Home Alone’s Devin Ratray Talks About When He Met Michael Jackson
With the film celebrating its 25th anniversary this month (which includes a special, limited theater run), we caught up with Devin to talk about his memories working on the Home Alone series, that time he met Michael Jackson on the set of Home Alone 2, and how often people recognize him on the street—and he even manages to give us some information on Steven Soderbergh’s ultra-secretive HBO project Mosaic that he’s a part of.
What’s your favorite story from the Home Alone era?
Michael Jackson came to visit the set of Home Alone 2. That was a pretty memorable day.
Please go on.
It was a Saturday rehearsal, we were just rehearsing a small scene. It was us running out of the house getting into our vans. When I got out of the transport van, Macaulay came up to me and said, “Come here, I want you to meet somebody.” He wouldn’t tell me who, but he was very excited. I followed him into the back of one of the prop airport vans that was there, and in the backseat of the van was Michael Jackson—long gray overcoat and gray fedora and sunglasses. This is seven o’clock in the morning on a Saturday, in February, in the middle of Illinois. I didn’t know what to do or say. But suddenly I’m shaking Michael Jackson’s hand without the glove on. What do I say? I said “Hi, I’m Devin and I play Buzz.” He said, “I know, it’s a real pleasure to meet you!” And I just stood there and I said “Yes, Michael Jackson, it is a real pleasure to meet me.” That kind of made him smile. I was able to make him laugh and that brought his guard down a little.
The only thing I thought to say, I had brought my video camera with me—I was making my own sort of documentary behind the scenes and had this big VHS 1992 video camera and I just said out loud, “Hey, do you think I could interview you later on camera?” He said as long as Macaulay was there. So later, while we were waiting to do another rehearsal running out of the house, Michael comes into the house to use the bathroom. Macaulay said it would be a good time to ask him some questions, so I asked him some questions on camera. I’ve had that tape for like twenty years.
Yeah I never showed it to anybody.
I was going to say, have there been plans to try and turn that into something for the public or are you just trying to keep it for yourself?
I was keeping it mostly for myself. It wasn’t until Michael passed away that Entertainment Tonight contacted me. They’d heard rumors of me having this tape. I thought now would be a good time to pay tribute to the man. I didn’t want to profit from it, you know? I didn’t accept money or anything. I just thought it would be a good time for a tribute because nobody had ever seen it before—it was just sort of my little piece of history and my connection with Michael.