With the whirlwind of rumors that have circulated Macaulay Culkin, it's no surprise that fans often forget how truly talented he is. Despite the trouble he found himself in during his adult years, he had a fairly intense childhood as well. Anything from parental issues to money problems was fair game for young Culkin and none of them helped his upbringing go smoothly. The common thread was that none of the things he experienced were his fault but, looking back, we begin to realize that he's human just like us... with some fairly human experiences.
While he had his fair share of unfairness growing up, there are some things about his life that make us question his later years. Culkin is an interesting character for sure, but he's also someone who may have been shaped by the hardships he went through.
To say his younger years were fascinating would be an understatement, as there's plenty that the average person doesn't know about him. Luckily for fans, we delved into the backstory of one of the US's greatest child stars and tried to figure out what it's really like to be Macaulay Culkin... even if some of it does make us question his childhood.
20 By Age 17, He Was Already Married
Getting married at such a young age isn't nearly as taboo as it once was, but it's definitely something that Culkin has experience in. After starring in a Sonic Youth music video with his soon-to-be wife, Rachel Miner, the two decided to tie the knot in 1998. As far as young marriages go, this one lasted a respectable amount of time before the two finally decided it was time for splits. In 2000, they were legally separated and two years later, the divorce was final. Getting married has its perks but at 17, marriage can be quite limited and incredibly challenging, something the pair likely discovered within those two years.
19 Culkin Is The Godfather To Two Of Michael Jackson's Children
Interestingly enough, Culkin has had friends in some pretty high places. Michael Jackson, for one, was an extremely close friend of his. Culkin met Jackson at a very young age but the two continued their friendship well into his adulthood. The Internet is home to many photos of the two as Culkin was growing up and though there has been some speculation about what really went on, the friendship was purely platonic. Culkin also starred in one of Jackson's music videos and is the godparent of two of his children, Prince Michael and Paris, whom he's still very close with to this day.
18 He And His Siblings Nicknamed Their Father 'Stinky' For Good Reason
It's pretty clear at this point that Culkin's father, Kit, was not the most lovable person in the family. The issue spanned much further than that, however, as it was rumored that he treated his ex-wife, Patricia, like trash.
There were reports shortly after that Kit had openly threatened Patricia and the damage didn't end there. After hearing all of this, the court system awarded full custody to Patricia, leaving her ex-husband with no ties to his children. This seemed to be fine by them, however, as the Culkin clan took to the nickname 'Stinky' for their father -- appropriately fitting of someone they disliked.
17 His Training Includes, Surprisingly, Ballet
Are you really a true Macaulay fan if you weren't aware that he starred in a production of The Nutcracker? The young actor took on a major role in the 1993 film production and, quite simply, enthralled audiences with his performance. The reason he was able to do this so effortlessly was due to his classical training, which included schooling at the School of American Ballet. He was trained to be a dancer and his talent was something that director Emile Ardolino picked up on immediately. If you're talking about a man with many talents, you're likely talking about someone like Culkin.
16 His Home Life Wasn't Great And He Took His Mother's Side During A Rough Divorce
Amongst the chaos that ensued after money began rolling in, it was no surprise that Culkin's parents would soon be filing for divorce. It got to the point where Culkin and his siblings would soon need to choose sides and, of course, Culkin sided with his mother in a tense legal battle. This decision would forever cement his father's opinion of his son, who would later declare that he no longer viewed Culkin as his own. Harsh words coming from someone who raised you, but the insult didn't seem to phase Culkin too much as he had moved on with his own life by that point.
15 By The Age Of 14, He Was Emancipated From His Parents
While the Home Alone star had (somewhat) of a happy life portrayed in his movies, his on-screen mother leaving her son Kevin at home was peachy-keen compared to Culkin's real at-home life.
After making roughly one million off his first major debut, money did what it does best... gets in the way and creates hostility. This particular animosity transpired between his parents, who fought amongst themselves over what to do with all the money Culkin had made from the movie(s). Culkin's relationship with his father was far more tainted than the one with his mother, but this constant tension eventually led to his emancipation from both of them at age 14.
14 The Actor Has Admitted That He Suffers From Agoraphobia
Another thing you'd never think of when it comes to an actor—especially one that seems to be so outgoing—is that he would suffer from agoraphobia. Indeed it's the truth; Culkin came clean to the public during an interview with Larry King that he sometimes fears to leave his home. He also went into what he believes triggered it: An unfortunate incident during which he was locked in his film trailer while some rowdy fans decided to shake it. Luckily, man's best friend came to the rescue; Culkin owns a pup that he claims has helped him work through his fears.
13 His Family Hasn't Had The Best Of Luck: His Mother Was Responsible For A Raging Building Fire
Weird things surrounded this child as he was growing up and this one is definitely extreme. The correct term is tragic, and the whole incident transpired when Culkin's mother, Patricia, had a wall-mounted heater turned on which short-circuited, causing the massive fire. She faced several lawsuits due to the accident, as the fire took the lives of four people with another 22 ending up injured as a result. While the whole thing was purely accidental, the fire ripped through many people's homes and ended up destroying much of the building by the time it was all said and done with.
12 Culkin Lost Two Siblings Growing Up, Both His Sister And Half-Sister
Tragedy struck Culkin's family with the loss of two of his siblings. Out of a total of seven, the family experienced their first loss in 2000 when they lost his half-sister, Jennifer. She'd struggled for some time, and the sudden loss would have been harrowing to any family. Sadly, it didn't end there. Roughly eight years later, the Culkin family would struggle with another loss, but this time it would be Culkin's sister, Dakota. She lost her life in a car accident; the most unsettling fact about it is that she lost her life at the same age as Culkin's half-sister.
11 His Breakout Childhood Role Was Written Just For Him
Many kids aren't lucky enough to have parts written just for him but in the case of Macaulay Culkin, his was special. The director for Home Alone saw hundreds of kids and went through mountains of applications and auditions before finally finding Culkin. Even after the auditions continued, the director, Chris Columbus, knew in his mind that only one of them was right for the role of Kevin. It would soon be decided that Culkin would be the new face of Home Alone and, as fate would have it, Columbus knew he would be nothing short of perfect for it.
10 Surprise! Culkin's Brother Also Acted Alongside Him
While the hardcore fans of Culkin might already know this tidbit, it's something that many don't immediately realize. Culkin's younger brother, Kieran, also starred in the movie Home Alone alongside him. There's no denying that the two were adorable together and while Kieran didn't star as one of Macaulay's brothers, he did appear in the film as his cousin. Fans can spot him as the 'Pepsi' kid—also known as Fuller—and when you realize who it is, the family connection is nearly unmistakable. Kieran has since been in several other films since his childhood role. It seems that fame really can run in the family.
9 Over One Million Dollars Was His After 'Home Alone' And Drama Ensued
This is something we briefly noted early on in the article and while it's sad, it's also true. With little money to star with, when Culkin began bringing in the big bucks for his childhood acting, his parents were at a loss over what to do with it. The money that was his sparked what would soon be an ongoing battle over how to save and spend it, something that would inevitably be unrepairable. Later, it would come out that Culkin's father, Kit, was not a very good husband, but it's the sudden money that sparked significant animosity. This led to his parent's eventual divorce.
8 He Had A Very Real On-Screen Kiss...
While he's most well-known for Home Alone, Culkin is no stranger to the big screen through several other roles, including the movie My Girl. Culkin starred alongside Anna Chlumsky, who would also soon be known for her childhood acting after the movie premiered. Their performance together was so powerful to audiences, in fact, that their famously innocent kissing scene won 'Best Kiss' in 1992, beating out every other film that year. At that point, Culkin was still in the 'girls have cooties' phase, and wasn't the biggest fan of the idea that he had to kiss a girl. It was this role that would pave the way for him post-Home Alone.
7 Culkin Is A Published Author And 'Junior' Supposedly Reflected His Childhood
There has been much controversy surrounding the publishing of Culkin's semi-autobiography, Junior. Not only is he an accomplished actor, musician, and dancer, but he's also a published author and this book is one he's fairly well-known for, as it was his first. In later years, it would be revealed that Culkin somewhat regrets penning the novel in 2006. The novel was said to touch on his early fame as well as his family life and was considered to be 'experimental.' While it started out as something that was somewhat the truth, he would later consider his own self a fraud for writing it. Since then, he's tried to place some distance between himself and Junior.
6 The Teen Actor Starred In A Sonic Youth Video With His Future Wife
While Culkin knew Rachel Miner long before they ever tied the knot, it wasn't until they were both set to appear in the music video for Sonic Youth's "Friday" that they would realize there was something more than friendship between them. However, Culkin is no stranger to the music scene. He appeared in several music videos, including one for "Black or White" by long-time friend Michael Jackson. Music seems to be a fairly large part of his life, in fact, because he also starred as the late Kurt Cobain in an independent film, The Wrong Ferrari.
5 Few People Caught His Cameo In 2009 On WWE Raw
That's right! Culkin is no stranger to the world of wrestling — at least he wasn't in 2009. His cameo at WWE Raw had plenty of people pulling double takes as they realized who it was appearing on their screen. After wrestler Hornswoggle defeated his fellow wrestler Chavo Guerrero with a move that was ultimately inspired by Home Alone, Culkin suddenly appeared behind the stage. In typical Macaulay fashion, the actor informed Hornswoggle that the naming of the move was 'not funny.' Of course, it was hilarious, and fans were thrilled. Whether or not Culkin is a huge fan of the rings remains to be seen, but his cameo was well-appreciated.
4 His Band, Pizza Underground, Is Legitimate
As if it couldn't get any stranger, Culkin not only formed a band that was aptly named after pizza, but his band actually performs songs that are completely devoted to the popular comfort food...
The name was a play on the band The Velvet Underground, which was formed in the 1960s and has quite the rock reputation. The band, hilariously, was formed based on somewhat of a joke, but they did do a fairly serious tour and produced legitimate music. While the music days aren't as big for Culkin as they once were, he'll always have pizza to thank fondly for the musical memories.
3 The Childhood Star Didn't Grow Up With Any Money Until 'Home Alone'
It's no secret that Culkin did not grow up with extravagant things or much of anything at all. His childhood was spent in a small apartment in New York City, where he describes his siblings practically sleeping on top of each other with little space. He and his siblings all shared one room so privacy was not a luxury they had growing up. Prior to his days as a multi-millionaire, Culkin was rumored to have crawled around movie theaters the hunt around for leftover change that may have dropped out of movie-goers pockets. Whether or not this extreme is true has yet to be proven, but it is a fact that the Culkin family did not have much growing up.
2 Despite His Acting Talent, He Lost The Race To Gain Many Other Popular Roles
You would think that making it big as such a successful childhood actor and starring in the biggest holiday movie of the decade (and decades to come) would guarantee roles in some of the biggest upcoming movies. Unfortunately, Culkin learned quickly that nothing was guaranteed, including other acting jobs. After his role of Kevin, he auditioned for several other roles and lost some to fellow childhood actor, Brad Renfro. The biggest letdown was likely his loss of the role in The Client to Refro in 1994, which had come after every one of his scenes from Born on the Fourth of July had been cut from the movie.
1 He Turned An Internet Hoax Into A Joke With His Fans
If there's one thing we can say about Culkin, it's that he has a sense of humor. The Internet can sometimes be a harsh place and in 2014, a rumor was started that Culkin was suddenly no more. While some fans were heartbroken, it was more obvious to others that the rumor was just that — a hoax. Culkin saw an opportunity, however, and decided to play along with the joke, even down to playing into it via his social media account. It was there that he parodied a scene from Weekend at Bernie's before eventually making the (obvious) announcement that he was, indeed, very much alive at his next Pizza Underground show. Touche, Macaulay.