Macaulay Culkin’s popularity peaked in the 90s when Home Alone became a worldwide sensation. But at the age of 14, he was already out of work due to many factors like his dad being a controlling prick and the movies he starred in being trash. The father of the year, Christopher Culkin, believed that his son deserved to be paid millions, but the film studios did not want to spend a third of their budget on the boy’s royalties. The young actor was constantly under stress, so he took a short break, which almost killed his career and himself, but let’s take a step back.
If there’s one thing he’s got in common with Kevin, it would be a huge family: four brothers and two sisters. After Christopher Culkin’s broadway career collapsed, his four-year-old son, Macaulay, was suddenly noticed by the artistic directors of the New York Philharmonic. So the dad took over as the manager. A very greedy manager.
Macaulay went from a Catholic school to an acting school in a split second and made his film debut in the mid-80s. But starring in “Uncle Buck” was a more notable achievement. Thanks to that movie, John Hughes met the young actor. When he got the idea to shoot a comedy about a boy whose parents left him home alone on Christmas Day, he instantly remembered Culkin. For the role of Kevin, Culkin was nominated for a Golden Globe and got $100,000 along with the title of “Child Actor of the Year.”
A year later, he appeared in the drama “My Girl,” which netted him a cool million. His next project, the comedy “Only the Lonely,” failed horrendously at the box office, and the thriller “Good Son” did not win any praise from the critics. Luckily for Macaulay, “Home Alone 2” paid off with dividends and brought the actor a record high fee of 4.5 million.
This is where the problems began: his manager/dad demanded millions for the same type of comedic roles offered to his son, which the film studios didn’t like very much. Macaulay was upset by being on the list of nominees for the Golden Raspberry, and he was tired of being type-cast as the same character, so one day, he told his parents that he was tired of filming. His mom supported her boy, but his father disagreed. As a result, the parents started fighting and eventually got a divorce. Amid this family strife, the teenage actor’s career plummeted to the ground.
Macaulay felt abandoned and lonely, and his only outlet was a romantic relationship with his childhood friend Rachel Miner. The lovebirds got married when they were 17, with written permission from their parents, of course. As it often happens, the teen marriage did not last long —after a couple of years, the couple split apart.
In 2002, Culkin found a new lady — Mila Kunis. Two years later, Mila dumped him, and only six years later admitted that she should not have done that. And if you think the breakup was hard on Kunis, Culkin got the real short end of the stick. Depression is an ugly beast. Pictures of drunk Macaulay swamped the Web, and then rumors about his drug addiction spread like wildfire.
In 2012, tabloids reported that Culkin had turned his apartment into a drug den, and if things continued at the same pace, he would be dead in six months. The actor’s representatives assured that everything was fine, but the news made fans worry.
Run it back
In 2000, the actor’s career left much to be desired. His roles in Club Mania, Sex for Breakfast, and The Wrong Ferrari failed to live up to his former fame, and the short-lived band he created — The Pizza Underground — heard more boos than a Halloween party.
Despite all these hardships, Culkin began to actively appear in commercials and YouTube videos, exploiting the image of the adult Kevin McCallister, launched his show Bunny Ears, and started popping up on social networks. Starring in Land of Change turned out to be a successful endeavor, and appearing in the 10th season of American Horror Story led viewers to believe that Macaulay had finally revived his career.
A lucky streak has also blessed his personal life. In 2013, Macaulay started dating Jordan Lane Price, which many tabloids compared to Mila Kunis, but just as with Mila, the relationship did not last long.
Jordan was just a stepping stone to Brenda Song, who helped Culkin fight his addictions and made him think about becoming a father. In April 2021, 40-year-old Macaulay finally became a dad to a wonderful daughter named Dakota in honor of his deceased sister.
It seems that the fans can sleep well tonight, as Macaulay Culkin poses for the magazine covers, appears in movies, and most importantly, he has found that elusive family happiness. Now, all we need to do is wait for him to get a role that would outshine Kevin McCallister.