Growing up, every kid wanted to be Home Alone’s Kevin McCallister. Sure, his style was impeccable, but the admiration stemmed more from the fact that Kevin was the kind of kid who, when faced with a situation like his entire family forgetting to bring him to France with them, didn’t go into a catatonic state or call the cops; he figured life out on his own, and successfully defended his home from a pair of idiotic-yet-frightening burglars.

What’s funny though is that this entire chain of events was set off when Kevin flew into a fit of rage over not getting a slice of cheese pizza. Who tipped him off to that? It was none other than Buzz, his jerk of an older brother, who said he’d have no problem “barfing up” the cheese pizza that was gone.

When it comes to a great Christmas story, especially for kids, you need some kind of obstacle to overcome—Ralphie had Scut Farkus, the town of Whoville had The Grinch, etc.—and Buzz was the kind of brother that had no problem putting his sibling in his place, seemingly for the LOLs. While Macaulay Culkin shined in those two Home Alone films, it was the ensemble cast (which also featured Joe Pesci, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Stern, John Candy, and more) that helped the film shine, which includes Devin Ratray, the guy who played Buzz. Your friends might mostly remember little Kevin cracking on Buzz’s girlfriend (“woof!”), but he also had key moments in both films where he made life hard for Kevin.

After Home Alone​, many actors might have been satisfied to create an iconic character with the role of Buzz and call it a wrap for acting (and with it being the highest-grossing live-action film in the U.S., we wouldn’t blame them), but Ratray wasn’t complacent. He was acting before this role burned his face into the minds of fans the world over, and afterwards continued to snag roles in films (including the critically-acclaimed Nebraska, Dennis the Menace, and Blue Ruin) and TV (Agent Carter, Supernatural, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit), making his career much deeper than Home Alone.

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.

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