How Donald Trump Really Got His Home Alone 2 Cameo

It may be hard to imagine, but there was once a time when a theater full of Christmas movie-goers would actually cheer at the sight of Donald Trump. At least, that's what Home Alone 2's director, Chris Columbus, claimed in a recent interview with Insider. However, the reason Trump got a cameo at all is much easier to understand. According to Columbus, he wanted to film in the lobby of The Plaza, since the setting couldn't be recreated on a soundstage. However, in addition to the fee for using the lobby, Trump insisted that "the only way you can use the Plaza is if I'm in the movie."

The Home Alone sequel came out in 1992 (the original film is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month!), the same year that Trump said in an interview with NBC that he would never run for president, which might help to explain why audiences at the time enjoyed the unexpected cameo so much (via Business Insider). After all, they didn't know that Trump had, in the words of the film's director, "bullied his way into the movie," along with several others (via People).

The truth behind Trump's other film cameos

If you think Home Alone 2: Lost in New York was the only time Trump "bullied" his way into a film, you'd be wrong. In fact, there's reason to believe most of his film appearances came from similar ultimatums. According to Matt Damon: "The deal was that if you wanted to shoot in one of his buildings, you had to write him in a part" (via The Hollywood Reporter). Not only that, but in at least one instance, Trump even insisted on his name being written into the script. 

Apparently the filmmakers of Scent of a Woman were none too happy about the Trump cameo policy, as Damon describes: "You have to waste an hour of your day with a bulls*** shot: Donald Trump walks in and Al Pacino's like, 'Hello, Mr. Trump!' — you had to call him by name — and then he exits." If you're trying to remember this moment from Scent of a Woman, don't bother. In an act of subtle pettiness, it never made it into the final cut of the film. In fact, this seems to have been a pretty common practice at the time, according to Damon: "You waste a little time so you can get the permit, and then you can cut the scene out, but I guess in Home Alone 2, they left it in." Makes you wonder how many Trump cameos we never wound up seeing because salty filmmakers cut them out.