Tuesday, December 08, 2009

What Ever Happened to Macaulay Culkin?

Sunday evening, Luke and I watched one of the greatest holiday classics of our generation: Home Alone.

I remember the first time I saw the movie. I was probably in Grade 2 or 3. And I don't think I had ever laughed so hard throughout a film before it.

Now, as an adult, it still holds it's charm and humour. Maybe I don't split a gut laughing over it, but I still chuckle at Kevin's plight of being left behind while his family all jets off to Paris, France for Christmas. And even almost twenty years later - (can you believe it? The movie was released in 1990!) - the jokes, the storyline, and the elaborate booby-traps Kevin sets up to wreak havoc on the wannabe burglars, aren't that dated and still make for a great holiday on-screen romp.

But after watching it on Sunday, I got to thinking about the boy that made the movie such a huge success way back when: Macaulay Culkin. Quite possibly one of the greatest child actors of our time, and yet...where is he now?
Culkin rocketed to stardom after starring as Kevin McAllister in both Home Alone, and it's sequel two years later, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Around the same time, he also starred in the popular film, My Girl. Everyone was wowed and amazed by the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, pint-sized comedic genius.

However, Culkin's box office appearances after that were only mildly-successful, and before long, he had grown out of his cute phase - as an adolescent, his image was not nearly as appealing.

Then came the turmoil - that which seems to catch up to and haunt almost any star who peaks as a child.

Macaulay Culkin was a very close friend to Michael Jackson, and is even rumoured to be the godfather of Jackson's three children, Paris, Prince Michael, and Prince Michael II. As a young boy, he spent time with Jackson at his Neverland Ranch, and of course, allegations arose that he was sexually abused by the King of Pop. (Culkin denied that Jackson was ever inappropriate with him, and claims that they were just friends).

Then, Culkin shocked the public by marrying actress Rachel Miner in 1998, when he was only 18 years old. They divorced 2 years later. He was also arrested in 2004 and spent time in jail in Oklahoma for possession of drugs. Add to all this, the rumours that he had a strained relationship with his father, Kit Culkin, and it would appear that he had spiralled downward, as so many child stars before him, into a chaotic miserable existence filled with substance abuse and severe relationship problems.

That's sort of where I lost track of the boy who had once had the entire world wrapped around his little finger.

As it turns out? Macaulay's not really doing that bad these days. I Wikipedia'd him this morning, only to discover he's been dabbling in acting again in recent years, and while his roles and performances have not even come close to garnering the same attention that he did as Kevin McAllister in the Home Alone movies, he has actually earned critical praise for them.

And another shock to me? He's been dating Mila Kunis of That 70's Show and Family Guy fame since 2002.

So almost twenty years later, the boy who was considered the second greatest child star ever (after only Shirley Temple)...well, he's doing alright. And if you need to be reminded of his adorable sharp wit and how hilarious he could be, there's no better time to indulge yourselves.

Home Alone is still a great way to spend an evening in December!


Lindsay said...

Great post!! It was so interesting to find out what he is doing now! Now I feel like watching Home Alone, can I borrow it?

:-) xo

Jill said...

Sure! I'll bring it in for you tomorrow! haha!

Kathleen said...

can't believe its been almost 20 years since my mom took me and my sisters to this movie and we all laughed our heads off.

Stacy said...

i was in love with him - i actually wrote him a letter - found his address in one of those teen beat or whatever magazines way back in the day....
he wrote me back and a signed autographed picture of him - i'm sure it's probaly worth millions...i'll have to start looking for it! I then remember everyone telling me that it wasnt his signature, it was like his agent's and that upset me :(