“Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” was the 1992 sequel to “Home Alone.” The movie starred Macaulay Culkin in his star-making role as Kevin McCallister. The sequel also featured a cameo from Donald Trump, then the owner of New York’s Plaza Hotel. Chris Columbus, who directed both movies, told Business Insider that Trump forced his way into the movie, which wasn’t standard at the time.
Columbus said that Trump’s appearance was required so that the team could shoot in the hotel. He explained, “We wanted to shoot in the lobby. We couldn’t rebuild The Plaza on a soundstage.”
Typically, a production team could pay a fee to use a physical location, but Trump wanted more than just money. “We paid the fee, but he also said, ‘The only way you can use the Plaza is if I’m in the movie,’” Columbus continued. “So we agreed to put him in the movie.”
Columbus went ahead and shot the scene, but wasn’t sure if the scene would make the final cut until the movie was tested with an audience. They reacted more positively than a crowd might today.
“People cheered when Trump showed up on-screen,” Columbus said. “So I said to my editor, ‘Leave him in the movie. It’s a moment for the audience.’ But he did bully his way into the movie.”
The interview dates back to 2020, when Columbus spoke to the outlet about the process of making both holiday classics. The director admitted that he took on the first “Home Alone” film after backing out of shooting “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase.
“If you look back at that situation with ‘Christmas,’ it was fraught with pain and tension with Chevy Chase, but I needed the job desperately,” Columbus said. “I had just come off a film that performed horribly, critically and commercially (‘Heartbreak Hotel’), and I thought maybe I would never direct again.”
He received the script for “Home Alone” two weeks later. As Columbus put it, “The rest is history, but that is luck.”
Columbus also said that he added a key emotional moment to the movie: when Kevin’s neighbor, “Old Man” Marley, opened up about his granddaughter to Kevin at the Christmas concert. Columbus said, “I added the moment when Marley talked about not being able to see his granddaughter. I also added the very end of the movie when Kevin sees that Marley is reunited with his granddaughter. That is probably my proudest addition to the movie.”