The Controversial Life Of Child Star Macaulay Culkin
After 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.
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
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
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.
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
Macaulay self-diagnosed himself as having Agoraphobia, which is rather understandable after the upbringing he had.
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!
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.
Jackson asked Culkin to be Paris’ godfather. She was born in 1998 when the actor was 17.
(H/T 90s Kids Only)