‘There Was Certainly A Resentment’: John Candy Was Paid Just $414 For His Iconic Home Alone Role

'There Was Certainly A Resentment': John Candy Was Paid Just $414 For His Iconic Home Alone Role

The Sweet but Unfair Deal

John Candy, the beloved comedic performer, graced our screens with his iconic roles in the ’80s and ’90s. He brought laughter to our lives through movies like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and Uncle Buck. When he appeared in the Christmas classic Home Alone, it felt like a treat for his fans. However, behind the scenes, Candy was paid a meager $414 for his role in the film, which was a bitter pill to swallow for such a talented actor.

John Candy’s Role in Home Alone

In Home Alone, Candy played the character Gus Polinski, a kind-hearted member of a traveling polka band. He helps Kate McAllister (played by Catherine O’Hara) get back to her son Kevin in time for Christmas. This heartwarming scene also pays homage to another John Hughes film, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, where Candy’s character assists a fellow traveler in need. Candy’s improvisations on set added an extra layer of comedy to his performance and made the crew laugh for hours.

The Low Pay Dilemma

Despite his popularity and his ability to bring joy to the set of Home Alone, Candy felt a sense of resentment towards the whole experience. In a behind-the-scenes documentary, it was revealed that he was paid only $414 for his role, and he was not happy about it. Director Chris Columbus confirmed that Candy held a grudge towards his pay, saying, “There was certainly a little resentment on John’s part.” It’s unclear if Candy ever received any additional compensation from the studio.

A Disappointing Paycheck

Candy’s frustration with his low pay is understandable, considering the massive success of Home Alone at the box office. The film won countless weekends and became a holiday classic. It’s surprising that he agreed to such a small sum, but it’s possible that he had a professional relationship with John Hughes, the writer of the film, that influenced his decision. Even years later, when Columbus and Candy worked together again on Only The Lonely, the actor couldn’t help but make cutting remarks about his pay.

Finding Joy in the Experience

Despite his dissatisfaction, Candy’s performance in Home Alone is memorable and continues to bring joy to audiences. His character, Gus, is one of the funniest created by John Hughes, and Candy’s talent shines through even with limited screen time. Home Alone also served as a sweet reunion with Catherine O’Hara, with whom he began his comedy career on SCTV.

A Legacy Lives On

John Candy tragically passed away a few years after Home Alone, but his spirit lives on in the hearts of those who watch the film every year. While he may not have been fairly compensated for his role, Candy’s legacy as a comedic genius remains untarnished. You can enjoy his performance in Home Alone by streaming it on Disney+. And if you’re a fan of John Candy, be sure to check out our feature on the best Candy movies for more of his great films.