Back in the early ’90s, Macaulay Culkin was one of the biggest celebs on the planet. The child actor skyrocketed to fame at the tender age of 10, starring in a series of blockbuster films that earned him A-list status almost overnight.
But as he grew into adulthood, the New York native decided to step away from the spotlight and try to live a (relatively) normal life. So what has he been up to since his days of superstardom? Here’s a look at the life of Macaulay Culkin since his days as a child star.
His Early Retirement
Culkin followed his Home Alone run with a slew of other early ’90s films, including My Girl, The Good Son, Richie Rich, and a movie version of the Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker. But by the time he hit the age of 14, the busy child actor said he had had enough of life in the movie biz.
“When I was put in a position where I could take control of my own life and my own destiny and make decisions that were solely for my benefit and not for anyone else to make money on, or anything like that, I did,” Culkin said in a 2004 interview on Larry King Live. “I jumped in there and I kind of just said, I’m retired … Essentially, I had to take control. I was going crazy by that point. I knew it was, you know, if I just kept on doing it, I’d go nuts.”
Luckily for Culkin, his success as one of the biggest child actors of all time gave him the means to walk away from Hollywood while he was still young. In a 2018 interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Macaulay Culkin revealed he didn’t even realize just how much so until he gained control of his finances at 18.
“I didn’t see it until I turned 18, I call it the ‘Slip of Paper’ meeting, where they pretty much put a number on a piece of paper and slide it across the table and then—boom! There you go,” he told DeGeneres. “I felt like some kid worked really, really hard, and I inherited all of his money pretty much. I had kind of no real sense, but at the same time, it allows me to treat everything like a hobby really.”
His Relationships And Family
After stepping away from the spotlight, Culkin began moving through life as any young adult would, which included pursuing romantic relationships. He married actress Rachel Minor in 1998—when they were both just 18-years-old—but the couple split two years later and officially divorced in 2002.
In May 2002, Culkin started dating actress Mila Kunis, and the pair remained in a relationship for eight years. While there were rumors of an engagement during their time together, both actors denied the claims and the pair announced their split in January of 2011.
In 2017, Culkin started dating actress Brenda Song, who he met while filming the Seth Green-directed comedy, Changeland. For the most part, the couple keeps a pretty low profile.
In April of 2021, the couple welcomed their son, Dakota, who’s named after Culkin’s deceased sister. The couple announced their engagement in January 2022.
What Macaulay Culkin Is Doing Now
As for his professional life, Culkin has continued to keep busy despite his initial desire to leave acting for good at age 14. Since the early 2000s, the Richie Rich star has made cameos and appeared in a number of TV shows and movies, including Will & Grace, Party Monster, Saved!, Sex and Breakfast, and The Park.
He’s also been in a handful of TV commercials and online ad campaigns, including a hilarious 2018 spot for Google Assistant, in which he reprised his Home Alone role as a much older Kevin McCallister.
In 2021, Culkin joined the cast of American Horror Story: Double Feature, earning widespread praise for his performance. And in 2022, he appeared in two episodes of the hit HBO comedy The Righteous Gemstones.
Ventures Outside Of Acting
True to his word, Culkin has dabbled in a number of projects and hobbies outside of Hollywood.
In 2013, he helped form the comedy rock band The Pizza Underground. Playing the kazoo, percussions, and providing vocals, Culkin performed parodies of songs by the Velvet Underground with pizza-themed lyrics alongside Matt Colbourn, Phoebe Kreutz, Deenah Vollmor, and Austin Kilham. The band even gave out pizza during their live performances.
Sadly the band didn’t last, as Culkin reported the group had officially disbanded in 2018.
Keeping in line with his unique sense of humor, Culkin founded and is the CEO of the satirical website Bunny Ears which claims, “We create premium lifestyle content (some call it ‘satire’, others call it ‘The Word’) relating to proclivities, diet & exploration, upscale culture, and whatever else enriches lives and promote chuckles.” He also hosts a Podcast with the same name and focus.
On a slightly more serious note, Culkin even dipped his toes in the world of high fashion and made a runway appearance in 2021 for Gucci.
So while the Home Alone star might not be headlining major blockbusters these days, it seems Macaulay Culkin has found his groove and is enjoying life on his own terms.
Macaulay Culkin In 2023
Though its been 33 years since the release of 1990’s Home Alone, 2023 has been a memorable year for the fan favorite actor. Most recently, Culkin was honored with his own star on the Walk of Fame. The scene was all smiles and congratulations for the now 43-year-old man as he was honored with accolades.
Culkin had nothing but love to say about his wife, Brenda Song, the mother of his two kids.
“You are absolutely everything, you’re my champion,” he said as he held back tears. “You’re the only person happier for me today than I am. You’re not only the best woman I’ve ever known, you’re the best person I’ve ever known. You’ve given me just all my purpose. You’ve given me family.”
“And after the birth of our two boys, you’ve become one of my three favorite people,” he added. “You’re somewhere in there. But I love you. I love you so much.”
In classic Culkin style, the star ended his speech with a classic line from Home Alone.
“To wrap things up, in the spirit of the holiday season. I just want to say, Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.”
Many stars including former cast members from Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York were in attendance to celebrate the actor.
“Families all over the world can’t let a year go by without watching and loving Home Alone together. It’s because of Macaulay Culkin,” costar Catherine O’Hara shared. “Yes, he had a most excellent script and a wonderful director. But it is Macaulay Culkin’s perfect performance as Kevin McCallister that gave us that little every boy on an extraordinary adventure.”
“I know you worked really hard. I know you do. But you made acting look like the most natural thing of the world to do,” she continued. “Macaulay, a 10-year-old boy, this beautiful, dear little 10-year-old boy, was called a superstar, a moneymaker. One of the hottest leading young men in Hollywood. How does anyone survive that? Well, I believe you’d have to possess a certain quality, a gift that dear John Hughes obviously recognized.”
Other stars present for the ceremony included Seth Greene, Natasha Lyonne, and Paris Jackson.