The now-39-year-old Macaulay Culkin has lived a life unlike anyone else’s; he calls himself a “peerless person.” Transformed into superstardom by the age of 10 with his starring role in Home Alone, he burned out on the movie business four years later and took a long recess. Since then, Culkin has only appeared in projects he likes, like the movies Party Monster and Saved!, or guest spots on shows like Will And Grace and The Jim Gaffigan Show. Now he helms a podcast and website called Bunny Ears that he describes as a cross between Goop and The Onion. In a new Esquire cover story, the reclusive Culkin revealed some in-depth truths about his fascinating past, including controversial topics like drugs and his relationship with Michael Jackson.
Today’s Culkin smokes, favors chipped nail polish, and appears to be besotted with his girlfriend, fellow child star Brenda Song (who now appears on Dollface and Station 19). “People assume that I’m crazy, or a kook, or damaged. Weird. Cracked,” he says. “And up until the last year or two, I haven’t really put myself out there at all. So I can understand that. It’s also like, Okay, everybody, stop acting so freaking shocked that I’m relatively well-adjusted.”
He’s still auditioning, too, but not often. He relays a story about trying out for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood. “It was a disaster. I wouldn’t have hired me,” he says. “I’m terrible at auditioning anyway, and this was my first audition in like eight years.”
He also delves into his well-publicized friendship with Jackson. Culkin was close with the pop superstar and is the godfather to Jackson’s daughter, Paris—they have matching spoon tattoos. Of the allegations that Jackson sexually abused children, unpacked in last year’s Leaving Neverland, he says, “If I had something to speak up about, I would totally do it. But no, I never saw anything; he never did anything.”
Culkin also alludes to having a history with drugs in the interview. “I don’t do drugs recreationally. I still kinda drink like a fish. I drink and I smoke. But I don’t touch the things,” he says. “I do love them. They’re like old friends. But sometimes you outgrow your friends.”
Overall, he seems pretty happy about where his life has ended up. “I mean, look at me: I got money, I got fame, I got a beautiful girlfriend and a beautiful house and beautiful animals,” he says. “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. I’m good, man.”
Read more from Culkin’s revealing interview here.