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Home Alone’s Most Iconic Moment Was Improvised By Macaulay Culkin

Joanna Freedman

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Home Alone’s Most Iconic Moment Was Improvised By Macaulay Culkin

Featured Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

We're sure we don't need to list off all the iconic moments in Home Alone. It's a Christmas staple for very good reason.

From Harry's head getting blowtorched by a booby trap to Kevin's mannequin family to that tarantula scene, the 30 year old movie is packed full of truly iconic moments, which we will never tire of watching year after year.

But did you know that perhaps the most famous scene of all was actually completely improvised by Macaulay Culkin?

Yep, speaking to Insider, director Chris Columbus explained how Culkin had totally winged the moment where he puts cologne on his face and then screams into the mirror.

Here it is, in case you need a reminder:

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When quizzed on when he realised the moment would be successful on screen, Columbus replied: "Kind of on set, because he wasn't supposed to do that. If you put something on your face that burns, most people move their hands right away.

"So my direction to him was when you pat your face, move your hands and scream. And I think it was the first take, he kept his hands on his cheeks. We all started laughing hysterically."

He added: "We did it a couple more times with his hands off his face, but my editor, Raja Gosnell, he cut that take into the first cut that I saw and it was in there forever. It's funny, the iconic moment from Home Alone was an accident."

For those who aren't familiar (how?!) Home Alone tells the story of Kevin (Culkin), an eight-year-old boy, who must defend his (rather large and bougie) home from two burglars after his family accidentally leaves him behind when they go on a Christmas holiday.

Home Alone is a yearly Yultide staple in people's houses (Credit: 20th Century Fox)
Home Alone is a yearly Yultide staple in people's houses (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

The cast also includes Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as the two burglars, as well as John Heard and Catherine O'Hara.

The conversation comes as Disney plans to remake Home Alone for Disney+, as part of a long string of shows getting the reboot treatment.

Already signed up to the new spin on the classic is Jojo Rabbit's Archie Yates, Kenan Thompson (from Kenan and Kel), Rob Delaney, and Ellie Kemper.

However, director Columbus is still convinced a remake is not the right move.

The 1990 film made Macaulay Culkin a household name (Credit: 20th Century Fox)
The 1990 film made Macaulay Culkin a household name (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

"What's the point?" he asked. "I'm a firm believer that you don't remake films that have had the longevity of Home Alone.

"You're not going to create lightning in a bottle again. It's just not going to happen. So why do it? It's like doing a paint-by-numbers version of a Disney animated film - a live-action version of that. What's the point? It's been done."

Topics: TV News, TV Entertainment, Home Alone

Joanna Freedman
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