EXCLUSIVE: Ally Maki and Director Dan Mazer on Making ‘Home Sweet Home Alone’

Home Sweet Home Alone is finally now out on Disney+. A pseudo-sequel to the Macaulay Culkin duology, the film presents a familiar concept in a contemporary manner. We spoke to stars Ally Maki and director Dan Mazer on the process of bringing a classic franchise back to life and what it was like to work with up-and-comer Archie Yates.

According to Maki, Mazer played a crucial part in fostering a working environment that allowed the cast to go crazy with improv.

Ellie and Rob just led that set with such warmth and hilarity. And I think having Dan Mazer as our director, who did Borat and Ali G., he really created such a fun atmosphere where he let us do a lot of what we wanted and that created the bond we have as a cast. It was so much fun.

There was so much improv. Something I would be like, “Wow! He’s really letting us go on and on.” There was some stuff that didn’t make the movie. I feel like Tim and I could have our own Home Alone short just because of all the scenes we filmed. We had so much fun.

Dan Mazer is a writer known for some of the raunchiest, and as he put in our conversation with him, filthiest comedy films of the past two decades. He elaborated on his process as a comedic filmmaker and how he incorporated it with the cast he had for the film.

In my casting process in whatever project I do, I like to make sure that the people I cast are funny in their own right that if we ever throw away the script, they can be brilliant. And obviously, in the stuff I’ve done with Sacha Baron Cohen, there’s so much improvisation. That’s the excitement of filmmaking; seeing what you can come up with on the day. And when you have Pete Holmes, Ally Maki, Kenan Thompson, Chris Parnell, as your supporting characters, not to mention Rob Delaney and Ellie Kemper, as a comic director it’s like having a toy box.

Archie Yates stars as Max Mercer, the Kevin McAllister analogue of Home Sweet Home Alone. Yates previously wowed audiences with his supporting role in the Oscar-winning Jojo Rabbit. Mazer revealed what it was like to work with Yates on his first big starring role.

We were in the middle of our search looking for Max Mercer. I auditioned lots of really talented kids. And then I saw Jojo Rabbit and had a thunderous moment where I fell in love with Archie Yates. It was like he was born to be on a film set. He walks on with absolute authority and total confidence. He slipped into the role effortlessly and made it his own. He was a treat to work with.

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