“Home Alone”'s Catherine O'Hara Thinks the McCallisters Inherited Their Wealth — or Had Their Own Church (Exclusive)

The actress, starring in the new movie 'Argylle,' weighs in on the debate surrounding the apparent wealth of the fictional family

<p>Robin L Marshall/WireImage</p> Catherine O

Robin L Marshall/WireImage

Catherine O'Hara

Catherine O’Hara is weighing in on the apparent wealth of Home Alone’s Peter and Kate McCallister.

Last month, The New York Times published a report estimating that the family from the 1990 Christmas classic was in the top 1% of earners in Chicago, the metropolitan area where the film is set.

The news outlet worked with economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, who estimated that the McCallisters would have had to earn an income of about $305,000 (or $665,000 in 2022) in order to afford the home featured in the movie.

The real Winnetka, Illinois, home used in the film has a current off-market value of around $2.34 million, according to Zillow.

“I thought the house was pretty amazing,” O’Hara, who played McCallister matriarch Kate, tells PEOPLE. “Oh Lord, yeah.”

<p>Caitlin Cronenberg/Trunk Archive</p> Catherine O'Hara

Caitlin Cronenberg/Trunk Archive

Catherine O'Hara

Related: 'Home Alone' Cast: Where Are They Now?

But the Argylle actress admits she never gave much thought to their income. “I was aware of how beautiful it was, but no, I never thought of their money. That's not where my head was when I was doing [the movie]. Of course, they all went to Paris, didn't they?” she says.

“I guess Peter had his own religion,” she quips of her on-screen husband, played by the late John Heard. “Church of the McCallisters.”

<p>Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu Agency via Getty </p> House from "Home Alone"

Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu Agency via Getty

House from "Home Alone"

“People have these theories,” she says. “Where'd they get their money? Maybe he inherited it... they inherited it.”

In the movie, the McCallisters are hurrying to leave their gorgeous and stately home for a Christmas getaway to Paris when they inadvertently forget Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), one of their children.

<p>20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock </p>

20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock

He defends the home against would-be thieves (played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) by setting up various booby traps.

O’Hara says she didn’t foresee the film becoming a cultural phenomenon, but she had a wonderful time making the movie.

Related: 25 Things You May Not Know About 'Home Alone', 25 Years Later

“I need to care about the whole thing. I don't care to do a great role in a bad project. You want to be part of something good, and that's how you go. Then the people that you're going to get to work with and the experience, the day-to-day experience. And in that case, it was lovely. All those kids that played our children were just lovely,” she continues.

“[Director] Chris Columbus, lovely man," she remembers. "He's a family guy himself. I think he had like five kids already at the time. And [screenwriter] John Hughes. John Hughes wasn't there a lot, but wrote such a beautiful script, obviously. It's a perfect movie, isn't it?”

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