Macaulay Culkin Opens Up In Rare Emotional Interview About His Dad’s Abuse And Leaving Hollywood

by Kat Manos
Kat Manos is an Associate Editor who loves arguing about indie rock, classic literature, and "Star Wars."

Many ’90s-movie fans remember the child star Macaulay Culkin. In a very short time, he starred in classics like Uncle BuckHome AloneMy GirlHome Alone 2: Lost in New York, and Ri¢hie Ri¢h.

He was, without a doubt, fundamental to the entertainment of my childhood, and I’m hard-pressed to find a credit on his IMDb that I don’t know.

Despite being a huge fan, I couldn’t have imagined the reasons behind the actor’s decision to disappear from Hollywood following the release of Ri¢hie Ri¢h — and not return for nine years.

While much of that time was kept out of the public eye, Macaulay recently spoke about those lost years to comedian Marc Maron on Marc’s podcastWTF, and the darkness that occurred behind closed doors when he was a child.

Macaulay’s parents, Patricia Brentrup and Kit Culkin, despite having seven children together, remained unmarried. They didn’t always see eye to eye but wanted to support their actor son.

Kit, a New York actor himself, took Macaulay to auditions, managed his deals, and supervised him on sets. Despite the close proximity of the two, the father and son were never close.

“I’m going around the country, locked in a room with a man who didn’t like me,” Macaulay admitted to Marc. “After I did Ri¢hie Ri¢h in ’93 or ’94, my father and mother called it quits, which is one of the best things to ever happen to me.”

Even though he was so young at the time, Macaulay suffered in silence before breaking free at the age of 14 in 1994: “I was able to walk away from the business. I was able to say, ‘I hope you made all your money, because there’s no more coming from me.'”

The near-decade of abuse was enough for the child star to leave acting behind him, and Macaulay still doesn’t speak highly of his dad, as he tells Marc, “He was a bad man. He was abusive. Physically and mentally[…] He was just a bad dude. A bad, abusive man. He was a piece of work.”

While it’s clear the relationship is still strained, Macaulay speaks highly of the actors and filmmakers he worked with at the time, including John Candy, John Hughes, Joe Pesci, and Gaby Hoffmann.

Today, the former actor splits his time between New York and Paris, and is much happier with his life, calling himself a “30-something retired person walking around with a baguette under [his] arm.”

“I live a very full, rich, and silly life,” he told Marc. He is still contact with his mother, who lives on a ranch in Montana, and is quite close with his remaining siblings.

While his past is dark, Macaulay seems hopeful enough to believe his future is bright.

Please SHARE this story with fans of ’90s cinema so that they may learn more about Macaulay Culkin’s dark past.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons / Alan Light; YouTube / Jack Dishel

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