Media obsessions and internet celebs come and go, but there’s one star who’s never, ever been far from the spotlight. Even today, the world is fascinated with child sensation Macaulay Culkin.
Even though he’s really only been in a handful of movies, the child superstar became a poster boy for multiple generations, one that still continues to capture our interest no matter what. In a sense, we’ve grown up with him as much as he’s grown up with us.
But amidst all the rumors and gossip and scandal, how much do we really know about this star’s rollercoaster life?
We dig deeper to find out exactly what happened to him – and how he’s gotten to where he is today… an incredible start to his career as a child actor, Macaulay Culkin’s life has been one hell of a rollercoaster.
From family and love life problems to years out of the spotlight, the now 37-year-old’s life in Hollywood hasn’t been easy, despite a huge net worth and worldwide fame.
In this article, we take a look at what has contributed to Macaulay Culkin’s topsy-turvy life after he burst onto our screens as Kevin in Home Alone.
Eight Year Old Star
Before Home Alone, Culkin’s first ‘major’ film was alongside comedy legend John Candy in the 1989 hit ‘Uncle Buck’. Despite being just eight-years-old, Culkin was paid $40,000 for his role.
First On Screen Kiss
In 1991, Macaulay starred in My Girl alongside Anna Chlumsky. This saw the youngster have his first kiss which took 15 takes! It was all worth it though as he received the MTV Movie award for Best Kiss that year.
That Plot Hole
Culkin has suggested there was an “enormous plot hole” in the iconic 1990s film while appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
“This kid’s a really clever kid, right?” Culkin said to Fallon.
“Like, these guys are about to break in, why doesn’t he just call the cops?”
He continued: “He makes a master plan, he uses Micro Machines but for real, there’s landlines – there are no cellphones but still [he could have called the police].
“I think that’s the only thing and I think that’s an enormous plot hole.
“I don’t actually spend my days thinking about it, that was just the only one I can think of right now!” Culkin said laughing.
Macaulay’s parent Kit Culkin and Patricia Brentrup lived modest lives before their son’s stardom. His father was a Catholic Sacristan and his mother was a telephone operator. With Macaulay one of seven children, the family struggled for money during the early stages of his childhood.
After success in Uncle Buck, Macaulay’s life changed forever in Christmas 1990 when he starred in Home Alone, a film that made $476 million worldwide! The sequel released two years later made an incredible $359 million. The success of these films made Macaulay a very sought after actor, he was paid $8 million for his next role, which was the 1994 film Richie Rich, he was only 14!
Unaware Of His Millions
With his newfound fame, Macaulay started to earn a lot of money, but instead of brag about it, his father would hide newspapers and also deal with his son’s salaries by himself. He didn’t want young Macaulay to know how much he was earning just in case it would ‘affect’ him.
Like Father, Like Manager
Macaulay’s father was also an actor but never had the success his son did, so made it his life’s mission to make sure the young star had the best career possible. Kit Culkin, became one of the most difficult ‘stage moms’ in the business according to Movie Executives. They dreaded dealing with him as he was a tough negotiator, especially when it came to contracts for the Home Alone sequels.
As mentioned Macaulay’s father was an actor on Broadway, his Aunt Bonnie Bedelia was also an actress and his brothers Kieran and Rory also acted. Young Kieran was actually in Home Alone alongside Kevin, playing the role of cousin Fuller.
Home Alone Scaring
Bad guy Joe Pesci reportedly took his acting too far while filming Home Alone. In a scene when he threatens to bite Kevin’s fingers off he actually hurt Culkin and he still has a scar to show for it!
Black Or White
Macaulay and Michael Jackson’s relationship gave the youngster an opportunity of a lifetime. In 1991 he appeared in the music video for ‘Black or White’.
SNL At 11
After the huge success at the start of his career a child actor, Macaulay was given the opportunity to host Saturday Night Live, something that is usually given to seasoned comedians. He was the second youngest actor to ever host the show after Drew Barrymore who hosted it at the age of 7.
Macaulay’s father Kit was accused of abusing his wife by punching her during pregnancy, forcing his Mom to apply for full custody of her children in 1995. The battle was long and drawn out and ended in Kit losing, much to the relief of Macaulay and his siblings.
When Culkin’s parents were locked in that custody battle, Macaulay and his siblings gave their father and unflattering nickname of ‘Stinky’. Allegedly Kit didn’t treat Macaulay with very much respect and would often force him to sleep on a couch.
Because of his stardom, Macaulay’s high school experience was very different to the average child. He went to a school of students that were also child actors or dancers. He and his friends would scribble graffiti on the walls and Macaulay even enforced a rule that he would only sit on a stool rather than chairs provided by the school.
When Rachel Milner first met Macaulay he was already a huge star, so when she introduced herself to him after moving schools, he barely welcomed her. Despite the cold first impressions, the pair eventually got together and after a rollercoaster relationship they married in 1998.
Divorced At 20
The pair were married in 1998 but unfortunately, they only lasted two years and after separating in 2000, were divorced in 2002.
West End Seduction
After his success as a child actor, Macaulay was keen to develop his acting skills on stage. He headed to the West End as a 20-year-old and played the awkward role of a 15-year-old student seduced by his French teacher. His performance saw him receives huge plaudits, unheard of for a child actor.
Deadly Apartment Fire
Just before Christmas 1998, Macaulay’s mother inadvertently started a fire that destroyed her whole apartment block. The accident saw four people lose their lives and 22 injured. Incredibly law-suits then followed, some aimed at Macaulay, who wasn’t even present at the time.
In 2004, Macaulay was a passenger when his friend was caught speeding on the Interstate 44. The police noticed Macaulay in the vehicle and searched the vehicle and found some illegal drugs. Macaulay was arrested but was later released on a $4,000 bond.
The Pizza Underground
Looking to cash in on his fame, Culkin and some friends formed a band, The Pizza Underground in 2013, a parody of the Velvet Underground. Despite them giving their crowds free pizza, they were booed off stage at Dot To Dot Festival. Probably something to do with the fact their percussionist used a pizza box as his instrument!
Tongue Twisters Obsession
All actors have their own way of warming up to help them get through their lines, Macaulay became so obsessed with ‘tongue twisters’ that he actually wrote his own. Try saying “Heidi was her name, hiding was her game when Heidi hid horses halted….”!
Having made his millions as a child actor, Macaulay has been able to choose his projects carefully and believes in quality over quantity. He told CNN he would rather do “one cool small project a year that I’m really, really proud of.” One of these cool projects includes the film ‘The Wrong Ferrari’ which was filmed completely on an iPhone.
Blanket Jackson Rumours
As mentioned Michael Jackson and Macaulay had a great understanding relationship, and Culkin was even given the honor of being Godfather of MJ’s daughter, Paris Jackson. There are actually rumours and speculation that Paris’ half-brother Blanket is actually Macaulay’s biological son.
Macaulay self-diagnosed himself as having Agoraphobia, which is rather understandable after the upbringing he had.
Macaulay dispels the myth that you have to look perfect to be successful in Hollywood. He actually has two unequally-sized eyes! But as you can tell by this photo, it’s very hard to tell.
Being Macaulay Culkin has lead to a life of people shouting at him in the street for photos and for him to do lines from his movies. It got so annoying that Macaulay has trained himself to not even flinch when someone shouts at him in the street, he does, however, respond to ‘Mack!’. He once walked past his own family in the street when they called out to him.
As mentioned Macaulay was a child of many, but unfortunately not all of them are still with us. One of his half-sisters died when she was just 29 from an overdose of substances. A few years later his sister Dakota was struck by a vehicle in LA and passed away, also at the age of 29.
Adult Film Star Relationship
In 2011, rumors spread that Macaulay was dating adult film actress Irene Lopez after the pair were photographed together in Barcelona. Macaulay denied the rumors outright, claiming that she was ‘just a fan’.
Macaulay bought his New York City apartment when he was just 19 years old. According to website Vulture, his apartment is a real mess with cigarette boxes, tequila bottles, and notebooks, all over the place.
In 2014, rumors spread on the internet that Macaulay had died! He responded to the ridiculous claims in the best way possible, by tweeting this photo of him re-enacting a scene from Weekend at Bernie’s. He then opened his band’s Austin show by yelling ‘I’m ALIVE!”
Like Godfather, Like Goddaughter
Culkin and his goddaughter Paris have an incredibly close relationship and are often seen out together. The pair even have matching tattoos of a red spoon.
In 2012, Culkin was photographed gaunt and pale, with many jumping to the conclusion that his health was in decline because of a drug habit. He categorically denied all of these allegations.
Not My Son
After the custody battle in which he lost, Kit Culkin has had little contact with his family, but when he suffered a life-threatening stroke in January 2014 you would think things would change. It didn’t and nobody from his family came to visit, including Macaulay. Kit then declared that he doesn’t consider his children including Macaulay as his own anymore.
Five years after that photo, he was in a lot better condition and has just announced that he will be starring in Seth Green’s film ‘Changeland’. What a transformation!
When Mila and Macaulay first got together nobody expected them to last, but after eight years people were soon wondering whether they would actually get married. Mila later revealed that she was the one who was actually against marriage full stop, rather than the thought of marrying Macaulay. However, as we know, Mila went on to marry Ashton Kutcher, so maybe there was an issue with her relationship with Mack?
He’s made millions from his early stardom, but Macaulay has had his problems and is rarely seen in films these days. For someone who had so much potential, his $15 million net worth could be so much higher.
Sleepovers With Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson and Macaulay had a similar upbringing in the fact they were both child stars with ‘pushy’ parents. Therefore they understood each other, Culkin would often visit MJ at his Neverland Ranch for ‘sleepovers’, despite widespread speculation and accusation, Culkin defended his relationship with the King of Pop.
“He was very childlike. He liked doing the things we [kids] did,” Culkin testified about how the singer would interact with him and other children, including his younger brother Kieran Culkin, at Neverland Ranch. “He played with us.” Having Jackson identify with him as a child star was “comforting,” Culkin said.
Jackson asked Culkin to be Paris’ godfather. She was born in 1998 when the actor was 17.