Macaulay Culkin was one of the biggest stars of the 90s. He was in so many of our childhood favorites including both of the Home Alone movies, My Girl, and Richie Rich.
His ability to act so well at such a young age gave him an advantage over a lot of the other child stars at the time, and by the time he was a teenager he had been in over a dozen movies.
It wasn’t easy being a child star, and when he was 14 he decided to take time off to go to high school and live a normal life. The change was surprising to his fans, and he has remained relatively private over the last several years.
His friendship with Michael Jackson has always been a point of interest, but Culkin has nothing but nice things to say about Jackson.
“We were friends. We were actually best friends for a stretch of time while I was growing up. It was a legitimate friendship,” Culkin said. “He enjoyed my youthfulness. He liked being a kid. He liked being a kid with me. He like being around kids, and it never struck me as odd.”
Culkin recently appeared on Ellen Degeneres’s talk show and was actually really open about his past. He discussed what it was like to grow up famous, how it impacted him, and even some what it was like to discover how much money he has.
When Degeneres talked about how excited she was to finally meet him he joked that he is “kind of like a groundhog, [he] can only come out once a year.”
She talked about how he still looks exactly the same as he did when he was a kid, Culkin said that “it’s a curse and a blessing. You know, I can get into any restaurant I want without a reservation, but while I’m there, everyone’s staring at me.”
He admitted that he doesn’t actually watch the iconic franchise that often, instead he actively avoids it.
“I don’t really watch them all that often. We did a 15-year anniversary DVD commentary, and I realized that I hadn’t seen it in 15 years.”
But obviously he knows that the rest of us are watching it.
“It’s just kind of background radiation at Christmas time. I’ve had people who want to sit down and watch it with me, which is both flattering and creepy.”
What he actually remembers from the set is pretty impressive given the fact that he was so young when he filmed it.
“When I’m watching it I’m remembering that day on set. Like how I was hiding my Pepsi behind the couch.”
Every holiday season he tries to avoid going out as much as possible. When Degeneres asked if he goes out at all in the holiday season he answered quickly, “I definitely don’t, it’s my season. I try to go out less and less around that time of year.”
As for the one thing people are always asking him about that movie, it’s exactly what you’d expect it to be. People are constantly asking him to do the face from the movie poster, but he just says “no, been there done that already guys.”
His life before acting
Culkin talked about his life before acting, and how he was actually a professional dancer as a kid. He studied ballet and was actually in The Nutcracker right after he did Uncle Buck.
As for whether he still dances, he admitted that he doesn’t put the same amount of effort into it as he used to but he still enjoys it.
“I mean, I don’t dance like that anymore, the outfits don’t fit anymore. But I like to dance, with my lady or whatever, like that kind of stuff, but I definitely don’t do ballet anymore. My feet and my hips appreciate it.”
What it was like growing up in a huge family
He has six siblings, he joked that “my mom didn’t have a family, she had a litter.”
“We grew up in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. So it was pretty much nine people, seven kids and two parents. We lived on top of each other. They were literally stacking us, they were stacking bunk beds. It was like sardines. But it was a good time, we were a close-knit family because of that. There was no such thing as privacy.”
He left acting at 14 because he needed a break.
“Yeah, I was tired of it, to be honest. I did 14 movies in six years or something like that. It’s a lot. I was away from home a lot, I was away from school, I was just, I needed something else. I needed to grow and develop as a person. I was looking forward to high school. I was actually looking forward to going to school.”
Culkin got to go to high school, but he obviously knew that his experience wasn’t going to be the same as other kids.
“I’m always treated differently, whether I like it or not. But at the same time, that’s the kind of stuff that you have to figure out, especially if you’re coming into your own, those are some really formative years. It was the smartest thing I could have possible done taking eight years off or whatever.”
Realizing how much money he had
When you’re a child actor, you don’t actually get to see your money until you become an adult. So Culkin didn’t actually know what he was worth until he was 18. Degeneres asked him about what it was like when he realized he didn’t have to work again and he said there is a “weird disconnect” that makes it feel as though it isn’t even his money.
“I didn’t see it until I turned 18, I call it the ‘Slip of Paper’ meeting, where they pretty much put a number on a piece of paper and slide it across the table and then boom, there you go. So I felt like some kid worked really, really hard, and I inherited all of his money pretty much. I had kind of no real sense, but at the same time it allows me to treat everything like a hobby really. I do nothing for my dinner nowadays, so I can do all kinds of projects.”
Remembering the past
He was shown a bunch of pictures from his childhood and asked to reveal what memories it sparks.
“Stupid girl, I gotta kiss a girl,” he joked, but then said that they got along very well on set and that he is grateful that he was in the movie.
Saturday Night Live
“That’s me doing SNL, I was doing Simon. I remember it because I did the whole episode without cue cards. My father was quite insistent about that, so I had to memorize the whole episode.”
“The most 90s photo you’ve ever seen”
“That’s me and Dougie, and Urkel, and the Fresh Prince. I’m probably wearing Reebok pumps or something.
Whether he decides to stay in the spotlight or go back into his retirement, it’s nice to know he’s doing well and appreciates his past as much as we all do!
Source – USA Today