Home Alone director says the movie’s most iconic moment ‘happened by accident’

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With the countdown to Christmas officially on, we won't have to wait much longer until Home Alone is back on our screens.

The iconic film is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its release this year and Kevin McCallister's attempts to fight off two bungling burglars remains a staple in the festive TV guides three decades on.

To celebrate the milestone, director Chris Columbus spoke to Insider about some of the behind-the-scenes secrets we never got to see as fans – from how one action shot was actually hand-painted into the film to Donald Trump "bullying" his way into the sequel.

But one of the biggest revelations for fans was the director's admission that perhaps the most iconic image associated with the film was never planned to happen at all.

Columbus said the crew were left laughing hysterically at Macaulay's reaction on the first take

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During the scene when Macaulay Culkin's character is providing commentary to his morning routine in the mirror, he finishes by slapping on some aftershave and screaming with his hands clasped to his face.

The image is even recreated on the film's cover – but when asked if the moment was improvised, Chris Columbus said: "Kind of on set, because he wasn't supposed to do that.

"If you put something on your face that burns, most people move their hands right away. So my direction to him was when you pat your face, move your hands and scream. And I think it was the first take, he kept his hands on his cheeks. We all started laughing hysterically.

Donald Trump's appearance was part of the deal allowing cameras inside The Plaza Hotel

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"We did it a couple more times with his hands off his face, but my editor, Raja Gosnell, he cut that take into the first cut that I saw and it was in there forever. It's funny, the iconic moment from Home Alone was an accident."

Columbus also revealed how they were able to animate the scene where Marv – played by Daniel Stern – pokes his head through the dog door and gets shot in the forehead by Kevin's BB gun.

He said the production team paid "a man living in his mother's basement" $600 dollars to hand-paint the pellet into six frames, from it leaving the gun to the moment of impact.

And regarding Donald Trump's appearance in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the director said the future President demanded a cameo in exchange for filming at The Plaza Hotel, which he owned at the time.

Columbus said when they screened the film for the first time, people cheered when he appeared, so they decided to leave it in – despite admitting he did "bully his way into the movie".

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