Kieran Culkin Recalls Brother Macaulay's Early Childhood Fame: 'Poor F**king Guy'

The 'Succession' star divulged on that and more in an 'Esquire' profile.

Kieran Culkin is recalling his brother, Macaulay Culkin's, early rise to global fame.

In an interview with Esquire, Kieran, 40, traveled down memory lane and recalled Macaulay, at just 10 years old, becoming a phenomenon following his role in the 1990 Christmas classic Home Alone. Kieran said all seven of his siblings tried to get their foot in Hollywood, but it was Macaulay, 42, who did so first and at breakneck speed.

"Poor f***ing guy," says the Succession star of his older brother. "He was little and having to try to accept that level of fame as reality."

Kieran said despite exploding onto the scene after just one movie, nothing else changed for Macaulay, as things remained relatively normal at home and in school. But outside of that realm, things got downright weird, from people at restaurants noticing him to even a cabdriver following them home.

"Even at that time, as a kid, I remember thinking, 'That sucks for him,'" Kieran says.

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Kieran, who appeared in Home Alone as the bed-wetting cousin of Macaulay's character when he was seven years old, told The Late Late Show With James Corden back in 2020 that he was so oblivious to the plot, he had no idea the movie was centered around his big brother.

"I didn't even know what the movie was about when we were doing it, so it was a fresh, brand-new movie when I saw it," he explained. 

Not only did he not know the plot of the film, Kieran didn't even realize that his older brother was the star. 

Billy Kidd
Billy Kidd

"There's a part in the movie where there's a kid who gets his head counted incorrectly and he goes, 'Bye, bring me back something French!' I thought the movie was about that kid," Kieran quipped. "And it made sense when I saw it. I remember seeing it in the theater at the premiere and I was dying laughing and I was like, 'Oh, that makes sense 'cause Mac was on set all the time.'"

Back in December 2021, Kieran spoke to NPR's Teri Gross on Fresh Air and also opened up about witnessing his brother's child stardom and how toxic fame became.

"It was pretty nuts. And I think what people sometimes fail to remember, too, is that he was a kid. He didn't really choose that. It's something that happened to him," Kieran said at the time. "And I think when you're a kid, you obviously don't have the tools to handle something like that. So I think it might have been pretty tough."

"For me, I got to sort of experience it secondhand as a child. So to me, I always have known this is not something one would want to pursue," he continued. "It's not a very nice thing, fame. No anonymity, it's terrible. I have friends that are very famous. They can't walk down the street without several people stopping them. Forget trying to board a plane. It's ridiculous. They can't go out to a restaurant with friends because people are going to come to the table saying, 'Oh, I never do this,' or 'Sorry to interrupt.' Some people probably enjoy it, and they probably have been able to figure out life with it. But I think for the most part, it comes to people and they go, 'Oh, I've made a horrible mistake,' and now they have to manage it. That's the way I look at it. Any reasonable person would not, could not, look at fame and go, 'I want that!'"