“This is it! Don’t get scared now!” These are the wise words of the young but resilient Kevin McCallister as he cocks his BB gun and prepares for a battle filled with booby traps made special for the robbers known as the Wet Bandits. Don’t be misled by the silly name; those two legitimately terrified youngsters as they watched through their fingers hoping Kevin’s tar, ice, fireballs, paint cans, and much more were enough to thwart the intruders in Home Alone. This 1990 film was penned by ’80s brat pack chaperone John Hughes, and directed by Chris Columbus, and it soon became a staple for many people’s top five Christmas films of all time. Home Alone and its sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York captured the hearts of audiences. It also sparked a franchise that spawned even more films after. A new Home Alone even came out in 2021 for Disney+, which had an original McCallister in its cast playing a not-so-helpful police officer.
Today, we’re revisiting the McCallisters and company, to see what everyone got up to after Christmas. The Wet Bandits, or Sticky Bandits as they were briefly called, are even invited too. We’ll keep the traps to a minimum, though. Feel free to keep the change, ya filthy animal.
Macaulay Culkin (Kevin McCallister)
“Kevin!” Kevin McCallister, a rambunctious eight-year-old whose mild tantrum about the lack of cheese pizza positioned him to be left all alone, yes, at home, while his family hustled to the airport to make their flight. Culkin shines brilliantly as the quick-witted ingenious kid who had to protect his house from two scruffy, intimidating burgers, at once living the dream of any youngster and their worst nightmares, while making the best of both situations.
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It’s quite possible no one but Culkin could have pulled this off. For proof, look no further than the line, “You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?” That was improvised by the young star. And the map that his character uses to set up the traps, MauCalay drew it himself. Fittingly, Culkin hails from an acting family. His father was a former Broadway actor and his aunt is Bonnie Bedelia, who was in another Christmas classic, albeit a debated one, the action-packed Die Hard, playing John McClane’s estranged wife.
McCaulay began acting at just four, but his big break was in the 1988 film Rocket Gibraltar, his first film but one of Burt Lancaster’s final. Then the next year he co-starred with John Candy in a personal favorite, Uncle Buck, which was written and directed by none other than John Hughes, opening the door for this influential Christmas classic. It was so influential, apparently, Culkin still calls Catherine O’Hara ‘Mom’ to this day.
Culkin was the most successful child actor of the ‘90s, ranking second on VH1’s list of the “100 Greatest Kid-Stars,” just behind Justin Beiber, though it begs the question of how Beiber would match up against Joe Pesci, who can easily pull off a scary look on-demand, which he maintained by avoiding Culkin while on set, wanting the young actor to think he was mean. As for Macaulay, he went on to star in some other hits, like 1991’s My Girl, where bees made us all cry, and 1994’s Richie Rich. After playing the spoiled rich Richie, he stepped away from acting, wanting a normal life. Understandable; he’d already hosted SNL. The kid needed to try relaxing for once. He continued his education at a private high school. But did return to acting in 2003 with the film Party Monster.
Culkin has said that his father, Kit, was cruel and violent because “everything he tried to do in his life I excelled at before I was 10 years old.” He later took his parents to court to block them from controlling his trust fund, which was reportedly worth between $15 to 20 million. He has been estranged from his father ever since. Culkin was also one of the many boys who had a friendship with Michael Jackson. In 2005, he testified at Jackson’s trial for sexual child abuse, stating that he did sleep in a bed with MJ, but that he was never molested. Culkin went on to completely dismiss the allegations and is even the godfather of Jackson’s children Paris, Prince, and Michael Jr.
Today, Macaulay is 41 and is in a relationship with former Disney star Brenda Song. The couple has one child together. He’s still acting on occasion, like in season 10 of American Horror Story. In 2020, on his 40th birthday, Culkin tweeted, “Hey guys, wanna feel old? I’m 40. You’re welcome.” This tweet became the ninth most-liked tweet of all time. Yes, we do feel old, thanks, Kevin.
Joe Pesci (Harry)
Harry was the hot-headed thieving leader targeting the McCallisters’ home, often heard yelling at his bumbling companion Marv. Joe Pesci left an impression on audiences, and Culkin too; during rehearsal for the scene where Harry attempts to bite off Kevin’s finger, Joe actually bit Macaulay, leaving a small scar.
Pesci was raised in Jersey and as a teen, was good friends Frankie Valli and Tommy Devito, even introducing the two to songwriter Bob Gaudio, helping form The Four Seasons. He also grew up with numerous wiseguys, paving the way for his wiseguy persona that we all love so much.
Pesci has quite the relationship with actor Robert De Niro and director Martin Scorsese, both of whom were so impressed with his performance in 1976’s The Death Collector that they tracked him down to co-star in Raging Bull as Joey LaMotta. Pesci was on the verge of giving up his acting career, which went on to enjoy a meteoric rise. Their relationship peaked with 1990’s Goodfellas and as a result, Joe took home an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Some other highlights are his litigious grit critic in My Cousin Vinny and 1995’s Casino. What an ending – yikes. We most recently saw Pesci in 2019’s The Irishman, again with his pals De Niro and Scorsese.
Pesci didn’t let the Four Seasons have all the musical fun. In 1998, he released his second album, and his first in 30 years, which was both humorous and serious. Today, Joe is in his late seventies, has been married and divorced three times, and although he swears like a sailor, Joe is reportedly one of the nicest actors in the industry, a wise guy, and a nice guy the yoots can look up to.
Daniel Stern (Marv)
Marv is the dim-witted, tall and awkward member of the Wet Bandits duo, and the closest thing they have to a social media agent, with how many nicknames he thinks up for them. Daniel Stern began his acting career on Broadway, including a True West production with Gary Sinise. His breakthrough role was in 1979, co-starring with Dennis Quaid in Breaking Away. The two actors would reunite nine years later for the film noir remake D.O.A.
In 1982, he was part of the five college friends chatting it up in Barry Levinson’s Diner. This Bethesda, Maryland-raised kid was right at home playing a Baltimorian. Some other notable gigs include 1991’s City Slickers, and even voicing adult Kevin Arnold on the coming of age program, Wonder Years. We most recently saw Stern in the Emmy-nominated Hulu series, Shrill. Today, he is 64 years old and spends free time creating bronze sculptures for many private commissions, gallery exhibitions, and art fairs.
John Heard (Peter McCallister)
Peter McCallister is Kevin’s father, a sweater-wearing comforting force of calm among the loud noise and bustle of a full house. He was added to the Home Alone cast because Chris Columbus had secured Culkin, Pesci, and Stern, so he was able to reach out to somewhat lesser-known favorites for the parents. His breakout role was a disturbed Vietnam War veteran Alex Cutter in Cutter’s Way. Other well-known roles include photographer George Cooper in C.H.U.D. in 1984, and then Tom Hanks’s adult corporate competitor in BIG.
In terms of television work, we saw him on The Sopranos as the troubled, corrupt detective working with Tony Soprano on the side. We last saw Heard in the film Imprisoned in 2018, which was sadly a posthumous release, as he died suddenly from cardiac arrest in July of 2017. John was 71 years old, and terribly, his estranged son Maxwell died just a few months before Heard at 22 years of age. A sad ending for a class act actor.
Catherine O’Hara (Kate McCallister)
Kate is the go-getter mother who lives out the previous John Huges film, Trains, Planes, and Automobiles, along with John Candy himself, trying to get home to Kevin. As a quick John Candy nod, it’s worth noting he completed this great Polka-loving role in just 23 hours of shooting, with the majority of lines being improvised by John.
Catherine O’Hara and John Candy had previously worked together in the ’70s with the Canadian series, SCTV, which earned her a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in 1981. Her career is just incredible. Some favorites include hers include the role of Delia in Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice, along with working alongside Christopher Guest in projects like 2000’s Best in Show. Recently O’Hara has won another Emmy Award, this time for her Moira Rose on Schitt’s Creek. She puts in one heck of a performance as a former soap opera actress who is more than over the top.
Today, Moira – no, wait, Catherine – is 67 years old, and has made it clear she has no plans of stopping. Her latest project is the 2022 film Argylle alongside Henry Cavill and Ron Howard’s daughter Bryce Dallas, and it’s safe to bet she has many fans who will excitedly watch anything this woman does forever.
Roberts Blossom (Marley)
While older audiences shook in terror at Jason with his giant chainsaw, kids had Old Man Marley with his snow shovel, the subject of rumors that terrified Kevin, though the old man ended up proving an invaluable ally against the Wet Bandits. Roberts Blossom considered this one of the high points in his career, saying kids would recognize him and ask “Aren’t you the guy . . .?” Yes. Yes, he is.
Some other highlights include a farmer in 1977’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and as Doc Dalton in the Clint Eastwood-led film Escape from Alcatraz in 1979. Blossom retired from acting in 1999 and spent his time writing poetry before passing away in 2011, at the age of 87.
Devin Ratray (Buzz McCallister)
Buzz is Kevin’s older brother with a mischievous toy chest filled with Playboy magazines and firecrackers galore. A chest every kid dreamed of. Devin started acting at the age of nine in the movie Where Are the Children?, a thriller of a different sort than Home Alone, though likely Harry and Marv would say otherwise.
Some older roles worth looking out for are Cole in 2013’s Bruce Dern-led film Nebraska, and he played Tinfoil Kevin in the Amazon reboot of The Tick. Yes Tinfoil KEVIN; it comes full circle. Even more so when you watch the 2021 Disney sequel, Home Sweet Home Alone, where Devin gets to be a McCallister once again. Officer McCallister, specifically. The revamp has its moments if you wanna check out the 45-year-old actor once again.
Angela Goethals (Linnie McCallister)
Linnie is Kevin’s older sister who, although she gives him a hard time about being incompetent, gets worried about Kev when he’s missing. Angela is good at being Macaulay Culkin’s sister; her first credit is one in 1988’s Rocket Gibraltar.
Angela was unable to rejoin the cast for Home Alone 2 as Linnie because she was a series regular in the Judith Light-led show – fresh off of Who’s the Boss – titled Phenom. Most recently, she had a season four-arc on the show 24. Today, she is 44 years old and has been married to Russell Soder since 2004, and the couple has two children together.
Kieran Culkin (Fuller)
We can’t forget Fuller, the bed-wetting younger cousin of Kevin’s, and Macaulay’s actual younger brother. Kieran has had one heck of a career as well. If you’re a TV buff, you have to be watching his HBO show, Succession. The 39-year-old actor was nominated for an Emmy for his role in 2020.
Yikes, we did it again, another cast revisit. This time, it was the spacious house and towering hotel of Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, with much of the same quirky cast for both to wrap up one of the best Christmas films of the ’90s. Like any true Christmas movie, it had a worthy soundtrack to go with it, and fittingly, John Williams received two Oscar nominations for his incredible score. But now it’s time for you to score this film. Does it make your Top Five Christmas flicks of all time? Do you enjoy any of its sequels? Have you followed any of these actors’ careers past the ’90s? Get in the comments and let’s discuss.