Macaulay Culkin holds the mantle of one of the most successful child actors of all time, but he’s also renowned for having one of the biggest falls from grace in showbiz ever.
From drug abuse, legal meltdowns and an arrest, Macaulay – who turns 40 this week – went through a torrid time after soaring to fame aged ten.
Despite turning his back on Hollywood, Macaulay’s angelic childhood self immortalised in Home Alone resurfaced every Christmas with fans rewatching the festive favourite – making the actor’s twenty-something descent appear even darker.
In 2004 a 24-year-old Macaulay’s mugshot made headlines around the world when he was charged with possessing marijuana and a controlled substance without a prescription after having his car searched by police officers in Oklahoma.
Then as rumours continued to spiral about his drug habit, snaps of Macualay looking gaunt and frail and clutching an energy drink shocked fans in 2012.
“No I was not pounding six grand of heroin a month,” the actor later insisted in an interview with The Guardian.
Speaking about recreational drug use in a rare interview this year, Macaualy told Esquire : “I do love them. They’re like old friends. But sometimes you outgrow your friends.”
Before Macaulay’s troubles started, he also decided he’d outgrown his parents.
At the age of 15, Macaulay took the explosive step to formally emancipate himself by removing his mum and dad as his legal guardians.
It was reported the teen wanted to keep his hands solely on the £13million fortune he’d amassed and to stop his parents from controlling his future.
Back in the 90s, Macaulay rocketed to fame as the adorable wide eyed and blonde haired boy from hit family films such as Uncle Buck, my Girl, Richie Rich and of course the Home Alone franchise.
When Macaulay hit the big time, his father Kit quit his day job to oversee Macaulay’s film career along with wife Patricia.
With Macaulay bagging up to £6million a movie, Kit and Patricia were said to be pocketing 15% of their son’s pay cheques.
Opening up about the process of cutting ties with his parents, Macualay reflected that the situation ‘sucked’ but ‘could have been worse.’
“I legally took my parents’ names off of my trust fund and found an executor, someone who would look over my finances, just in case anyone wanted to stick their f*****g pinkie in the pie,” he told Esquire.
“But the next thing you know, the story was that I divorced my parents. I just thought I was doing it cleanly – taking my father’s name off, taking my mom’s name off, so my opinion is unbiased. And when I did that, the whole thing kinda ended a lot faster.”
He went on: “Look, I mean, it sucks. But, it coulda been worse, you know? I wasn’t working in a coal mine. I wasn’t a child soldier. My father was not sexually abusing me. ‘Certain f***ed up things happened, but f****d up things happen to kids all the time and they don’t come out the other end. I’ve got something to show for it, man. I mean, look at me: I got money, I got fame, I got a beautiful girlfriend and a beautiful house and beautiful animals.”
After cleaning up his act, Macaulay, who turns 40 this week, remains a pop culture icon verging between parodying his old projects and dipping his toes into new ones.
Last Christmas, he reprised his Home Alone role by playing an adult Kelvin McAllister for a tongue in cheek Google Assistant advert.
In recent years he has also founded rock band The Pizza Underground ( a Velvet Underground tribute act), starred in a number of indie movies and launched his own lifestyle website Bunny Ears.
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