Holiday good cheer may have been lacking when the man who owns the iconic Cleveland house used in the filming of “A Christmas Story” confronted one of the actors from the beloved 1983 movie.
Yano Anaya, who played Grover Dill, one of the neighborhood bullies who tormented main character Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) in the nostalgic family comedy, was posing for a picture on the front steps of the home, which is now up for sale, when current owner Brian Jones showed up.
The movie is primarily based on books by long-time radio raconteur Jean Shepherd that reminisced about his Indiana childhood.
In a smartphone video obtained by TMZ that was recorded on November 15, Jones didn’t exactly roll out the welcome wagon, although he later apologized.
Jones seems to make his feeling about the much-shorter man quite clear, shouting “get the f— out of here; I’m not kidding…leave now. Get away from my property. Don’t ever come here again…you are such a scammer…what is wrong with you?…you’re such a piece of s–t…F— off…”
Anaya can be heard in the video responding “Why don’t you talk to me about it so we can fix it?” as Jones walked away.
Watch the footage embedded below and draw your own conclusions (*Warning for language):
According to the “A Christmas Story” House website, the entire 1.3-acre “campus” is on the market, which includes five buildings, such as a movie museum and a gift shop. The property went through a massive renovation in 2004.
The page does not provide an asking price, but according to Zillow, the house by itself is assessed at nearly $200,000.
Anaya and his associates were surprised by the owner’s reaction, TMZ noted.
“Yano’s business partner Emmanuel Soba tells us they have no idea why the homeowner was so upset. He claims the actor spoke to Brian on the phone the day before the incident and says they had a great conversation. They also claim Brian told them he would be willing to sell the home to their group, and they were taken off guard by Brian’s outburst. Yano did not want to comment,” TMZ explained.
A purported GoFundMe page, or perhaps a misunderstanding over same, evidently prompted the hard feelings, which resulted, as alluded to above, in Jones subsequently issuing a mea culpa for flipping out over the potential house flip.
“I apologize for the way I expressed myself; however, it was out of concern that fans could be misled into contributing to a GoFundMe campaign that will not result in the purchase of the house,” he told the entertainment/gossip website.
“I have no association with any GoFundMe campaign. I am not selling the house through Go Fund Me, so fans should not contribute to that fund under false pretenses, thinking their money is going toward buying the house. I am entertaining offers only from qualified buyers through my real estate broker,” Jones added.
There appears to be one GoFundMe fundraiser to purchase the house which was launched on November 18 and has received zero contributions as of this writing.
TMZ previously reported that Yano Anaya floated the idea of cast members buying the landmark.
His business partner told TMZ that “a volunteer member of their group did make a GoFundMe, but it was never active and doesn’t understand why this caused [Jones] to lash out. He claims they already had a list of investors that could have purchased the home without it.”
HBO Max released a sequel to “A Christmas Story” earlier this month featuring Billingsley and Anaya, among others.
Although many, if not most, sequels fall way short of the mark and thus tarnish the legacy of the original, if they are even necessary in the first place, the new film seems to have been generally well-received, at least based on Rotten Tomatoes ratings.
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