Rob Schneider shares behind-the-scenes 'Home Alone 2' details: Donald Trump, Macaulay Culkin and more
By Gibson Johns
Dec 4th, 2017 at 5:25PM
Merry Christmas, you filthy animal!
It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since the release of "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York," but the 1992 film starring Macaulay Culkin indeed turns a quarter century this year and Fox Home Entertainment released a 25th Anniversary Edition of the movie to commemorate the milestone.
The movie is chock-full of major stars, too. Outside of Culkin himself, there's Joe Pesci, Catherine O'Hara, the late John Heard, Tim Curry and Rob Schneider, among a slew of other beloved names in Hollywood. Schneider, who played the Plaza Hotel Bellman in the flick, was just beginning his rise in the industry at the time and was a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" at the time. He would go on to star in films like "Deuce Bigalow," "Hot Chick" and "The Animal."
AOL Entertainment caught up with Rob Schneider over the phone to look back at his time filming "Home Alone 2," the movie's impact in the 25 years since its release and, yes, what he remembers about that Donald Trump cameo. Below is an edited excerpt of our conversation.
See photos of Rob Schneider through the years:
What do you make of the continued relevance of "Home Alone 2," especially around the holidays?
How dare you try to replace "A Wonderful Life" with this movie? [Laughs] But the kids that grew up with this movie really loved it, and now they’re showing it to their own kids. I get it. [Macaulay Culkin was] basically like the Shirley Temple of his generation -- the last real superstar kid who did comedy. There’s a reason for it! You got the idea that he knew he was going to be okay, and you rooted for him.
It seems like newer generations of children have also connected to it.
It connects with kids and parents. There’s a moral to it, and there’s a wholesomeness to it. Family comes first over everything, especially at this time of year. There aren't a lot of wholesome movies that get made anymore in Hollywood. So it's refreshing to feel see something wholesome -- with comedy! -- like this.
It’s also the only movie I’ve ever made that I was 100 percent sure it was going to be a hit. The first one was a smash, and on paper this was even better. It’s one of the few movies where the sequel is absolutely better than the first one. There’s no question.
You were a year or two into "Saturday Night Live" at the time, and your star was just beginning to rise, so being on set of this major Hollywood film must have taught you some important lessons. What did you learn on the "Home Alone 2" set that stuck with you?
I just remember thinking, if I’m standing next to Macaulay Culkin in a movie, people are going to see this. When I went to that first meeting, I didn’t know they were giving me the job. I was just starting in show business. At that point every time I had a meeting, I never got the job. I was still being used to being famous because of "Saturday Night Live." I remember being in that meeting and I thought I was just auditioning, but they gave me the job right there.
I didn’t tell "Saturday Night Live" that I was doing it, because I didn’t want them to say no! I just asked what time they shot, because "Saturday Night Live" was at night. For a couple of weeks, I didn’t sleep at all. I remember looking at my eyes during one show, and I was squinting the whole time. I had been up for 36 hours, but I didn’t give a s--t. I was young, so I could do that stuff then.
You worked specifically with Tim Curry a lot, as he was the so-called concierge. What do you remember about your time with him?
When I did my scenes, I would find one way to do it and do it the same way every take to try to get it perfect. But then I see Tim Curry do his lines, and he would do it seven completely different ways each time. And each one was great! He would walk away knowing they were all good, and he knew the directly would ultimately decide [which one made the final cut], so he wanted to give him the most choices possible. I went, "Holy s--t! This guy is amazing!" Every time he was on screen, I would watch him.
The film has reentered the conversation in the past couple of years because of Donald Trump's must-discussed cameo. You weren't in his scene, but what can you tell me about his time on set?
I was his eye line! Me and Tim Curry were on the other side at the desk, and when he turns around to look at Macaulay, I was his eye line. I remember thinking, "That’s kind of a long turn, isn’t it?" But they wanted to make sure people realized it was him, and it ended up being the right length. I remember thinking it was a little too long, though.
He was also nice enough to let us completely take over the Plaza. That was his hotel that he owned, and he let us run with it. I guess he knew it was a big franchise movie and that it would be good publicity for the place. And it has been! He seemed to be genial and definitely very happy to be in the movie. He was completely nice to us.
See photos of Macaulay Culkin:
Macaulay was really at the height of his fame during this movie, too. Did you guys connect on set?
We both knew we were the funny ones, you know? I knew that the pressure of this business from the movie level was totally different than what I had experienced with "SNL."
We were in a trailer once outside of the Plaza, and we were joking around. I was like, "Hey dude, I can make you say the word 'green.' One-thousand percent I can do it. Just watch." He said, "No you can’t." I go, "Absolutely I can. What are the colors of the American flag?" He says, "Red, white and blue." And I say, "I told you I could make you say the world 'blue.'" And he says, "You said 'green!'" And I went, "Got you!" That twisted his brain like crazy. [Laughs]
We became tight right away after that. I left the trailer, and then I turned around and saw him surrounded by three bodyguards surrounding him with 100 paparazzi approaching. And this was before the selfie stick! It was nuts. That was a lot of pressure for an 11-year-old.
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