Macaulay Culkin living life to its fullest

Macaulay Culkin is trending, but not for hilarious social media shenanigans, or his latest project, but for his appearance at the Gucci Love Parade in Los Angeles last week.

The star studded parade also included celebrities such as Jared Leto, Lizzo, Salma Hayek, Billie Eilish, James Corden, Miley Cyrus and Gwyneth Paltrow, just to name a few. The event shut down Hollywood Blvd and debuted the new Gucci Love Parade collection.

41 year old Culkin strutted his stuff and worked the runway in the combo of a Hawaiian shirt and shiny floral bomber jacket, while sporting a signature Gucci belt and wide-legged trousers. He topped off the look with orange tinted shades and studded black clogs.

His longtime fans went absolutely bananas over seeing the child star looking sharp and confident, as if channeling one of his childhood roles as Richie Rich

31 years ago the world fell in love with the precocious, cherub-faced 10 year old Macaulay Culkin in the film Home Alone, which was set and filmed in Chicago. The young Culkin had only been in a handful of projects before that HUGE break, including another Chicago based film Uncle Buck, which has been rumored to have inspired Home Alone. The child then skyrocketed into stardom and went on to star in several more films including Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. 

For Home Alone, Chris Columbus and John Hughes teamed up to create one of the most famous Christmas movies of all time. This Guinness record holder, as the highest grossing live-action comedy for 27 years, catapulted Macaulay Culkin into one of the most famous child stars for his performance as Kevin McCallister.

In the film the very large McCallister family accidently leaves young Kevin home alone as they trek off to Europe for a family vacation. Kevin finds himself defending his home from two burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as his mother (Catherine O’Hara) struggles to return home to him. 

Home Alone and its sequel were so wildly popular that the franchise went on to produce 3 more films without Macaulay Culkin and now a SIXTH installment will be premiering on Disney+ on November 12. Home Sweet Home Alone is a reboot of the remarkably successful Home Alone franchise and it has been rumored that Culkin might have a cameo as his character Kevin McCallister. The film was announced after The Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox and inherited the film rights to the Home Alone franchise.

After Uncle Buck and Home Alone, Culkin went on to cultivate a very successful film and TV career throughout the early 90s, breaking all of our hearts in the film My Girl. He also terrified us in the Ian McEwan-penned psychological thriller The Good Son, and entertained us in the comic-book adaptation Richie Rich, plus he voiced Nick McClary in all 13 episodes of the 1991 TV show Wish Kid. 

In 1994, after starring or appearing in 15 projects in 7 years, 14-year-old Culkin announced his retirement from acting, and went back to school. Shortly thereafter, in 1995, Culkin’s parents, Kit and Patricia separated. It was reported at the time that the two battled over Macaulay’s millions and that he “divorced” his parents. He later clarified that he simply took both their names off his trust fund simultaneously.

In a 2020 interview with Esquire, Culkin explained, “It’s always misconstrued that I “emancipated” myself from my parents. I legally took my parents’ names off of my trust fund and found an executor, someone who would look over my finances, just in case anyone wanted to stick their f***ing pinkie in the pie. But the next thing you know, the story was that I divorced my parents. I just thought I was doing it cleanly—taking my father’s name off, taking my mom’s name off, so my opinion is unbiased. And when I did that, the whole thing kinda ended a lot faster.’” 

Culkin also reflected on the fact that his parents had been taking 15% of his earnings up to that point. “Look, I mean, it sucks,” he told the magazine. “But it coulda been worse, you know? I wasn’t working in a coal mine. I wasn’t a child soldier. My father was not sexually abusing me. Certain f***ed up things happened, but f***ed up things happen to kids all the time and they don’t come out the other end. I’ve got something to show for it, man. I mean, look at me: I got money, I got fame, I got a beautiful girlfriend and a beautiful house and beautiful animals.” Culkin continued, “It took me a long time to get to that place, and I had to have that conversation with myself and go, like, Honestly, Mack? It’s not so bad. I want for nothing and need for even less. I’m good, man.”

His decision to steer clear from the spotlight seemed to be a good one for him and he managed to transition from child star into adulthood without befalling the same tragedies many other child stars have suffered. When he stepped aside at the wise old age of 14, his siblings were able to flourish and build their own Hollywood careers. He’s the fourth of his parents’ eight children, and two of his younger brothers Rory Culkin and Kieran Culkin have built impressive resumes for themselves. Youngest sibling

Rory Culkin starred in Signs and Scream 4 and had a leading role in 2018’s Lords of Chaos, a horror-thriller about the Norwegian death metal scene, not to mention his notable TV career.

Kieran Culkin, who is Macaulay’s junior by two years, is currently riding high thanks to his Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated role in Succession

Kieran recently hosted Saturday Night Live and made reference to the fact that he had joined his older brother when he hosted the show almost 30 years earlier. On the show he shared a photo of himself on the stage and at the end of the show, the cast helped Kieran recreate the photo as an adult. Keen eyed fans of Home Alone might remember seeing Kieran in the movie as the character Fuller in both Home Alone and Home Alone 2. Kieran has maintained a successful career up to this point appearing in over 20 films as well as several TV shows, most notably Fargo in 2015 before landing his role in the super popular HBO Max hit Succession

Macaulay Culkin returned to film in 2003 as the real-life NYC party promoter and murderer Michael Alig in the very dark cult classic Party Monster. The movie followed the true story of a club promoter who was involved in the murder of a local drug dealer and who also hid the body until he (and his acompalaces) ultimately disposed of the body and were consequently caught by the authorities.

After filming, Culkin seemed to enjoy life in New York and made a home for himself in the local underground arts scene. Over the next decade he made DIY films with the indie musician Adam Green, and in 2013 he formed The Pizza Underground, a pizza-themed parody of The Velvet Underground. The band was short-lived and reportedly “broke up” after an incident in Nottingham in 2014. Concert-goers began throwing beer soon after the show started. “Why are you throwing those?” Culkin asked. “I’d rather drink them!” 

15 minutes later, a full beer hit Culkin, just as he was about to start his kazoo solo. “That’s the end of the show. Goodnight,” he told the crowd, before grabbing his bandmates and walking off stage.

In 2012, photographs of him looking gaunt, almost transparent, set tabloids ablaze with stories he was addicted to heroin and oxycodone, following the breakdown of his relationship with Mila Kunis. Given his friendship with Adam Green and Pete Doherty, as well as a previous arrest for possession of marijuana, Xanax and clonazepam, it seemed plausible, however in that same Esquire article Culkin set the record straight, “I never went so far down that road where I needed outside help. I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I hadn’t had drugs in my life at some point or another. I had some illuminating experiences – but also it’s f***ing stupid, too, you know?” He went on to describe recreational drugs as “like old friends. But sometimes you outgrow your friends.”

Even after being attacked both on stage and by the media, Culkin has maintained his sharp witted sense of humor with incredibly funny social media posts. In 2014 we witnessed one of the most adorable bromances of all time when fellow former child star Ryan Gosling was photographed in a Macaulay Culkin T-shirt, Culkin set off a deluge of memes by having the picture turned into his own T-shirt  and then Gosling responded in kind in a seemingly endless bit.

He took credit for single handedly stopped Christmas burglaries from happening in 2018:

In 2019 he poked fun at himself and posted an unflattering photo of himself saying, “This is what an updated Home Alone would actually look like.”

He is playfully aware that many of his fans still believe he hasn’t aged a day since 1994. In August 2020, on his birthday, he tweeted: “Hey guys, wanna feel old? I’m 40. You’re welcome.” It quickly became one of the Top 10 most-liked tweets of all time.

In October 2020 as Americans clashed over mask wearing, he delighted his fans by tweeting a photo of himself wearing a facemask with his iconic face-slap from Home Alone. “Just staying Covid-safe wearing the flayed skin of my younger self,” he wrote on Twitter, showing off the face mask:

In April 2021 Culkin and his partner, Brenda Song welcomed a baby boy into the world whom they named Dakota in honor of his late sister who passed away in 2008. The three live in a charming house with three cats, a few fish, a Shiba Inu, and a blue-headed pionus, which is a parrot. Song told Esquire her feelings for Culkin,  “You can’t be around him and not be happy.” 

Most recently, on TV, Culkin dazzled fans in American Horror Stories, Red Tide. By the end of Red Tide’s premiere episode, Culkin’s character Mickey had easily become the season’s best character, delivering an endearing performance where he held his own against some of American Horror Story’s most notable alumni actors.

Those of us who worried about the star’s mental and physical health throughout his life in front of the cameras can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that this child star has two feet firmly on the ground and is currently living his life to its fullest. We couldn’t be happier for Macaulay Culkin and we can’t wait to see how much further he wants to take his career in the spotlight. 

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Joia DaVida reports on the entertainment industry in both Chicago and Los Angeles.