Chevy Chase's terrible behavior on the set of Christmas Vacation revealed

Chevy Chase is a bit like the Marmite of the film business. If nobody liked Marmite.

A new perspective on the oft-maligned actor comes from director Chris Columbus, who revealed why he abandoned his big break as director of Chase in the John Hughes-produced National Lampoon's Christmas Occupation in 1989 after just a few weeks.

Columbus spoke to James Hughes, the son of “Ferris Bueller” legend, in an oral history article for Chicago Magazine about the filming of “Home Alone,” which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

The director, who later directed films such as “Mrs. Doubtfire” and two parts of the “Harry Potter” series (The Chamber of Secrets and The Philosopher’s Stone), sums it up best in his own words:


“I shot 'Heartbreak Hotel' in 1989 and it was a disaster. It premiered on a Friday and didn't open until two o'clock on Wednesday afternoon,” he says.

“It was around this time that John Hughes sent me the script for 'Christmas Vacation'. I love Christmas, so it was a dream to make a Christmas comedy.

“I went to dinner with Chevy Chase. To be completely honest, Chevy treated me like dirt. But I persevered and even went so far as to do second unit shooting. Some of my shots of downtown Chicago are still in the film.

“Then I had another meeting with Chevy, and it was even worse. I called John and said, 'There's no way I can do this movie. I know I have to work, but I can't do it with this guy.'


“John was very understanding. About two weeks later, I got two scripts at my in-laws' house in River Forest. One was 'Home Alone' with a note from John asking if I wanted to direct it. I thought, wow, this guy is really supporting me when no one else in Hollywood would. John was my savior.”

Columbus turned his attention to Home Alone, a true Christmas film classic, and from then on his career declined rapidly.


Chase has often been a, let's say, difficult company in the past.

Although they are supposedly friendlier now, Chase got into a fight with Bill Murray during his appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”

In an interview, Murray said of his co-star: “When you become famous, you have a year or two where you behave like a real asshole.

“There's nothing you can do about it. It happens to everyone. You have about two years to pull yourself together – or it's permanent.”

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Photo credit: Rex Features/AP