Donald Trump did not “bully” his way into a Home Alone 2 cameo, he has told his followers on his social media site, adding he was responsible for the film’s success.
The former US president was referring to an interview given by the film’s director Chris Columbus in 2020, where he claimed including Trump was a condition of being allowed to film inside the Plaza Hotel.
Columbus told Business Insider: “Trump said okay. 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.”
The second film in the series features perpetually missing Kevin McCallister (played by Macaulay Culkin) alone again and lost in New York, where he comes face-to-face once more with the Wet Bandits – the criminals who tried to rob his family home in the first movie.
Writing on Truth Social on Wednesday evening, Trump said: “30 years ago (how time flies!), director Chris Columbus, and others, were begging me to make a cameo appearance in Home Alone 2.
“They rented the Plaza Hotel in New York, which I owned at the time. I was very busy, and didn’t want to do it. They were very nice, but above all, persistent. I agreed, and the rest is history!
“That little cameo took off like a rocket, and the movie was a big success, and still is, especially around Christmastime. People call me whenever it is aired.
“Now, however, 30 years later, Columbus (what was his real name?) put out a statement that I bullied myself into the movie. 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?
“Because I was, and still am, great for the movie, that’s why! Just another Hollywood guy from the past looking for a quick fix of Trump publicity for himself!”
Explainer: All you need to know about Trump’s legal labyrinth
Chris Columbus is the real name of the film’s director, and his back catalogue includes Gremlins, Mrs Doubtfire, and the first two Harry Potter films.
In 2021, following the 6 January Capitol Riots, Culkin joined calls for Trump to be removed from the film altogether.
Matt Damon has corroborated Columbus’s claims, telling The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 Trump often made it a condition of filming in his properties to be given a cameo.
He added though that many productions filmed it and got permission to use the building, and left the scene on the cutting room floor.
The Home Alone films have become Christmas staples since the first one came out in 1990, and shot Culkin into stardom.
The second movie (in which Trump appears), titled Lost In New York, took more than $359m (£281m) worldwide.
Starring alongside the Republican were the likes of Joe Pesci, Tim Curry and Catherine O’Hara.