In an email interview to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary, Pesci, 79, says that retaining the original cast and crew from 1990’s Home Alone for the second installment gave the entire production “the same, if not more, energy and enthusiasm as the original.”
The Academy Award-winning actor cited “more spontaneity and creativity on the set” since everyone on Home Alone 2 had worked together in the past.
“It was a nice change of pace to do that particular type of slapstick comedy,” Pesci says, though he noted that his forays into comedy before Home Alone included roles in 1983’s Easy Money and 1989’s Lethal Weapon 2.
Home Alone 2 follows Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) one year after the events of the original Home Alone as he accidentally boards a flight to New York City when his family goes on vacation to Florida for Christmas.
Sure enough, Kevin’s run-in with criminals Harry (Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) pave the way for holiday-themed hijinks in Manhattan, providing for a beloved hero-villain dynamic between then-child actor Culkin, now 42, and Pesci’s villain.
Pesci notes that he did not “want it to come across on the screen that we were in any way friendly” while shooting scenes with the young star.
Kevin deals Harry a significant amount of pain throughout the original Home Alone movies, and Pesci says that he did actually sustain a significant injury in a memorable scene in which Kevin’s booby traps set Harry’s hat on fire.
Pesci only appeared in the first two Home Alone movies; the four sequels made after 1992 include new casts and storylines.
Asked whether he would ever consider reprising his role as Harry for a future installment in the franchise, the actor says that it would be “difficult to replicate” the innocent aura of the original films.
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York is currently streaming on Disney+ as part of the streaming service’s “Happy Holidays” collection.