I had such a terrific time doing my first AMA last Christmas so I'm back for more much needed bonding. I'm not really here to promote anything but I have been having a blast this past week cheering on the Cubbies and reliving my role of Phil Brickma from Rookie of the Year - you can check out the first video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0y8RFTL4PM

This is a no holds barred AMA and I'm going to stick around as long as I can to answer your questions. Let's do this thing! AMA!

EDIT: Well, it's time to say goodbye folks. It's been so fun to hear your thoughts and tell a few stories and answer your questions. I am a little a hurt that I didn't get any "Sexiest Man Alive" questions, but we can save that for next time. Until then, all my love and gratitude for the life you've given me.

My Proof: https://twitter.com/RealDanielStern/status/787368149192585216

Comments: 250 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

TheGreatEasternYeti92 karma

Thank you for being so great in Home Alone 1 and 2. Those movies are sacred to me. My friends and I still get together mid December for a Home Alone party. Will you please join us this year?

thedanielstern99 karma

What's your address?

thedanielstern89 karma

and what is the attire?

thedanielstern86 karma

and should I bring anything?

thedanielstern99 karma

I could bring the tuna spaghetti?

shaft200769 karma

Do you still keep in touch with Joe Pesci or Macaulay Culkin?

thedanielstern181 karma

I haven't seen Macaulay since we finished doing publicity for Home Alone 2. But I see Joe once a year-ish. I follow everything they do because I'm fans of both of them as well as friends. Macaulay, if you're reading this, call me goddammit.

Mshewey2453 karma

Why don't I see you in movies anymore? Did you decide to take a step away or has Hollywood stupidly turned their back on you?

thedanielstern186 karma

I pop up on occasion when something tickles my fancy, but I've found I can't rely on show business for my artistic satisfaction so I've found many other things in life I spend my time doing... Sculpting, Farming, spending time with my family and other obligations.. but it's a long life so who knows what'll happen.

ThreeGuysNoLivesJOJ52 karma

Were there any stunt actors in Home Alone or did you do them all yourself?

thedanielstern158 karma

The stunt actors are the heroes of that movie. Leon Delaney was my stunt double, and Troy Brown was Joe's. Those guys took a beating like you wouldn't believe. Falling down stairs. Falling down two stories onto a stack of card board boxes. Being dropped from a crane on their back onto the top of a car. That one knocked Troy out and it was scary. I got to do plenty of fun stuff, the stepping on the Christmas ornaments was made possible because the bulbs were made of candy glass. Anything safe and easy I got to do but when it came time for the brutal stuff they called in Leon. Not one frame is computer generated in either of those movies.

Kraimoar45 karma

Is Joe Pesci funny?

thedanielstern117 karma

Is Joe Pesci funny? He's as funny as they come. He's a complicated man and his sense of humor can be rough, but I've never laughed harder with anyone in my life. When we were shooting our first movie together, the little known, "I'm dancing as fast as I can" Joe and I played inmates in a mental institution. Joe played a character who carried around a roll of maps of the universe, which had something to do with his character's obsession. During one late night scene around the ping pong table when we were all feeling tired and looking for a way to get reenergized, Joe jumped up on the ping pong table and pretended to snort the middle white line through the roll of his maps. I fell on the floor laughing and it's an image I'll never forget. Fortunately we were both cut out of the film.

EvanBlakely1138 karma

Do you do custom sculptures and if so how would one purchase one?

thedanielstern78 karma

Yes, I love to sell my sculptures and do commissions, you can find them on my website, which is really outdated at this point. (http://www.danielsternart.com/) But the information is correct but you can reach out there. The bronze stuff gets a little pricey, but I'm starting to work on a few lithographs that will be much more affordable.

rootlesswriter33 karma

What was the most wonderful year of your life?

thedanielstern128 karma

What was the best year of my life? Wow... I would say 1977 I was 19 years old and I was in a play in NYC, living my dream as an actor and I met my wife that year in a play. It changed the course of my entire life in every direction and all the years since and all the things we've done together... my kids being born... the art I created... the movies being made... so if I had to pick one I'd say that was the year it all started.

Meloosh1330 karma

Hey Daniel! Big fan! Is there any way you could be persuaded to do another installation of City Slickers? I would love to see you and Billy Crystal back together again.

thedanielstern69 karma

From your lips to God's ears. Nothing would be more fun than to get back in the saddle with Billy. He remains a dear, close friend. We've shared weddings, bar mitzvahs, new years eves, and funerals. I would love to bring the depth our friendship to the screen again one day.

respondin2u23 karma

What tv shows do you currently enjoy watching?

thedanielstern60 karma

Loved The Get down, Baz Luhrmann's new series. There's so much good stuff out there I can't even remember all the shows I've been watching. I just finished watching "Stranger Things" last night. David Harbour is a brilliant actor. I had a chance to direct him in Manhattan and I'm so glad to see him get a chance to show the world how great I think he is.

wildcard_joeker20 karma

After having seen you in the Home Alone films and in The Other Place on Broadway, I decided to give Very Bad Things a shot. I LOVED IT! You were absolutely fantastic! What was it like making that movie and working with that cast?

thedanielstern42 karma

Thanks for following the whole career. Very Bad Things is one of my all time favorite experiences. It was an absolute amazing cast with Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven, John Favreau, Leland Orser, Cameron Diaz, Jeanna Tripplehorn... but the driving force behind the insanity was Peter Berg. It was his first film that he'd directed and he was an inspiration from day one. We rehearsed a lot so that the bond between us was real. But Peter always said that the energy level of this movie starts at 10 and only goes up from there. He had the actors wound up tight every day... and that energy is what makes that film really special.

Not-A-Real-Subreddit20 karma

What does Joe Pesci smell like?

thedanielstern49 karma

hahahahahaha! Cigars and aftershave.

Tap_TEMPO18 karma

Hi Daniel, thanks for the AMA! Any funny moments from working on The Wonder Years? Still my favorite show of all time btw :)

thedanielstern55 karma

Hi Tap Tempo... The Wonder years was not only an opportunity to play a great part, it was also my chance to become a director. That was my time to interact with cast and crew the most. When I was narrating I was just in a recording studio in my pajamas. The crew was one of the best I'd ever worked with and I'm still friends with a lot of them. They never cease to give me crap about what a lousy dresser I am. One day they had a "dress like Danny" day, where they showed up in their worst torn shirts and pants and it warmed that they cared enough to bring themselves down to my level.

fightsfortheuser18 karma

As a kid I loved the movie Bushwacked, I remember watching it almost daily.

Any fun stories from the movie?

thedanielstern25 karma

Hundreds. I loved the kids. I loved the physical challenges and the physical comedy. I was actually supposed to direct the movie. A lot of people think working with kids is full of traps, but I love it... I really do. I love working with kids. Home alone... Rookie of the year... The Wonder years... and in Bushwhacked I had a whole pack of them. Being a child actor is a dangerous thing. Their fragile egos can get bruised both in success and in failure of their career. So I feel very protective of them. Each one of these kids was a very special young person and I watched them all grow up with the pride of a father. We lost Michael, which was tragic, but it doesn't dampen all the great times we had on set.

One interesting thing about working with kids is that they have much shorter work hours, so they were always sent home early. If you watch it again, one of my biggest challenges on the movie was the campfire scene. There were 8 kids who were supposed to be around the campfire but each of their work day had ended. I had 8 pieces of tape to show where all the kids were and had to remember who was who as the script supervisor read their lines. It was a surreal acting exercise.

Juniorc198617 karma

What's it like to be famous? Do you still go to parties or the oscars? Or have you distanced yourself over the years?

thedanielstern58 karma

Hi Junior... fame is a very tricky thing. Basically it scares the hell out of me because I'm a pretty shy person. I don't go to any "hollywood" parties or awards shows because it creates too much anxiety. But on the other hand the fame means I'm reaching my fans and that people are acting well to what I'm trying to do. And the doors that it's opened for me for both my professional life and personal life are astounding. It's opened doors for me all over the world, in a way I never would have had an opportunity to do if I wasn't famous. And over the years I've become more comfortable with whatever's left of my fame now as I have gotten older. But if I had the choice I would take the money and the work and leave the fame behind.

zangorn12 karma

Follow-up on that,

I would take the money and the work and leave the fame behind

There must be some fun encounters though. Do you have any good stories about fans approaching you, either in LA or when traveling?

thedanielstern98 karma

The craziest one that ever happened to me was in Baghdad. Christmas in 2003 I went to visit the troops in Iraq with my son, Henry. It was the early phase of that war and life in Baghdad was chaotic. We met the troops and stayed at the base. But one day they took us into town, suggesting I might want to buy some jewelry for my wife. Henry and I drove into down in a Humvee and pulled up at a jewelry store. As we got out of the Humvee and started to walk into the store, a group of Iraqi school children started to approach and to my amazement they started pointing at me and yelling MARV, my character from Home Alone. It was one of the most surreal moments of my life, but it gave me the understanding, not only of how fame can cross all boundaries, but much more importantly, how much laughter crosses these boundaries. They were sharing their love with me like all the kids everywhere else in the world.

Mr_Horse_17 karma

How can one heat up the ice cubes without them totally melting?

thedanielstern31 karma

Hold on let me ask Brickma. He said, "You gotta be FAST... you gotta get your pan FLAMING RED HOT... When it reaches 524 degrees place your bag of ice (still sealed) into the pan... be sure to wear gloves... and press the pan immediately to the part of your body that needs attention. Works like a charm!"

Mr_Horse_5 karma

you're the greatest!!!! LOL ... Wish u had a bigger role in My Blue Heaven but you always nailed every role u were in... def one of my all time fav actors. Thanks for everything DS!

thedanielstern22 karma

Thank you so much for you kind words. Interesting about My Blue Heaven... I've never seen that movie. I still get a residual check for 35 cents every year but I thought I was cut out of the movie, or so a letter from the director told me. Now I may have to check it out!

fatman0615 karma

Do you think this is the year the cubbies go all the way?

thedanielstern26 karma

Hell yes!

misternessiehaze14 karma

I've never heard my mother laugh as hard in my life than during the tarantula scene in Home Alone. How many takes did that scene have?

thedanielstern44 karma

Well that makes me laugh thinking about your mother laughing that hard. We probably did 6-7 takes. The tarantula blew the first couple of takes. Didn't know his lines, but eventually the scene gelled.

thedanielstern43 karma

and truthfully, once I had it crawling on my face and got through the first couple of takes, it didn't scare me anymore.

And for the record, the scream was real and it was me. I was trying to imitate the woman from Psycho in the showers. So either it was me or they took the audio directly from that scene.

Velorium_Camper13 karma

What hobby do you wish you could pick up?

thedanielstern39 karma

I'd love to do woodworking. I love the natural beauty of the wood and incorporating nature into art. But the tools scare the hell out of me. I'm afraid of all those power tools and lathes, that I'd do damage to myself.

NoMoreAnxiety12 karma

Hey Daniel, big fan. Tell us, what's your favourite food?!

thedanielstern31 karma

Favourite with a U... where are you from?

I've been married to a chef for close to 40 years. I eat like a king every night, except when she's away. So if I had to eat on thing for the rest of my life, I'd have to say "tuna spaghetti". That's my favorite thing. I could give you the recipe but I don't know if I want to give that away. It's changed my life!

NoMoreAnxiety16 karma

I'm from Ireland :)

Give us the recipe, Daniel. Do it for the fans. Do it, you filthy animal.

thedanielstern28 karma

Hahahaha! I don't mind sharing the wealth. The recipe is so simple even a dummy like me can make it. Make spaghetti. In another pan put in clam juice or some sort of broth. A can of tuna. Chopped up green olives. You cook some onions - I think you do that first. I believe there's something green in it... I think it's parsley and oregano and cilantro... and seasoned to taste. But usually my recipe for it is to heat up my wife's leftovers in the microwave. If you make it let me know how it goes and send pics!

NoMoreAnxiety4 karma

Tomorrow's dinner! Looking forward to it. Will forward pics! :)

thedanielstern21 karma

Make sure you send pics... you'll be amazed. Twitter them to me!

GeneralFod11 karma

Hey Daniel, I am a huge fan of Home Alone 1 and 2, and I also loved Rookie of the Year; all of those movies were part of my childhood, and I just wanted to thank you for being a part of them.

I found out recently that you were not only an actor in Rookie of the Year (as coach Brickma), but also the director of that movie; that kind of stunned my image of you, as I had no idea that you were not just an actor, but capable of directing movies as well.

So my question is, how was your experience on set with directing that movie (as well as acting in it) in comparison to just being an actor in any of the other movies you've been in?

thedanielstern14 karma

Truth be told, directing is the job I love the most. I have a lot of fun as an actor but I love the responsibility and the collaboration that comes with the job of director. You get to have your fingers everybody's pie working with the cinematographer, costumers, set design, music, editing, and every other art form and craft that goes into movie making. The funny part of directing Rookie of the Year as Brickam is that while I was commanding the set, making decisions left and right about all the facets of our 20 million dollar movie, the person everyone was looking to for answers was the guy who looked like Brickma. I'm not sure how the cast and crew took me so seriously, but I'm really proud of how it all came together.

Jokersall10 karma

Do you have any advice to the up and coming or wanting to be actors and actresses trying to make it to Hollywood these years?

thedanielstern30 karma

Yes! If you love it, go for it. But if you go for it, take it seriously. And most of all, save your money. If you get a chance to make a little bit of money as an actor keep squirreling it away because that money buys you time in the game. That's how I've always viewed it and time in the game is all you can hope for: the life of an artist.

Braddrum10 karma

What was it like working with John Hughes? Did you have much contact with him after the Home Alone films and do you miss him?

thedanielstern32 karma

I miss him dearly. We had a blast on both the Home Alone movies. And not only became friends but started working on another project together called The Bee, which I was going to be the director of. It was a story of a man trying to meet his work deadline, but becomes distracted by a bee in the house to the point where, in the process of trying to kill the bee, he reduces his house to ashes. Incredible physical comedy and jokes in the script. Technically it was a hard movie to make. CGI wasn't nearly what it is today and it was such a high concept of a one-man movie. John gave me the script while we were shooting Home Alone 2, and we developed it for the next year after that. We even got to spend a long weekend writing together at his farm outside of Chicago. I brought my daughter Sophie with me and it was the highlight of my life, getting to know his family a little bit, and him getting to know mine. We never got to make The Bee and I know there's a whole treasure trove of John Hughes scripts hidden away in his office somewhere that I'd love to get my hands on.

doodlebugkisses9 karma

Which movie did you like filming better Home Alone or Home Alone 2? Love your acting by the way.

thedanielstern19 karma

I loved them both for different reasons. The first one was the discovery of magic. We played it sort of scary in the first half then unleashed our Wile E. Coyote characters in the grand finale. But when we got to the second movie there was no pretending to be scary. The cat was out of the bag that we were idiots. And so the fun of Home Alone 2 was to be as ridiculous as we could for as long as we could. I've never had more fun in my life.

zombiecrat9 karma

Hello, sir! Little Monsters is my favorite movie from my childhood. I'm picturing tons of takes with such a young cast and a goofy as hell Howie Mandel. What was the set like on that one? Any funny stories?

thedanielstern18 karma

Well, frankly, I don't remember the filming as much as my life off camera there. We shot the film in Wilmington, North Carolina and I remember more about my time there than I do shooting the movie. I rented an apartment right near the beach and had a boogie board and was on it anytime I was off duty. The other thing I remember is dinner with the Savages. I already loved Fred and Ben and his parents from The Wonder Years and it was great to spend time with them away from Los Angeles in such a beautiful place.

Oh and there was a batting cage a block away that I spent most of my per diem at. But eventually getting good enough to hit a 95 MPH fastball consistently. I'm so glad you enjoyed the film. I did too.

dirty_dogggg7 karma

Who's your fave from Workaholics?

thedanielstern13 karma

No... I mean who do love more... Larry, Curly, or Moe? Who do you love more, Harpo, Chico or Groucho... they're a perfect team and I love being on the show. I've been keeping in touch with them... maybe we'll get to do something together.

zoidboob5 karma

Hey Daniel

Any fond memories of working with Roy Scheider?


thedanielstern26 karma

Oh God yes, I loved Roy. He was married to a lady named Cynthia and she was the editor of Breaking Away, my very first movie. So I knew Roy personally before we ever set foot on the set of Blue Thunder. Roy was a big time movie star and carried the mantle with grace and humor. Roy was sun worshiper... whenever there was a break in shooting he would unzip his flight suit, in which under he was wearing a speedo. He would lay down in a chaise with one of those metal sun reflectors. We were shooting the scene where our helicopter crashes at a construction site in a bad part of Downtown LA, behind a chain-linked fence with barbed wire. Our movie set on one side and the citizenry on the other. Seared in my mind is an image of Roy on his chaise lounge in his speedo, signing autographs for the fans. I miss him as a fan and a friend.

TheGolfAlphaMikeEcho5 karma

How are you doing?

thedanielstern25 karma

I couldn't be better. Laying on my sofa doing an AMA. How are you doing, thegolfalphamikeecho? Is that Echo family from Cincinnati?

thenamesbeer4 karma

Your facebook is a joy. What made you start using it to post all your new videos?

thedanielstern11 karma

The joy of having the direct connection with my fans and I didn't know that existed until about a year ago. It's not only fun to hear from my fans but to have an outlet for silly stuff that I like to do on occasion.

kaemmerp4 karma

What is your favorite role you have played, any role you passed on you wish you would have tried?

thedanielstern8 karma

I've enjoyed a lot of the movie roles I've done. But some of my favorite roles were plays in NYC. I was in the original Steppenwolf production of Sam Shepherd's True West, replacing John Malcovich in his career making part. My playing opposite of Tony nominated Lori Metcalf in The Other Place on Broadway. Those parts really helped me grow as an actor and I hope I brought some of those lessons to the film roles I played.

pumpkinkarver1152 karma

When's the last time you talked to Mr. Joe Pesci?

thedanielstern17 karma

I saw Joe at his daughter's birthday party a few months ago. It was fantastic to see him and his family, but the special treat was that he took me out to his car and played me some cuts from a new album he's releasing. Joe's one of the great jazz singers of this century and it was quite thrilling to hear one of his new recordings. If you don't know his music check out Joe Doggs and download anything you can find by him.

oldcynic912 karma

Hi Daniel, if you were in a third 'Home Alone' movie what would be Harry and Marvs new nickname? Might I suggest the 'OAP bandits'

thedanielstern11 karma

So far I have:The gooey bandits... the stinky bandits... the old bandits... the Metamucil bandits... Please feel free to send suggestions