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Macaulay ‘Mack’ Culkin Shares That He Bombed A Huge Audition… And That He’s Ready For Babies

by Karen Belz
Karen Belz has written for sites such as Bustle, HelloGiggles, Romper, and So Yummy. She's the mom of a sassy toddler and drinks an alarming amount of Sugar-Free Red Bull in order to keep up with her.

Macaulay Culkin was one of the biggest child actors in the ’90s — mostly thanks to two movies. Home Alone and Home Alone 2 were the high points of his acting career, and they happened when he was relatively young.

But then after a few other hits, he seemingly disappeared from the acting world. He still did occasional voice-overs, but he was much less present on-screen.

Eventually, people got worried about him. Pictures of him circulated where he looked dangerously thin. He also broke up with long-time girlfriend Mila Kunis, whom he dated for eight years. And according to Mila, the end of it was all her fault. ““I was an [expletive] in my 20s and I’ll be the first to admit it,” she told Dax Shepard on his podcast, according to People.

“And that’s something that took me a long time to come out and be like, ‘Yeah, you know what, I was a [expletive],’ and accept it and I own it now.”

But enough about Mila. Macaulay recently posed for Esquire and talked a little about why he’s been laying low. Here’s the good news — he’s still doing OK.

In 2019, Macaulay made an appearance in the TV show Dollface. But supposedly, he was also up for a role in the critically acclaimed film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The movie was nominated for a best picture Oscar, and you can imagine that everyone would want a chance to work with director Quentin Tarantino.

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Still fartin'

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Unfortunately for Macaulay, it was his first big audition in a long time. And in his words, he absolutely bombed it. “It was a disaster. I wouldn’t have hired me,” he said. “I’m terrible at auditioning anyway, and this was my first audition in like eight years.” He didn’t say what role he was up for.

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They're multiplying.

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While he seemed relaxed on the set during his photo shoot, he admitted that this was somewhat of an adventure to him, and not something he still craved. “This is not really my cup of tea,” he admitted. “These are all lovely people, but the poking, the prodding — honestly, it’s part of why I don’t do this anymore. Any of it.”

These days, he goes by Mack — even though he recently posed an interesting challenge for fans. In 2018, he said that 2019 would be the year he’d legally change his name to “Macaulay Macaulay Culkin Culkin” after fans voted on a middle name. It may not have been what he expected, but he seemed to be pretty positive about the whole thing.

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Thirst trap. #thirstythursday

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He even brought the contest up to Esquire, saying that “I still haven’t officially done it. There’s a lot of hoops you gotta jump through. I have a high-powered, high-priced attorney all over it, and he goes, ‘It’s not as easy as you’d think.’ But yeah, no, it’s happening. This gag is like a year old. I gotta do this.” Changing your name is definitely difficult, and Mack may raise some eyebrows, but at least he’s dedicated.

 

He might not have pulled the trigger on the change just yet, but at least he found a great way to get into the headlines simply by being himself. And that seems like the role he’s most comfortable with at the moment. He enjoys his podcast, his cats, and his girlfriend, former Disney star Brenda Song. Living a comfortable life seems to be one of his goals.

“I enjoy acting. I enjoy being on set,” he said. “I don’t enjoy a lot of the other things that come around it. What’s a good analogy. The Shawshank Redemption. The way he gets out of prison is to crawl through a tube of [expletive], you know? It feels like to get to that kind of freedom, I’d have to crawl through a tube of [expletive]. And you know what? I’ve built a really nice prison for myself. It’s soft. It’s sweet. It smells nice. You know? It’s plush.”

You may be wondering if Mack is still quite as fond of Home Alone, especially since he revisited the role in a funny advertisement not that long ago. As he told Ellen on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, he just can’t find a way to detach from the role, even though he wants to. Strangers literally come up to him often and ask him to make his famous “Home Alone face.”

But, it’s fair for him not to be into the Christmas classic as much as his fans are. “I’ve had people who want to sit down and watch it with me, which is both flattering and creepy,” he said. He also said that scenes mean different things to him. “I’m remembering that day on set, like, how I was hiding my Pepsi behind the couch,” he admitted. “I can’t watch it the same way other people can.”

That said, Mack knows why people are still interested and invested in him, even though most of his work these days seem to be passion projects he does with friends. Which, in all honesty, might have been why he simply wasn’t a good fit with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He knows he’s been elusive, and that can often cause some intrigue and attention.

“People assume that I’m crazy, or a kook, or damaged. Weird. Cracked. And up until the last year or two, I haven’t really put myself out there at all,” he admitted to Esquire. “So I can understand that. It’s also like, OK, everybody, stop acting so freaking shocked that I’m relatively well-adjusted.”

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Coconuts.

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While he admits that he had a lot of trouble as a kid, especially based on family issues, he seems to know that it could have been much worse. Plus, everything he worked for as a child and all of the funds that he’s secured for himself has helped him live a great life today. “I got money, I got fame, I got a beautiful girlfriend and a beautiful house and beautiful animals. 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,” he said. “I’m good, man.”

Even better, he said that he’s trying to have a baby with Brenda. As he told Esquire, “We’re figuring it out, making the timing work.” They reportedly started dating in 2017, and bonded over the fact that they were both child actors. Having that in common is huge, and also somewhat rare. Mack knew she was special when they first started dating.

It’s probably a good thing that Mack didn’t get cast in that role. It seems like he’s perfectly happy working on smaller pictures that don’t require a lot of press or media attention. And it also seems like everything is going right in his life, which is a big relief. Even if he’s far removed from the role of Kevin McCallister, it’s almost like he’s part of the family whenever the holiday season comes around.