Home (Alone) on Mars: Actor Daniel Stern on leading NASA in ‘For All Mankind’

If there is indeed a multiverse where in every possible outcome happens, then in one of those universes Marv Murchins, one half of the “Wet Bandits” from “Home Alone,” is serving as NASA administrator.

As unlikely as that might seem, such a thing is sort of playing out in the current season of “For All Mankind.” Actor Daniel Stern, who is perhaps best known for his role as Marv from the 1990 Christmas comedy film, has taken on the part of the space agency’s chief in the Apple TV+ alternate space history series.

“They called me up and said, ‘Are you interested in playing Eli Hobson, the head of NASA?’ and I put the phone down and laughed for about 20 minutes,” said Stern in an interview with collectSPACE.com. “I then told my wife and she was like, “What are they drunk? You, as the head of NASA?”

But then Stern read the script and began watching the show. He got hooked on its scope and how it merged the production quality of a very expensive film with the intimacy and character development of a long-running television series. He was particularly taken by the fun the writers were having crafting the show’s alternate timeline, which began with the Soviets beating the Americans to landing humans on the moon in 1969.

Related: ‘For All Mankind’ season 4 episode 6 review: Culmination of a storyline decades in the making

Actor Daniel Stern plays NASA Administrator Eli Hobson in Season 4 of “For All Mankind,” now streaming on Apple TV+. (Image credit: Apple TV+)

“I think of it as the butterfly effect,” said Stern. “If with that one moon landing we missed our shot, they got it and the butterfly effect of that changed everything, as history is always formed by events.”

The more he thought about it, the idea of playing the head of NASA seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.

“I just have never been a part of anything like this. They made me get off my butt and actually go back to work and play Eli Hobson, and I am so glad I did,” he said.