Why Macaulay Culkin Took A Break From Acting


In a 2018 profile on his younger brother Kieran, Vanity Fair reported that Macaulay Culkin decided to leave the acting industry at age 14 in 1994, shortly after he appeared as the lead in Donald Petrie’s comedy film “Richie Rich.” He took this step essentially because he felt tired of the industry and his parents’ control over him. “I’m done, guys,” he recalled telling his parents. “Hope you all made your money because there is no more coming from me.” This led to a bitter court battle in which the teenager took his parents to court in an effort to prevent them from having control over his $17 million earnings. 

The Culkins do not have a great relationship with their father, Kit (who has eight children, two of whom are deceased). Macaulay, for instance, has spoken about how he was abusive to them growing up. In a 2019 profile with Esquire, Macaulay portrayed his father as a controlling, bullying man who pushed his sons into the acting business because he couldn’t achieve success there himself.

“You hurt people a lot, you know,” he wrote in an open letter to his father, per Vanity Fair. “I am not just talking about your family and the other important people around you; you hurt our name. I should know … You made a lot of people cry. You made my mother cry.”

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