Whatever Happened to Macaulay Culkin?: The Hundred Million Dollar Role He Turned Down


In case you missed it, Macaulay Culkin was one of the biggest child stars on the planet. Between Home Alone and My Girl, along with darker fare like The Good Son, he seemed to be on top of the world. He was best friends with the King of Pop.

And then…he quit acting and seemed to disappear from the limelight completely.


Retired at 14

Macaulay Culkin made 15 films in 7 years. It’s no wonder that he needed a break. He quit acting for almost a decade, and since then, he’s popped up occasionally in guest starring roles and independent films, as well as voiceover work.

He spends most of his time in Paris these days, where he jokingly calls himself a “gentleman of leisure.”

The Role He Turned Down—3 Times!

We almost had a lot more Macaulay in our lives. During a recent appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, Culkin confessed that the producers of The Big Bang Theory were desperate to land him for a leading role. “It was kind of like, the way the pitch was, ‘Alright, these two astrophysicist nerds and a pretty girl lives with them. Yoinks!’

That was the pitch. And I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m cool, thanks.’” Culkin recalls. “And then they came back at me again, and I said, ‘No, no, no. Again, flattered, but no.’ Then they came back at me again, and even my manager was like twisting my arm.”

While most of us would probably regret passing up an opportunity like that, he’s happy with his life and level of fame as it is now.

The Pizza Underground and Bunny Ears

So what’s he been doing instead of making millions of dollars a year on a sitcom? For a few years, starting in 2013, Culkin formed a pizza-themed comedy rock band called the Pizza Underground.

They played Velvet Underground covers with the lyrics changed to be about pizza, because when you have that much money, you might as well have fun, right? He also started a website called Bunny Ears, which Culkin describes as a cross between Gwenyth Paltrow’s GOOP and satire website The Onion.

A Family, Finally?

The 37-year-old dated Mila Kunis (yes, Jackie from That 70s Show and the current Mrs. Ashton Kutcher) for 9 years. Before that, he was married to Rachel Miner for 4 years—the pair wed when they were just 18.

These days, he’s considering starting a family with his girlfriend, former child actress Brenda Song.

An Acting Comeback

Although he turned down one of the most lucrative TV gigs in recent memory when he said no to The Big Bang Theory, Culkin will be making his return to the big screen in the forthcoming movie Changeland. The film is Seth Green’s directorial debut and co-stars Green, Culkin, and fellow blast from the past Breckin Meyer.

One question remains, though. Which leading role did Macaulay Culkin turn down on The Big Bang Theory? We’re betting it was Sheldon!