Macaulay Culkin made a name for himself as a tremendously successful child actor, best known for his work in Home Alone. However, as he matured, life had other plans for the once-innocent golden boy.
Started From The Bottom
The 8-year-old that captivated our hearts in Uncle Buck was much more than a talented actor – he was practically his family’s savior. Since Macaulay’s family was struggling financially, his impressive $40,000 paycheck was just what they needed to bounce back on their feet. After Macaulay landed the role of Kevin on Home Alone, money was the last worry on the Culkins’ minds.
Hosting Saturday Night Live is a huge milestone for every actor trying to make it big in the industry, but for Macaulay, this was simply another gig, since he was too young to understand what a privilege he was given. Struggling actors can go through an entire lifetime attempting to perform a skit on the same stage so many legendary, historical actors have acted on, but Macaulay managed to do so at age 11. The only actress who eclipsed this record was Drew Barrymore, who hosted SNL when she was only 7-years-old.
Money Must Be Funny In A Rich Man’s World
Macaulay’s parents were firm believers of having their son grow up in the most normal way imaginable, which is why they refused to let him know just how well his movies were doing. In fact, his father would purposely hide newspapers so that his son would not read about how much he gets paid. It was not until several years later that Macaulay would find out just how high his salary was – but by then, he would be grown up.
On The Prowl For Pennies
Kit, Macaulay’s father, was employed as a sacristan at a Catholic church while his mother, Patricia, worked as a telephone operator. Although the two did not make much money, there was one clear advantage to Kit’s work – his kids were given a significant discount when they enrolled for the parish school. Macaulay’s family was so poor, he spoke on one occasion about how when was a child, he would “crawl under the bleachers at the theater to look for change that had fallen out of people’s pockets.”
Beware Of The Dad-Manager
Macaulay was not the only member of his family with a passion for the performing arts – his father, Kit, also gave acting ago, but unfortunately never rose to his son’s level of success. Instead of becoming bitter about his fate, he decided to take matters into his own hands and become Macaulay’s manager. Movie executives feared to deal with the “800lb gorilla of the movie business,” so much so that when Kit argued about his son’s salary and demanded vast sums of money, he got everything he asked for.
Sleepovers With The Star
Neverland Ranch hosted young Macaulay quite often for Michael Jackson’s infamous sleepovers. It’s not hard to understand why the two became best buds in no time, as both had fathers who constantly pushed them to strive for success and achieve greatness. Away from the paparazzi’s flashing cameras, the two were able to be their childish selves. Macaulay was the first one to stand by Michael’s side and support him during his trial. He firmly denied any accusations others made about inappropriate behavior on Michael’s behalf.
Booed Off Stage
Macaulay always had a healthy sense of humor, which is why he surrounded himself with friends who have the same characteristic. This trait was not appreciated when Macaulay and his friends were booed off stage after they performed a parody version of one of the songs by The Velvet Underground band, replacing the existing lyrics with pizza-related ones. Macaulay’s band, titled The Pizza Underground, planned on giving out free pizza at the end of their show, but the 2013 Dot to Dot Festival attendants were not as understanding as they hoped.
While some actors are known for their slurry speech or heavy accents, plenty of professionals take special classes to master the art of speaking impeccably. Using tongue twisters is an activity that assists in perfecting speech and differentiating between various letter sounds. Macaulay, being the creative individual that he is, wanted to make up a lyrical twister of his own – one that would contain as many ‘H’ words as he could. That’s when he came up with: “Heidi was her name, hiding was her game when Heidi hid horses halted…”
Pick And Choose
Going on CNN, Macaulay admitted he is quite spoiled when it comes to picking and choosing his roles. Since his child star days guaranteed his future would be worry-free in regard to money, Macaulay is lucky enough to be able to turn down roles he does not relate to. As a matter of fact, he said he would rather not work for a year if it meant he would then be offered “one cool small project a year that [he’s] really, really proud of.”
Ballet To Pop
Few are aware that Macaulay has classical ballet training experience from the School of American Ballet. This fact opened doors to other opportunities for the kid, who greatly enjoyed spending time on stage and facing a live audience. Pop sensation Michael Jackson was especially impressed with the boy’s skills, which is why he invited him to appear on his 1991 Black or White music video. Being the MJ fan Macaulay was, it did not take long for Macaulay to say he would love to.
As if being a child star on the rise was not enough to make Macaulay feel as though he was regularly inspected under a magnifying glass, his self-awareness reached new peaks when he noticed his face was less than perfect symmetrically. Watching the close-up shots of his face in theatres worldwide, fans quickly noticed that Macaulay’s eyes are unequal in size. Although it is a common misperception that Hollywood stars need to look flawless, they are human too, and Macaulay has proved just that.
Now Watch This
Danish poet and film director Jørgen Leth is known for his peculiar soft spot for experimental documentaries. In his film 66 Scenes from America, Leth thought it would be incredibly artistic to shoot a scene with notable pop art guru Andy Warhol, who is seen eating a plain hamburger dipped in ketchup. Macaulay thought he would attempt to do the same, but replaced the burger with a pizza slice, most likely to promote his New York based band – The Pizza Underground.
Hate To Love Him
Following through with his former stage experience, Macaulay wanted to challenge himself on a professional level by taking upon himself a risky role. The plot of West End consisted of a 15-year-old boy who was seduced by his French teacher, a narrative that is so formidable, it was clear the play was either going to be a disappointing flunk or great success. Theatre critics were ready to lash out at the 20-year-old actor for this review but ended up praising Macaulay for a stunning performance.
Made Him Family
Michael Jackson life was hugely criticized by many for his life choices, but the day he had to point out his true friend from a crowd, there was no doubt Macaulay was the first one on his mind. That is why after the birth of his daughter, Paris, with Debbie Rowe, Michael asked the former child star to be his new born baby’s godfather. Additionally, rumors spread about Michael’s other child, Blanket, claiming he was actually Macaulay’s biological son.
Blamed For Abuse
Macaulay had to go through his parents’ divorce and ugly custody battle back in 1995. While he stayed with his father, Kit, the latter would order his son to sleep on the couch instead of providing his own flesh and blood with a decent bed, which caused Macaulay to refer to his dad as ‘stinky’ from then on. Jeanette Krylowski, Kit’s new partner, argued that Macaulay was spreading exaggerated tales since the simple truth is that the sleeping arrangement was due to new furniture being delivered to Kit’s apartment.
Phobia Unsuiting His Position
During an interview with Larry King, Macaulay admitted one of the main reasons he adopted his dog was to force him to walk outside. Although he diagnosed himself, the star claims to be an agoraphobe – by which is meant that he fears dealing with large crowds of people or being in packed spaces. His traditional hood or cap is more than a fashion statement, he simply would rather keep to himself – which is understandable considering his fans once shook his trailer while he was inside during location shooting.
Sitting still is hard for every jittery pupil in high school, but Macaulay broke new records by swapping his chair with a stool he regularly moved around classrooms. He also surrounded himself with friends who were fellow dancers and actors, who, being the free spirited individuals that they were, would scribble graffiti on his bedroom walls. His group of over twenty close friends would hang out in Macaulay’s house and felt right at home, some of which he stayed close with to this day.
Came Off As Arrogant
From enemies to friends to lovers, the tale of ex-wife Rachel Miner and Macaulay was a unique one. As it turns out, Rachel moved to the notable 14-year-old’s school and approached Macaulay with her head up high. She was taught to be polite and introduce herself by name, no matter who was standing in front of her. Perhaps that is why she thought cheeky Macaulay was arrogant at first – while he nodded in appreciation of her attempt to greet, the boy skipped his own introduction and walked away.
Something Hidden, Something Blue
Growing up with cameras following his every move, it was not a big shock when Macaulay decided the biggest moment in his life will be held far away from the public eye. After proposing to the beautiful Rachel Miner, the two thought to skip the whole paper invitations norm and instead send their guests on a scavenger hunt that would ultimately reveal the location of their wedding. Those who succeeded in cracking the code arrived at the Connecticut home and enjoyed a low key, picnic themed wedding ceremony.
A Tragic Christmas Tale
Just before Christmas in ’98, Macaulay’s mother, Patricia, had her best intentions at heart as she turned on the apartment heater that was wall mounted. However, something went horribly wrong and a short circuit caused a blazing fire to spread around the apartment building. The horrid accident resulted in the death of four people and 22 individuals were injured that day. Legal action was taken and many lawsuits followed the incident, including one against Macaulay himself, although the celebrity was not even in his mom’s apartment at the time of the fire.
Although morbid, actors know they’ve made it big when hoax tales concerning their alleged deaths make waves online. Just like Jerry Springer and Bill Murray, Macaulay was also said to be dead – but instead of ignoring the rumors and going about his normal way, the talented artist used the rumor to his advantage by posting a shot of him with his eyes closed shut and appearing dead on Twitter. He was scheduled to perform with his band that day, so he opened the show yelling “I’m alive!”
Awkward First Kiss
Macaulay was not always the sought after heartbreaker he is today. In fact, his first kiss was on set of the coming-of-age film, My Girl. Rumor has it Macaulay was so nervous playing the role of an unconfident boy falling for his best friend, he had to repeat his first kiss 15 different times with co-star Anna Chlumsky. Despite the awkwardness, the two evidently made it work, since the film later received the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss.
Relationship With Jordan Lane Price
That 70’s Show star Mila Kunis dated Macaulay for eight years before she tied the knot with her former co-star, Ashton Kutcher. For a while at least, it seemed as though the two were going to walk down the aisle together, but then things ended abruptly. Two years later, Macaulay was spotted roaming around romantic Paris with a new honey by his side: All My Children‘s Jordan Lane Price. The two were not shy about their new relationship, dancing in the street and displaying their affection publicly.
After Macaulay split with his childhood sweetheart and former wife, the paparazzi held their finger on the trigger, ready to snap a shot of the next lady who would be lucky enough to call the talented actor her own. Several claims have been made about his recent romantic encounters, including a short lived relationship with model Agatha Relota and adult film actress Irene Lopez. Macaulay refuted those claims by claiming they were ridiculous and that he was not looking for anything more than temporary company.
His Brother Acted Too
As mentioned previously, Macaulay’s father wanted to leave his mark in the industry in whicever way he could. When he failed as an actor, he instantly became his son’s manager and pushed his other children into acting as well, perhaps since his sister, Bonnie Bedelia, was an actress who made it big and participated in projects like Parenthood and Die Hard. The sibling rivalry enabled Kieran, Macaulay’s brother to score the role of his real-life brother’s cousin on Home Alone.
Doesn’t Even Flinch
Dealing with the constant attention and hungry fans is a lot to handle for someone as private as Macaulay, so he prefers to keep to himself. After being called by his own name too many times by wandering fans who wanted nothing more than to see their favorite actor recite lines from Home Alone, Macaulay made notice to stop responding to people calling his name when he’s out in public. In general, he prefers being referred to as “Mack,” a nickname only his best friends and family use.
(L)inked For Life
Daughter of the late King of Pop, Paris Jackson, wanted something eternal to commemorate the man she proudly calls her godfather. Therefore, the two thought it would be a fantastic idea to ink their bodies with a matching red spoon tattoo, symbolizing how the two overcame different struggles during their lives. Other platforms suggest the spoon has a different meaning, but the two have not come forward with an explanation just yet. In general, Paris and Macaulay make an effort to meet up on a regular basis.
More Godfather & Goddaughter Bonding Moments
Macaulay lived up to his promise of always being there for goddaughter Paris Jackson and continues to do so to this day. Paris’s social media account on Instagram constantly features her moments with the former child star, with photos of the two having fun and being silly. Some of the more popular pictures were of Paris wearing Easter bunny ears while sitting on Macaulay’s lap, of the two petting her pup Koa, and one with Macaulay receiving a pedicure from his goddaughter.
Home Is Where The Mess Is
Vulture magazine published an article concerning the messy artist, in which a detailed description of his living situation was provided. Apparently, Macaulay’s dining room table is a cluttered one and has everything from markers and crayons to empty cigarette boxes, nail polish, and tequila bottles scattered on it. Macaulay loves the fact the apartment he bought at 19 feels like home and would not change it for the world. Despite living in the City That Never Sleeps, Macaulay mostly spends time in his apartment and avoids socializing outside of it.
When Life Gives You Lemons
Although he is said to have a darker sense of humor than most, Macaulay refuses to hide his creative comedic side. In addition to lending his voice to comedy show, Robot Chicken, he even wrote some jokes and published them on his social media page, reading: “When life gives you lemons…cook fish. When life gives you lemons…be thankful it didn’t give you testicular cancer. When life gives you lemons…you should paint them green and see if anyone notices they are not limes.”
Against Living In The Past
There are not a lot of actors who would actively choose to step out of the limelight and not part take in a movie that was written especially for them – but Macaulay had no problem stepping aside and letting other actors attempt to fill his shoes when he was offered a part in the Home Alone sequel. Instead, Macaulay preferred to shoot a 2015 web series called DRYVRS, in which he appears to be a chain-smoking has-been, embellished with nail polish, with a bitter personality and scarred soul.
Dark Doesn’t Sell
Well-known writer and television personality Conan O’Brien wrote a relatively dark show named Foster Hall. The plot was relatively simple – it had to do with two siblings who were grown up and reunited after having to grow up in multiple foster homes, which caused them to seek revenge against their former temporary legal guardians. Macaulay was chosen to do the pilot for the show, and although he seemed excited about it, he publicly admitted he didn’t believe such a dark show would be picked up. Unfortunately, he was right.
Artist In Every Sense
Performance art is not the only type of expression Macaulay uses – as it turns out, he is also tremendously talented when it comes to painting. One time, he decided to collaborate with two of his friends, Toby Goodshank and Adam Green, and the three made an art collective they chose to call “Three Men and a Baby,” also known as “3MB.” After clearing out Macaulay’s apartment, the actor-turned-painter proudly presented their “Leisure Inferno” exhibition in the newly designed space they turned into an art studio.
Anything For The Sake Of Art
Macaulay’s apartment was utilized for much more than just a temporary art gallery space. After their exhibition, Macaulay’s art trio member Adam Green was approached by Father John Misty, a former band member of the band Fleet Foxes, with a request that Green would direct his upcoming music video. Green was quick to agree and suggested Macaulay’s apartment for the set. Not only did Macaulay contribute by lending his place, but he can also be spotted acting as a crucified Kurt Cobain in the video.
Fitting his public image as an artist with a tortured soul, Macaulay also made an attempt at writing. In 2006, his first book, Junior, was published, where he discussed his terrible relationship with his father and gave seven alternate endings to the story – as a way of stressing his book was not a memoir in any sense. These days, Macaulay makes an effort to alienate himself from the book and was later quoted saying: “I am not a writer. I am a fraud, and you can quote me on that.”
Macaulay was never one to follow the rule book – if anything, doing things that are out of the ordinary is his way of living. That is why he hopped on the opportunity to return to film when he heard of the low budget film Party Monster. The independent movie did not have any permits, and the idea of forming a piece that was not Hollywood-associated appealed to Culkin. During filming, the crew had to be on the lookout for police and could only shoot between patrols.
Resistance to the norm can come at a heavy price – but some of the stunts Macaulay pulled just seemed silly. One of his personal protests had to do with his smoking. His friends and family would constantly bug the star about his unhealthy habit and pray that he would stop filling his lungs with a dangerous amount of nicotine on a daily basis. Instead of listening to those who care enough about him to voice their concerns, Macaulay just threatened to smoke up to 60 cigarettes a day.
Art trio member Adam Green integrated his visual arts talent with his musical side by forming a band called The Moldy Peaches with Kimya Dawson. Green and Macaulay knew each other from their youth, but it wasn’t until they exchanged phone numbers at a concert that the two really hit it off. In fact, they became so close that Macaulay followed The Moldy Peaches on tour in Europe and occasionally lent his voice by joining the two on stage.
His Father Punched His Mother
It is no secret that Macaulay’s parents’ divorce was less than pretty – but few know just how abusive his father was towards his wife. In a highly publicized custody battle, it was revealed that Kit punched his wife during two of her pregnancies. In addition, the abuser also threatened to throw his wife off a balcony when things got especially heated. Eventually, Kit lost the legal battle over custody of his children, a decision that Macaulay is thankful for to this day.
Sprite Spokesperson…Who Doesn’t Like Sprite
Not one to sell his soul to the devil, Macaulay was always bluntly honest about his decisions in life. He was offered several deals to act as a spokesperson for various big brands but turned them all down. The only offers he accepted was an endorsement for Sprite but later went on the record saying: “I’m not crazy about the stuff. But money is money.” Sprite advertisers were not thrilled about this statement but used his uncanny personality to their advantage by making a commercial that fit his style.
Two Of His Sisters Died – At The Same Age
The Culkin family are not without traumatic life incidents. By a strange chance of fate, both of Macaulay’s sisters died at the age of 29. One was his half-sister, who died prematurely due to an overdose of illegal substances. The other was his older sister, Dakota, who died after getting hit by a car in West Los Angeles. These tragic losses undoubtedly contributed to Macaulay embracing an increasingly dark personality over the years.
After appearing in public looking scattered, pale and abnormally thin, suspicion rose that the former child star was suffering from a substance addiction. The one time hero turned into a zero in the media after he was confused as a homeless person by London students. Apparently, the group were about to call the police when the star would not cease to beg for a smoke from the youngsters. To top things off, Macaulay was also seen projectile vomiting in the middle of the street.
Thankfully, Macaulay had a change of heart and decided to get his life back together. He was set on cleaning up his act physically and diving head first into his work. Lately, he was spotted looking healthier than ever, looking sharp with new glasses and clean designer clothes. Alongside him was actress Brenda Song, who is coincidently also his co-star in the upcoming film, Changeland. The movie, unlike the ones he has made before, has a more positive outlook and is about a trip to Thailand.
After the drama that followed his parents’ divorce, Macaulay made a life altering decision to completely cut his father out of his life. In January 2014, his father Kit had a massive heart attack – one that nearly resulted in his death. However, the incident was not enough to change Macaulay’s feelings towards his abusive father, so Kit did not hear from his son despite the obvious fear for his life. After the incident, Kit went public with the statement that he no longer “considered [Macaulay] a son anymore.”
Scarred For Life
It is hard to set apart the character from the actor while watching a movie – but what about the other way around? Joe Pesci took his role to another level playing the evil burglar on Home Alone. During the scene in which Joe’s character is meant to corner Macauly’s character and threaten to bite his fingers, Joe took things too literally and actually bit Macaulay, forming a scar on his finger that is still visible today.
The Great Escape
The paparazzi do not get paid for their shots of celebrities unless they manage to capture the star’s face. For that reason, celebs invented a creative way to “get back” at the cameramen following their every move – by brushing their hair onto their face whenever they spot a pap. Macaulay embraced this tact, but did not stop there. He decided he had had enough of the constant pestering, so he packed up his things and relocated to a place where he is much less known – Paris.
When In Paris
Macaulay knew this move could provide him with the quiet and serene life he so desperately wanted, but he had no idea to what extent. One day, Macaulay was sitting in an ordinary local Parisian cafe and asked the waitress for the wifi password. The young lady did not blink when she replied “Macaulay Culkin.” The actor was sure this was kind of prank until he tried to type it in and found out she was telling the truth. Only later did he reveal who he was.
Fined And Arrested
The paparazzi were not the only professionals Macaulay had a hard time dealing with. During one occasion, the actor was asked to pull over by local police after speeding on the I-44 and changing lanes without signaling to other drivers. At first, the police officers were intending on letting Macaulay off with a warning, but his friend who was sitting in the passenger seat seemed nervous, which raised suspicion. The officers then searched the vehicle and exposed illegal substances. As a result, Macaulay was fined and arrested.
Caring For Others
In spite of their short-lived marriage, Macaulay and actress Rachel Miner seemed like a match made in heaven. The two would often watch movies together and had plenty of mutual interests. Their friends later revealed that Rachel was particularly a big animal activist and would feed street cats on a regular basis – in fact, the two were so welcoming towards animals in need, that their home was often referred to as Noah’s Ark. It is a shame their marriage only lasted two years.
Never Say Never
Although Macaulay’s significant relationship with fellow actress Mila Cunis was the stuff of fairytales, the two never actually ended up tying the knot. Speculation was raised about how Macaulay was unwilling to exchange vows again after his failed marriage to former wife Rachel, but the truth is that Kunis wasn’t so keen on walking down the aisle either, claiming she would not marry until gay marriage was legalized. However, after the two parted ways, Mila ended up saying “I do” to Ashton Kutcher.