Room service for one! Kevin McCallister met a lot of new faces when he got lost in The Big Apple — including the Pigeon Lady and Cedric. Rob Schneider, who played the bellman in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, looked back on the John Hughes-written film in honor of its 25th anniversary.
Schneider, now 54, was just starting his career when he landed a role in the Home Alone sequel in 1992.
“Because I was on Saturday Night Live they wanted to meet with me in New York. I thought it was just a meeting but they said, ‘Hey, we would love to have you in this movie.’ I thought I was just auditioning not getting a role. And it was just a blast,” the actor recalls exclusively to Us Weekly. “I just said to myself, ‘Look, I’m in my twenties I don’t need to sleep. I can work on this show during the day and then Saturday Night Live at night.’ They gave me a hotel room between setups so I would take a little 20-minute nap and I got through it.”
Schneider was a big fan of the original movie, which starred Macaulay Culkin (Kevin McCallister), Joe Pesci (Harry) and Daniel Stern (Marv). This time around, Kevin would meet Cedric and Concierge (Tim Curry) when he stayed at The Plaza Hotel.
“You hope for these things,” Schneider says. “I think for the kids who grew up watching it who now have kids I think it’s a nice thing to share. It’s wholesome. There’s not a lot of wholesome movies and truthfully who was the last male child comedy star? It was him! It was a special thing and he was a special kid. It’s the only movie I’ve ever done that I was 100 percent sure it was going to be a smash hit. Because the first one was.”
The franchise made Culkin a household name. And while filming, Schneider got a taste of what the child star went through at the height of his success.
“I remember talking to him and joking around and we were all in wardrobe and makeup and [and ready] to walk to set. I leave the trailer and he puts his face in the middle of a bodyguard’s back — literally — with other bodyguards [around] and they moved four inches at a time. They slowly stepped down the stairs of the trailer and then crossed the street at a snail’s pace while 100 paparazzi — this was way before selfies — with cameras on sticks trying to take pictures of this guy,” he tells Us. “And I was just thinking, ‘Wow, that’s got to be tough for anybody.’”
For more, read the rest of his Q&A below:
US: Have you seen Macauley recently?
RS: I saw him when he hosted Saturday Night Live and I think he was great and happy to be there. Always a sweet and very professional kid. I bumped into him another time and just gave him a hug. I think when people work together in a close knit way like a film there’s an intimacy of actors working on the same project. It’s kind of like time stands still or it feels like yesterday. But I haven’t seen him in years. I will say he was lovely. He was just a sweetheart to work with.
He really knew where the jokes were. … I do think we were working in a little bubble. We were very protective inside the hotel and I was dressed — literally I just went into the closet and they got me a bellman outfit. I was really born to be a bellman I guess because every one of those outfits fit me perfect.
US: You got the outfit from The Plaza?
RS: Yea, they were The Plaza bellman uniforms. It even had the tag. The tag on the shirt was Cedric. I mean it was literally from the hotel and so that was my name in the movie.
US: What was it like working with Tim Curry?
RS: [He] is a genius. Talk about your early movies getting to work with a guy who’s like a comedic maestro. This guy was just wonderful to work with. He changed my whole idea about acting and comic acting. When you first start in acting you think you find one way to do it and you try to do it over and over again the best way you can. That’s the way I just assumed you do it. And then I see him. He would do a scene and do seven completely different takes and all of them were fantastic.
[Once I] talked to the prop guy, “Hey, give me a handful of cash.” So I’m counting money and he goes, “Cedric, don’t count your tops in front of the cliental.” And the next thing you know it’s in the movie. If you’re on camera always do something. I learned that from Tim. If he had lines or not his expressions would always just steal the scene. … Tim is just one of those guys who raises your game. When you stand next to him you’re better.
US: Have you returned to The Plaza since?
RS: A bunch of times I’ve been in there and I saw the different places that we had worked. I’ve been in the room where Kevin [stayed] and we did the scene where he’s watching the movie and we all think we’re going to get shot. Which was a very funny scene. It brings back the memories. It doesn’t seem like 25 years ago.
US: What was it like to work with Donald Trump?
RS: He did like nine or 10 takes looking back confused like what is the kid [Kevin] doing by himself in the hotel. He was famous at that time as a real estate mogul and I think liked the idea of being in a big movie. It was a cute little thing. I didn’t think it was harmful. If you would have said who was going to be president of the United States on that set I would have guessed Dana Ivey more than him. Or Macauley. I think he was pleasant and exceedingly happy to have us all there. Couldn’t have been nicer.
His hotel gave me a room to sleep in during the day, which was really necessary. I remember that first week I worked on the movie that weekend was Saturday Night Live and I think I had been up for like 132 hours. The benefit was I had no energy to doubt myself at all. I remember watching the playback and my eyes were like a slit. You can barely see my eyes at all because I was that exhausted.
US: Where do you think your character would be today? Still working there?
RS: Yes, absolutely! I think I would have gotten Tim Curry’s character fired. … Probably undermined him and took over. At least doubled my tips!
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