At Christmas time, the Looney Tunes cartoons brought to life that are the Home Alone movies remain a delight. A couple of years ago, the director of the first two movies gave an interview to Business Insider about them. Specifically, Chris Columbus talked about Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, and that cameo from a former US President, way before they ran for office.
New York businessman, real estate mogul, and hotel owner Donald Trump meets Kevin McAllister in the foyer of the Trump-owned Plaza Hotel, a key location for the movie.
Of this cameo, Columbus said:
“Like most locations in New York City, you just pay a fee and you are allowed to shoot in that location. We approached The Plaza Hotel, which Trump owned at the time, because we wanted to shoot in the lobby. We couldn’t rebuild The Plaza on a soundstage.
Trump said OK. We paid the fee, but he also said, ‘The only way you can use the Plaza is if I’m in the movie’. So we agreed to put him in the movie, and when we screened it for the first time the oddest thing happened: People cheered when Trump showed up on-screen. 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.”
This was quoted again this year by Deadline as they talked about festive movies, and it came to the attention of the ex-President. His version of events is somewhat different::
“Nothing could be further from the truth. That cameo helped make the movie a success. But if they felt bullied, or didn’t want me, why did they put me in, and keep me there for over 30 years?”
Trump adds that they begged him to appear and that he didn’t want to do it as he was too busy, but the filmmakers were, in his words, “persistent”.
Meanwhile, Trump’s predecessor President Barack Obama has revealed his favorite movies of 2023 in what he has made an annual tradition. He called out three movies that he produced via his Higher Ground label as part of the list. The highly acclaimed Colman Domingo-led biopic Rustin, the Julia Roberts and Mahershala Ali-led thriller Leave the World Behind, and the musician documentary American Symphony all made his list.
“I’m biased since these movies were produced by Higher Ground, but these are in fact three of the best films I saw this year.”
Other movies on his annual list were The Holdovers, Blackberry, Oppenheimer, American Fiction, Anatomy of a Fall, Monster, Past Lives, Air, Polite Society, and A Thousand and One. When releasing the list, he went on to discuss the strikes that shit down the industry this year:
“Earlier this year, writers and actors went on strike to advocate for better working conditions and protections. It led to important changes that will transform the industry for the better. Here are some films that reflect their hard work over the last year.”
The industry is yet to fully recover from those strikes and is expected to see a dip of over $1 billion in next year’s box office takings, largely due to content lag.
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