, Pesci, and Stern, Variety notes. Pesci is now 79 and Culkin is 42. Pesci said that while he won't rule out playing Harry again, it's hard to see it happening. "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," he told People. "It's a different time now; attitudes and priorities have changed in 30 years." (Read more Home Alone stories.)

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