Macaulay Culkin’s child star heyday is long gone, but the 35-year-old actor still feels the after-effects of his early fame on a daily basis. While he still gets recognized constantly, in an interview with New York Magazine’s Vulture, Culkin said he gets to pick and choose what he does career-wise.
“I’m a man in his mid-30s who’s essentially retired. I kind of go where the wind takes me a little bit.”
Culkin told the magazine he spends most of his days painting, writing in his notebooks, and “whatevering.” But he has also found a way to get out of his New York home without a constant reminder of his childhood fame.
“I’ll take walks at two or four in the morning, because there’s nobody out on the streets and it’s easy for me to go unnoticed.”
Macaulay adds that even when he doesn’t get approached by fans, he can feel them looking at him.
“And even if I don’t get bugged, it’s looming, it’s there,” Culkin says.
Except in Paris, that is, where Culkin spends half of his time. Macaulay has noted that the French fans kind of leave him alone. His name was even handed to him by an oblivious waitress at a café as a Wi-Fi password. And when Parisians do recognize Macaulay, they still leave him alone.
“It turned out that no, they recognized me, they just didn’t care. I was like, ‘Where have you people been my entire life?’ “
As for those intermittent career moves, Macaulay has made some unconventional choices. In addition to playing gigs with his comedy rock band The Pizza Underground — a Velvet Underground parody band with a penchant for pizza — last year Culkin made a cameo as a coffee shop barista on The Jim Gaffigan Show. He has also made two slightly more bizarre appearances on Adam Green’s deranged independent film version of Aladdin and pal Jack Dishel’s dark web comedy series :DRYVRS.
Macaulay’s role on Dishel’s digital series had him channeling his Home Alone character Kevin McCallister, but the dark comedy sketch definitely wasn’t for kids. Instead, a bearded Culkin played an Uber driver who doesn’t know how to drive. In the film short, Culkin’s character talked about a traumatic childhood experience in which he had to defend his family’s home from “two psychopath home invaders.” The actor also described a “bald weirdo dude chasing me around, talking like Yosemite Sam,” adding that he still has nightmares about the experience more than two decades later.
“They remembered my b*****d of a brother but they forget me — the cutest f**king 8-year-old in the universe, by far,” Culkin deadpanned.
Definitely a far cry from Richie Rich.
Speaking of, Culkin’s last “mainstream” acting role was in 2010 on the Adult Swim animated sketch comedy series Robot Chicken. Macaulay sporadically voiced several characters on the show over five years. As far as seeing his face in a mainstream role, you would have to go back to 2009, when he played Andrew Cross on the short-lived NBC drama Kings.
As he basks in essential retirement in his mid-30s, Culkin amuses himself by writing poems and jokes. In the New York Magazine interview, he rattled off some of his words of wisdom and clearly seemed amused by his masterpieces.
“When life gives you lemons… cook fish. When life gives you lemons… be thankful it didn’t give you testicular cancer. When life gives you lemons… you should paint them green and see if anyone notices they are not limes… It goes on for pages and pages.”
Take a look at the video below to see one of Culkin’s more recent bizarre videos.
[Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images For Turner]