Old School Americana & Nostalgia

Movies

The ‘Home Alone 2’ Stunt That Left Joe Pesci With a Severe Injury

The ‘Home Alone 2’ Stunt That Left Joe Pesci With a Severe Injury

The idea of the entire Home Alone franchise is young boy absolutely brutalizes the bad guys. Only the original duology, however, features the legendary Joe Pesci. Playing the dastardly Harry Lime, Joe Pesci fills the role of one of the iconic Wet Bandits in Home Alone (and later the Sticky Bandits in Lost in New York).

Through the events of both films, Pesci’s character faces a wide range of torturous stunts at the hands of 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (McCauley Culkin). Home Alone 2, however, turned up the heat on the slapstick humor, putting the Bandits in even more brutal scenarios than the original.

It should come as no surprise that falling victim to these booby traps in the name of comedy left both Joe Pesci and his Home Alone costar Daniel Stern (who plays his partner in crime, Marv) with countless bumps and bruises. One stunt in particular, though, caused Joe Pesci serious harm.

The scene in question? The one where Kevin lights Harry’s hat (and scalp) on fire with a blowtorch.

“In addition to the expected bumps, bruises, and general pains that you would associate with that particular type of physical humor, I did sustain serious burns to the top of my head during the scene where Harry’s hat is set on fire,” the Irishman actor told People.

“I was fortunate enough to have professional stuntmen do the real heavy stunts,” he clarified. Those “heavy” stunts, however, apparently didn’t include having his head set on fire.

In fairness, the close-up shot of Joe Pesci with a flaming hat atop his head is one of the most iconic of the franchise. It would’ve been a shame to have to shoot it differently to mask the fact that a stunt double was in the scene.

Joe Pesci Praises ‘Home Alone 2’

Today, the Home Alone franchise includes three theatrical releases, three TV movies, and three video games. And though Joe Pesci and his Home Alone costars signed off after the original sequel, he knew Lost in New York was a can’t-miss opportunity.

The second installment in the franchise gave “the same, if not more, energy and enthusiasm as the original,” Pesci gushed. Because the core actors were familiar with each other from the previous film, there was even more “spontaneity and creativity on the set” than before.

Home Alone wasn’t Joe Pesci’s first comedic effort. It was, however, his first foray into slapstick. “It was a nice change of pace to do that particular type of slapstick comedy,” Pesci said. “But the Home Alone movies were a more physical type of comedy, therefore, a little more demanding.”

Though Joe Pesci didn’t flat out refuse the idea of a return to the world of Home Alone, he admitted that the innocence of the 90s classics would be “difficult to replicate.”

“While you never say never, I think that it would be difficult to replicate not only the success but also the overall innocence of the originals,” Pesci said. “It’s a different time now; attitudes and priorities have changed in 30 years.”