Where's the reality show about the Culkins!? Seriously, if any Hollywood family deserved to be followed around with cameras it would have been the Culkins. Unlike the Kardashians, the Culkins had legitimate drama. Their secrets were, and are real, utterly fascinating. In some cases, they're heartbreaking. Most importantly, none of the conflicts were manufactured. This is probably the reason why they were not the subject of a reality show. Granted, The Osbournes hadn't yet come on the scene to create the genre. Still, Macauley, his six siblings, and parents really would have made interesting subjects. Why? Well, by the end of this article, you'll understand. Without further ado, here are 20 secrets you didn't know about the Culkin family.
20 The Kid From Home Alone Actually Saved His Family
Macaulay is definitely the most famous face of the Culkin family thanks to his role in the Home Alone movies. But before he made it big, he and his family of nine were sharing a 4-room apartment. They were constantly on the edge of bankruptcy. That is until Macaulay made $250,000 on the first Home Alone. So, yes, the kid from Home Alone saved his family.
19 The Secret Tragedy Of The Culkin Sister
It's surprising how few people know that Macaulay actually had a sister named Dakota. It's even more strange that more people don't know that she passed away in 2008. She was 29-years-old when she was caught up in a tragic accident outside of a bar in West L.A. There's no doubt that this instance rocked the Culkin family severely. Dakota was beloved by her colleagues in the film industry where she worked.
18 When A Dad Only Lives Through His Kids, Bad Things Happen
Kit Culkin was not an easy father. Nor was he an easy manager, which he acted as for three of his kids. He gained quite the reputation around town for his attitude and degree of control. One Hollywood executive told The New York Times, "I think he's living his life out through his son… He wants his son to get the kind of respect he didn't get as an actor." And this executive wasn't the only person to claim this. Even Macaulay had some choice words about how his father interfered with his work life. All around, it wasn't a pleasant situation for them.
17 The Parents Had One Truly Nasty Split That We'd Never Know About
Kit Culkin and the mother of his children, Patricia Brentup did not get along. In fact, Kit let things get really heated on multiple occasions. Even when Patricia was pregnant with his children. The Culkin children even had to get involved in some instances, pushing them away from their aggressive father. This anger permeated and progressed throughout their separation, which was ongoing and really unpleasant for everyone involved. And yet, most Culkin fans weren't even aware of it.
16 Macaulay Was Made The Jackson Children's Godfather... Seriously...
Of course, Michael Jackson would be on this list. He and Macaulay had a less than normal relationship, after all. Although many Culkin fans know that the two were very close despite their uncomfortably massive age difference, most don't know that MJ made Macaulay the legal godparent to his children... Ever since, Maculaya has had a very close relationship with the Jackson kids, especially Paris.
15 Kit Culkin Ran His Children's Careers Behind-The-Scenes
We've already told you that Kit Culkin lived vicariously through his children while managing their careers, but you really don't know the extent of it. Kit made all the notable movie moves for his children, making sure that they got the best jobs possible and that they were paid handsomely for it. He'd even hinder Macaulay's role in the creative process of the projects and use him as a prop to leverage other movies. As Macaulay's lawyer Ken Weinrib said, "It wasn't about money. It was about power."
14 Macaulay Basically Emancipated Himself And We Would Too
Of course, Macaulay emancipated himself from his father as soon as he came of age. We would too. Although to be fair, he didn't quite emancipate himself. He just found a way to legally remove his father's name from his finances. This is how Macaulay was able to financially rescue his mother again, as her money was getting eaten by the lawyers involved with her case against her husband.
13 Rory Really Didn't Have The Same Experiences As His Siblings For One Secret Reason
Lymelife, Scream 4, and Signs star Rory Culkin is the baby of the family. And because of this, he was removed from the ongoing conflicts that existed between his parents and his older siblings. He often found that his friends at school knew more about his family drama than he did as both his parents and siblings did everything they could to shield him from it. Maybe this is a good thing. After all, ignorance is bliss.
12 The Culkins Were Forced To Sleep On The Couch
When Kit was kicked out of his apartment by his wife and kids, he moved a couple of floors up in their apartment building. During this time, the kids would come to visit him to try and continue some relationship with him. But Kit was furious. And instead of letting them sleep in a bed, he made them sleep on the couch during their visits. Succession star Kieran Culkin has said that he felt it was a way for his father to get back at them for siding with their mother.
11 Kieran Did Everything Possible Not To Have His Brother's Life
Speaking of Kieran Culkin, most people don't know that he desperately wanted to avoid his brother Macauley's life. For the longest time, he didn't want to pursue acting because he saw how it affected his brother. Unfortunately, he couldn't find anything in life that interested him. Therefore he ended up following his brother's path and ended up being freaking amazing at it... Just watch him on HBO's Succession for proof of that.
10 A Fire Was Blamed On Mommy Culkin
Though she’d finally settled with Kit, the legal trouble didn’t end for Culkin matriarch, Patricia Brentrup. In 1999, she was hit with an $80 million lawsuit. This is because she was blamed for a fire in her family’s apartment. The Fire Department determined that the blaze began with sparks from her space heater. And when the alarms went off, Pat left the door to their apartment ajar when she fled. As a result, the hallways and stairwell of the 51-floor building filled with smoke and 4 people lost their lives...
9 What Actually Happened To Kit's Relationship To His Kids...
It went down the toilet. That's what happened! And can you blame the kids? Their father sounded like a major piece of work. In fact, most of them say their relationship was never good. Kieran and Mac, in particular, claim their father is incapable of change. And Kit seems to feel the same way about his children, especially Macaulay. In 2014, Kit told The Daily Mail, “I don't consider him a son anymore.” Ouch...
8 Macaulay Really Didn't Want To Kiss Anna In My Girl
We all love My Girl. And we all love Macauley Culkin in the movie. But most of us have no clue that he really didn't want to kiss Anna Chlumsky on-screen. This is because he was in his 'girls have cooties' phase and really wasn't attracted to the idea of it. None-the-less, he went through with it and audiences everywhere sighed an "awe!" Thank goodness for the director, eh?
7 The Phobia Nobody Knew Macaulay Had
Yes, Macaulay Culkin had a phobia. At least, he had a self-diagnoses one when he was a kid. In 2004, he told Larry King that he was a self-diagnoses agoraphobic. He felt as if the buildings outside were going to eat him. If you think about it, it's not that odd that he felt this way. After all, the entire world wanted a piece of him when he was a child. Photographers wanted his picture. Fans wanted an autograph. And critics wanted to rip him apart. Luckily, he beat this fear as he aged.
6 The Home Alone Director Actually Stepped Into The Family Conflict
When Macaulay was filming the second Home Alone film, director Chris Columbus noticed a major change in his young star's attitude. This is because Macaulay was dealing with a lot of tension at home. His parents were constantly at each other throats and put Macaulay in the middle of it. This is why Columbus stepped in to attempt to ease the tension. In an interview, Chris Columbus observed, "The custody battle seems to be two parents fighting over a young guy's earnings. If I were a kid, I'd want my parents to be fighting for custody of me because they love me--not for my money. It's a little bit depressing."
5 The Mountain-Man That Kit Became
Kit became a recluse. Probably because none of his family members wanted anything to do with him after what went down. Now he lives in rural Oregon with his new partner, Jeanette Krylowski. The press only caught wind of where he was after he suffered a stroke in 2014. As he recuperated, they managed to take a number of pictures of him looking like a cast member of Duck Dynasty.
4 There Was Another Secret Tragedy That The Culkin Family Experienced
As if the Culkin family didn't have enough bad luck. Before the tragic passing of Dakota, Macaulay, Keiran, and Rory's half-sister, Jennifer, also met her completely unexpected end. This happened in 2000 and no doubt caused a major tear in the family dynamic. Although, it's been such a secret that we're not entirely sure how close any of the Culkin siblings were to her.
3 Before He Vanished For Good, Kit Vanished Periodically...
So, now we know that Kit eventually vanished for good. Heading up into the wilderness of Oregon. But before all that, he would vanish periodically. This is when he had young kids at home. Nobody knew where he went or what he was doing. He'd just disappear.
Eventually, the babysitters (who took care of the kids will their mom was working) would start to notice how none of his kids would even wonder where he was. In short, his disappearance was a relief.
2 Shane Was Meant To Be Macaulay But Then... Well... Hollywood Went With The Better Actor
Poor Shane Culkin. Nobody knows who he is. And to think, he was the one that Kit was grooming for greatness. Kit sent his eldest son to audition at Manhattan's Ensemble Studio with Macaulay tagging along. It was there that the casting directors discovered the younger Culkin and knew he was the one to be the star. Therefore, Kit was quick to toss aside his eldest for the kid who'd be more lucrative for him.
1 People Got VERY Weird With Little Macaulay
Being a child star is downright tough. But Macaulay had it really bad. After all, everyone wanted a piece of him. He'd walk down the street and suddenly find that he was surrounded by cameras, fans, and critics. people would follow him home. Ask him inappropriate questions. And even criticize him for not being as cute in real life as he was in the movies... He had it tough. Then again, so did all the Culkin kids. So, you see why we said they would have been great candidates for a reality show...
Sources: Screen Rant, The Telegraph, The Daily Beast, WTFPod.com, NY Mag, NY Times, Vanity Fair, Den Of The Geek, Screen Rant, News.com.au, Pens And Patron, Belfast Telegraph, Culture Hook, Baby Gaga