Daniel Stern provided the voice of grown-up Kevin Arnold, searched for Curly’s gold, and fought C.H.U.D.s, but he’s best known for playing one of the two Wet Bandits, Marv, in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Those being two of the most popular (and upsetting) holiday movies of all-time, Stern’s been sharing behind-the-scenes information on his Facebook page.
On the painful stunts:
People often ask if all those crazy and PAINFUL things that happened on Home Alone were real. I’d like to start with this one because the unsung heroes of Home Alone were the guys that did our stunts. Yes they were real, but no, most of them didn’t happen to me. My stuntman’s name is Leon Delany and Joe Pesci’s stuntman was Troy Brown. And Troy and Leon are the real heroes in the movie, because everything you see really happened to them… I got a few bumps and bruises, but they took the brunt. The scariest one was in Home Alone 2 when Joe’s character falls through the air onto the top of a car and smashes in the roof. They had a crane that night and suspended Troy Brown about 15 feet above the car. On “action” they let Troy go and even though they had scored the roof so it would break away easily, the fall knocked Troy out. It was almost too violent to be funny, although in the editing it’s hysterical. Troy and Leon’s work in the movie is so iconic that when I’m shooting stunts on the shows I work on now the stunt men all refer to particular kinds of falls and stunts as “we need a Home Alone here.”
On his character’s relationship with Joe Pesci’s:
Harry and Marv were always intended to be a classic comic duo. John Hughes wrote it that way and Chris Columbus directed it that way… Joe and I bought into that into that idea from the very beginning. We had already done one other movie together called “I’m Dancing As Fast As I Can” so we were already friends, so when we got together for the first rehearsal we were already talking about what our comic duo was going to be. I think we both started with some of our favorite cartoon characters: Wile E Coyote, Bugs Bunny and other classic cartoons. Our physical types were as different as Laurel and Hardy and we set about making our own version of those guys. You’ll notice Joe even invented his own cartoon language that he spews when he gets really frustrated. The evolution of the characters and chemistry came from the love that we all had for the classic comic duos and from the brilliance of my dear friend and partner in crime, Joe Pesci.
On his parents’ reaction to the movie:
So a few weeks after Home Alone opened, I get a call from my parents telling me that they had seen the film. The film had opened to incredible reviews, lines at the movie theaters and #1 box office hit, but I knew that would have no effect on my parents’ reaction. The first time they ever saw me in a play in high school, I asked them what they thought and their reaction was, “It was incredibly sad to see that, for some reason, you feel the need to show off this way in front of people. Are you sure everything is okay with you?” Not what I expected. When I told them that I landed my first movie role in Breaking Away, their first words were “Why would they pick you?” Again, hoping for something a little more positive but my parents are the most humble people on this earth and wary of the ego or self-aggrandizing traps of show business, as am I.
I had so enjoyed the making of Home Alone and the audiences were howling with laughter, and my parents loved it too. They went on about the little boy and the mother and the neighbor and the music… everyone but me. Okay, I’ll bite. “What about me? Did you think it was funny?” Their reaction was thus- “Cape Cod. It is the same stuff you have been doing since Cape Cod”. And they were right.
To read the rest of the Cape Cod story, and other Home Alone tales, head to Stern’s Facebook. Unfortunately, Joe Pesci doesn’t add any commentary, probably because it would be too lewd even for the Internet.
(Via Daniel Stern)