We seem to have an obsession with child stars who grow up on in the limelight. Maybe by watching a child actor age in front of our eyes over the years, we are drawn to them, taking ownership of them in a way. We want to know what they’re doing with their life. Well, that’s one possible reason. The truth is probably less innocent than that. We also have a deep-seated fascination with Hollywood and the apparent negative effect it has on people. Whether they admit it or not, there’s something in people that wants to see a child star succumb to the influence of Hollywood, if only so they can say “I told you so”. We pretend to have this parental concern for the actor, as if we only want to see them shine. We’re only reading about the bad stuff to stay informed. We swear.
Over the past 50 years or so, we’ve not been consumed by another child star like Macauley Culkin. His films were some of the biggest of the times. The Home Alone films are time-honored annual traditions, and by watching them year over year, we keep Culkin young in perpetuity. Off-screen, Culkin grew up. He left the industry and the cute kid became something different than we imagined. We blamed the nastiness of Hollywood and greed. Culkin grew into a skinny man. It must be drugs. It was heroin. Hollywood heroin. Drugs were only a piece of the trouble surrounding Culkin though. When a star shines as bright as Culkin’s did, we learn everything there is to know about him. Are there any secrets left? Sure, there are. They just might not be as negative as you might hope. If nothing else, the entries on this list might shed a little light on the man that Culkin has become. He’s not what we thought he would be, but he’s not the satanic spawn of Hollywood depravity that we secretly hope he is either.
15. Continued Involvement with Jackson Family
Ever since the sexual abuse scandals that surrounded Michael Jackson, Macauley Culkin has faced countless questions about his relationship with the King of Pop and his family. Since Culkin spent so much time with Jackson when he was a young boy, there have always been insinuations about the nature of his relationship with Jackson. Culkin first met Jackson after being called out of the blue. Jackson was a big fan of Culkin and the two developed a friendship over the years. The friendship was unorthodox but Culkin always maintained it was as innocent as one could hope.
When Paris Jackson was born in 1998, Culkin was asked by Jackson to be her godfather. He would also become the godfather to the youngest of Jackson’s children, Prince Michael Jackson II. Just recently, Paris posted photos of her with Culkin, “the best godfather ever,” as the two spent some quality time together. Throughout the years and despite the negativity surrounding his relationship with the Jackson family, it’s clear that Culkin has still remained close with them. Like every relationship of his, Culkin has kept this one quiet. Hopefully this one won’t get twisted in the media the way some of the others have.
14. He Was a Party Monster
After 1994 and Richie Rich, Macauley Culkin called it quits, leaving behind the acting profession and going to school, trying to recapture some semblance of a normal life. He finally came back to the film industry nine years later. There wasn’t necessarily a lot of fanfare for his return because it was in a smaller film, but many people were still interested to see the project that brought him back. Unfortunately, it wasn’t necessarily the ideal project for Culkin’s return. Not only did it receive mostly negative reviews, the role connected Culkin to the frequent drug use he was already being accused of by the media. No, the film isn’t a secret, but, we’re guessing that, if you didn’t know about it already, Culkin wouldn’t want you to see it. It should be noted that Culkin’s following role in Saved! was quite well received.
13. Drug Arrest
Ever since Culkin admitted to smoking a joint here or there, people were on him for drug use. You could imagine the smug look of satisfaction on many people’s faces when, in 2004, Culkin was arrested and charged with possession of illegal substances. After being pulled over for speeding, Culkin (the passenger in the car) was found with 17.3 grams of marijuana, Xanax pills and Clonazepam pills. This was huge news at the time, but it was 12 years ago, so maybe you forgot, or weren’t up on the news at that time. Ever since then, the media has labeled Culkin as a drug user and the rumors have run rampant about him wherever he goes. Obviously, if he could erase one piece of news from his history, this would probably be it.
12. Family Problems
It’s too late to keep his family history secret. It was aired all over the place years ago and for years on end. Still, it’s been out of our collective thoughts long enough that he doesn’t want people digging it up again (we’re really sorry). Culkin’s behind-the-scenes family stuff, was a big part of why he quit acting in the first place. When Culkin asked his father for some time off in the early 90s, the child actor was denied. “He said, ‘Yeah, sure,’ and the next thing I knew I was on the next set doing the next thing, and it just kind of clicked in my brain: ‘Okay. There’s basically nothing I can do to make this stop,’” Culkin recalls. After his parents split in 1995, Culkin retired from acting, showing that it wasn’t his passion for the craft that kept him working, it was almost like child labor.
11. The Dreaded Kazoo Solo
Culkin’s famous character, Kevin McCallister, loved cheese pizza. It only makes sense that, as a grown man, Culkin would form a band that parodies the Velvet Underground band using a pizza-themed twist. Their band is called the Pizza Underground and almost all the songs are reworked to include pizza-themed lyrics. If this sounds incredible, you may have a silly sense of humor, but apparently, some crowds do, like those that came to see the band perform at the Dot to Dot Festival in Nottingham’s Rock City in the UK. When Culkin came on to perform a kazoo solo, some rowdies began to throw pints of beer at him. He took the abuse for about 15 minutes and even tried to make light of the situation, but he eventually packed up his stuff and called the show off.
10. Compare The Market Commercial
Like many of the things on this list, the only reason Culkin wouldn’t want people to see his new commercial for Compare the Market is because he doesn’t want the attention associated with it. Honestly and truly, the commercial is fantastic. When the Compare the Market meerkats invite Culkin to join in their road trip, they expect the child version to come along. Like the media and movie fans, they’re disappointed to learn that Culkin has grown up and is now a fully grown adult. Still, they take adult Culkin anyways, encouraging him to partake in the childish adventures they had planned. Seeing Culkin riding a roller coaster for children, standing arms crossed on a bouncy castle and done up in tiger face paint is a magical moment in television history. When asked about it in an interview, the modest Culkin makes it clear that he isn’t necessarily chest-puffing proud of the commercial and quickly tries to change the subject. Well, he can be embarrassed about it all he wants; it’s a meta masterpiece.
9. Mila Kunis Lookalike Girlfriend
Culkin hates having his picture taken in public and has never enjoyed having his personal life in the press (sorry again!), but if there’s one thing that he would want kept secret about his new relationship, it would be the nonsense that his current girlfriend, actress Jordan Lane Price, is a Mila Kunis lookalike. Some reports have anonymous sources (fake news) claiming that Culkin was so hurt by his breakup with Kunis that he latched onto the next best thing, an actress who looks like her. We’ll admit, there are similarities. They’re both petite and brunette, but spouting off this kind of things makes Culkin look like a crazy lover scorned. Could it be that he just likes beautiful brunettes?
8. He’s Not A Massive Addict
How is that a secret he doesn’t want people knowing?
If you read up on Culkin and watch his interviews, you quickly realize that this is a smart guy. He’s very smart and he’s got a great sense of humor. Then consider how he’s long had a grudge against the paparazzi and the story-at-all costs media. The insanity of fame has long made Culkin uncomfortable, part of the reason he left acting as a child. Because of this, Culkin has been forced to hideaway and keep his life sheltered. That hasn’t stopped stories from coming out, especially those about his alleged rampant drug use. Even though these stories are disparaging, you’ve got to think that he’s found some humor in the highly-exaggerated reports about his life. Knowing how he feels about the paparazzi, we don’t imagine Culkin’s too eager to set the record straight. Hopefully he gets a chuckle after he reads reports about him freebasing cocaine in a public bathroom in Paris, knowing full well he was in New York that night. He did acknowledge the silliness of the rumors, saying, “I was not pounding six grand of heroin every month or whatever.”
7. He’s Still Working
At this point in his life, Macauley Culkin wants nothing more than to stay low-key. There may come a time when he wants to return to the limelight, but, as of now, that image is a nightmare to him. He clearly likes the idea that people think he’s retired from acting. It’s easier to avoid the paparazzi when you’re only hiding from your past, even if that past is one of the most iconic in the industry. If he became relevant in the industry again, it would be impossible for him to stay hidden. Because of that, he takes part in small movies, pet projects and goes on the road with his friends and the bands he likes. Of this lifestyle he’s said, “It’s allowed me to become the person I am, and I like me, so I wouldn’t change a thing. Not having to do anything for my dinner, financially, lets me treat every gig like it’s the last.” He added, “If it is, I’d think: Culkin, you had a good run.”
6. He’s A Creature Of The Night
If you saw Macauley Culkin walking down the street right now, what would you do? Would you shout to him? Would you ask for a picture? Would you not waste time asking and just take one? Check out the pictures of Culkin. This is a man who is not comfortable with people harassing him as he walks, so he has a secret. He doesn’t go out during the day if he can avoid it. He takes walks into town between 2am and 4am. This allows him to have some peace and quiet under the cover of night. Sadly, this is what it’s come to for the actor. Even in big sun glasses or his hair covering his face, as soon as one person recognizes him, it’s game over.
5. His Other Life in Paris
The fact that Culkin splits much of his time between the US and Paris isn’t really a secret, but he definitely doesn’t want his comfortability there to end any time soon. It’s not that he’s anonymous in France. The French love him as much as we do, but they just don’t bombard him nearly as much as Americans. He tells a story about how he went to a restaurant in Paris and was discovered, but the reaction was nothing like he was used to at home. “A waitress just gave [a card with a tiny Home Alone–era photo of myself] to me and walked away — their WiFi code was ‘Macaulay Culkin,'” he said. “When she came back, I said, ‘I like your WiFi code.’ She goes, ‘Thank you,’ and I say, ‘C’est moi.’ She turned white and brought over the owner of the place, who said, ‘I knew you’d come here someday.’” He went on, “It turned out that, they recognized me, they just didn’t care… I was like, ‘Where have you people been my entire life?”
4. Relationship With Trump
Even though Donald Trump made an appearance in Home Alone 2, it doesn’t sound like Culkin is jumping up to support him politically. When asked about it, Culkin said “Discussing politics is the quickest way to alienate people, so I don’t wanna go into it.” However, right after that, he did quip, “He’s like the Candyman, we have to stop saying his name.” So no, he doesn’t discuss politics, but he does make awesome cinephilic jokes about them. Anyways, it’s safe to say that Trump wouldn’t like Culkin now anyways. He’s an actor and he has long hair.
3. The Wrong Film Ferrari
Macauley is a good friend. He would never come out and slam his pal’s first film, The Wrong Ferrari, but maybe he should. He definitely doesn’t want anyone to see Adam Green’s strange and amateurish film. It’s completely nonsensical, shot entirely on an iPhone camera. It feels more like a school project than a film, like grade school, not high school. Culkin spoke about it, saying, “When he came to [Green’s] first film, The Wrong Ferrari, almost all the lines and everything were just written on index cards, so somebody would say something, then he would pull out an index card and hand it to the next person, they would say something, and so forth.” Sounds like a really great experience for an experienced actor.
2. Photo in Michael Jackson’s House
When police raided Michael Jackson’s home in 2003 to search for evidence of the pedophilia and molestation charges he was facing, one of the items they found was a photo of Macauley Culkin in what people have called “a secret closet.” Many reports have made the photo into something sinister, pointing to the fact that the photo was signed by Culkin, stating, “Don’t leave me alone in the house.” The phrase was twisted in some horrible ways, but the little saying is obviously referencing the films that made him into a megastar, Home Alone. Around the time of the trials, Culkin had to defend and clear up stories about him staying over at Jackson’s home numerous times, even clarifying what Jackson said himself. Culkin explained that when it was said that children slept in Jackson’s bedroom, he wasn’t talking about a normal room. Jackson’s bedroom was a two-storey bedroom with three bathrooms, not your typical room.
1. Still Battling With Paparazzi
For many years, Culkin and the paparazzi have been enemies. Even his ex-girlfriend, Mila Kunis, who is a megastar in her own right, said that with Culkin it was always different. “He was huge,” she said. “You couldn’t walk down the street with him. He always had this weird attraction, like fans just screamed when they saw him! They didn’t know how to react. It wasn’t like a normal response to a celebrity. Fans responded in a very abnormal way to him.” While he wouldn’t like to admit it, the fear of the paparazzi has made Culkin into someone he’s not when he’s out in public. “It’s been like that my whole adult life. You take on a prey-like attitude, always scanning the horizon. It’s strange on dates, as it looks like you’re not paying attention,” he said. “But I’ve stopped trying to think of myself in the third person, because that’s just gonna drive me nuts. Macaulay Culkin is out there, and I’m Mac. You guys can play with the first one.”