Home Alone is one of cinematic history’s most popular and beloved Christmas movies. The story of young Kevin McCallister being left alone by accident on Christmas has enchanted and entertained millions since its release in 1990. The film was such a box office smash that it spawned another hugely successful movie, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York,” and launched Culkin to international stardom.
The path for the child sensation wasn’t always easy, as Culkin dealt with drug and alcohol issues in his teen and adult years. However, Culkin emerged from the other side of his addiction, and now, at 43, he is celebrating a huge milestone. The “My Girl” star celebrated his new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Friday, and he had a very special surrogate family member with him.
Catherine O’Hara, who played Kevin’s forgetful mother in both movies, was on hand to give a speech at the ceremony, reminiscing about the 33 years since Home Alone. O’Hara said: “Home Alone was, is and always will be a beloved global sensation … the reason families all over the world can’t let a year go by without watching and loving Home Alone together is because of Macaulay Culkin.”
The film was directed by Chris Columbus and starred Hollywood legend Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, and the late John Heard. While the film featured Hollywood heavyweights, it was carried by Culkin’s performance as the erstwhile Kevin McCallister. O’Hara spoke about the performance Culkin gave, calling it a “perfect performance” and raving, “I know you worked really hard, I know you did, but you made acting look like the most natural thing in the world to do.”
O’Hara noted Culkin’s sense of humor, which is unusual for a child actor. She described his performance as “sweet and twisted, yet totally relatable” and described that sense of humor thusly: “It’s a sign of intelligence in a child and a key to survival at any age.“
It is a key skill that helped Culkin survive the pitfalls of being a child star. Despite drug and alcohol issues and a lack of work, Culkin persevered, and his movie mom had this to say: “Macaulay, congratulations. You so deserve your star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And thank you for including me, your fake mom who left you home alone not once but twice, to share in this happy occasion. I’m so proud of you.”
It was an emotional moment for all involved as Culkin wiped away tears in front of his fiancee and their two young children. During his acceptance speech, Culkin paid homage to his movie mom: “Thanks for all your kind words and your stories and stuff. You know, you made my kids’ dad, their papa, look good. And the most important thing to me is also that their papa understands that he wasn’t always his papa; he used to be a kid too, you know?”
To wrap up his speech, in ultimate holiday fashion, Culkin unearthed one of the most memorable lines in the history of holiday movies. He said: “To wrap things up, and in the spirit of the holiday season, I just wanna say Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.” It was a delightful and heartfelt moment for one of the most beloved characters of the 90s. Kevin McCallister will always be one of the most memorable Christmas performances, and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is well deserved.
Featured image: By Matt Biddulph – Crop from File:Adam Green duetting with Macaulay Culkin.jpg, originally posted to Flickr as Adam Green duetting "Wind Of Change" with Macauley Culkin, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11457429
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