Home Sweet Home Alone's Aisling Bea & Archie Yates on Nods to Home Alone

From director Dan Mazer (Dirty Grandpa), the Disney+ original film Home Sweet Home Alone continues the beloved film franchise by following Max Mercer (Archie Yates), a young boy who has been left home alone when his family leaves for the holidays in Japan. At the same time, parents Jeff (Rob Delaney) and Pam McKenzie (Ellie Kemper) believe that Max has a priceless but unusual family heirloom of theirs and that they must do whatever it takes to get it back from the Mercer home, if only they can survive everything that Max puts them through to keep them out.

At the virtual junket for the film, Collider got to chat with co-stars Yates and Aisling Bea (who plays Max’s loving mother, Carol) for this interview, which you can both watch and read, about what it was like to get to put Delaney and Kemper through so much, finding the mother-son bond, how Yates has grown as an actor since his debut in Jojo Rabbit, getting to do the big family scenes, and all of the cracking up that happened on set.

Collider: This movie is so fun. Archie, especially as a kid, this seems like a dream movie where you can just do things to people and not get in trouble for it.

ARCHIE YATES: Yes, I do enjoy inflicting pain on other people, two in particular.

When you read the script and all of these things that you’d get to do to those two individuals, were there any that you were most excited about getting to do to them?

YATES: I was probably most excited about shooting Rob [Delaney] with a pool ball. As far as the most hype I had for the scenes, it had to be shooting Rob with a pool ball canon. I felt like I was a professional hitman with six rounds.

AISLING BEA: And then, Rob had this disgusting makeup on with the boil. He would just walk around with that all the time, and it was really hard to have a conversation with him. It was quite disgusting.

YATES: It looked like a really bad case of Dr. Pimple Popper.

BEA: It was really disgusting. So, that was an odd day at work.

RELATED: New ‘Home Sweet Home Alone’ Trailer Focuses on the New Criminals, Played by Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney

Aisling, what was it like for you to work with Archie Yates and find that bond, playing his mother? Did you guys find that really quickly?

BEA: Yeah, I think it was quite easy, actually. We got along straight away, very well . . . I think it was a giant honor for him to get to work with me. He was really excited. We got along straight away. I think that’s really important, in any acting dynamic where you’re playing something and you have to quickly establish that there’s a relationship already, whether it’s a romance or a marriage or a mother and son, or whatever it is. You want the audience to believe that this isn’t two actors meeting for the first time, so that made it a lot easier.

Archie, your first movie was Jojo Rabbit and it’s been a little bit of time since then. Do you feel different, as an actor, now? What was it like to have this experience for you? Did you feel the responsibility of leading a movie?

YATES: So, I have matured a lot since Jojo Rabbit. The roles are maturing with me. Now, I’m turning into a teenager pretty soon, like in February.

BEA: How did it feel, when you were first acting in Jojo Rabbit?

YATES: I was blown away, nervous and excited, all at the same time. I’m gradually getting more used to it now, I feel, with every single role that I do. I’m just so happy that I get to try out new things. Now that I’ve done two comedy films, I wanna start trying out drama, maybe action, maybe horror.

Now that you’re part of the Disney family, they can make you a superhero, at some point.

YATES: I have the natural superhero curl.

BEA: That’s so true. You are Clark Kent, naturally. You could be a young Clark Kent. Take off your glasses. Absolutely, no idea who he is. It’s unbelievable. Put them back on. Incredibly transformative.

Archie, this character is mischievous and he’s resourceful. Do you feel like you are both of those things yourself? Do you feel like you’re one more than the other? Do you feel like you’re neither of those things?

YATES: Resourceful, yeah. Mischievous, not so much. Curious, yes. I know when I can do things that will get me into trouble, and I don’t do them.

BEA: Yes, that’s fair. He’s a very good kid. But he’s also collecting lots of science data for explosions and stuff like that, at the moment.

Aisling, what was it like to do some of these big, loud, chaotic family scenes? There are a lot of people in some of these moments.

BEA: Yeah. There are the obvious moments that are at nods to the first movies, thematically. From a shot point of view, something like following a child’s eyes around the family and the Christmas noise and the travel, is a real cinematographic homage to the first movies. To be a part of that, being brought around the house and discovering all of the characters through a child’s eyes with the camera following them, it was always a bit nerve-wracking. When the camera came around, you don’t want to look at the camera by accident, and then the whole thing is ruined. But those were really nice to do, as a collaboration, with all the different moving parts. It’s quite fun because it keeps it really fresh and alive on set.

Was there a lot of like cracking up on this set? Were there a lot of laughs during takes?

BEA: When we were doing that particular scene, actually, Pete Holmes’ character is asking the home bot [questions], and he did loads of different versions of that. That was really funny. Every time, he’d do a new one and we’d all slightly be waiting, half in character and half as ourselves, to see what Pete Holmes would say, this time around.

Home Sweet Home Alone is available to stream at Disney+.

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Christina Radish (5060 Articles Published)

Christina Radish is a Senior Reporter at Collider. Having worked at Collider for over a decade (since 2009), her primary focus is on film and television interviews with talent both in front of and behind the camera. She is a theme park fanatic, which has lead to covering various land and ride openings, and a huge music fan, for which she judges life by the time before Pearl Jam and the time after. She is also a member of the Critics Choice Association and the Television Critics Association.

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