Macauley Culkin


  1. Michael Fishman, Roseanne, TV, 1988-2018.  Auditioned for the role of DJ Conner – screen son of Roseanne Barr and John Goodman. But Barr preferred Fishman because (a) he told her a joke when asked to (“Why did the turtle cross the road? it was the chicken’s day off”) and (b) he resembled her family
  2. Michael Oliver, Problem Child, 1989.   First of three films about Junior, the adopted child from Hell
  3. Charlie Korsmo, Dick Tracy, 1989.   Two kids were uo for The Kid and the one becoming a global sensation the following year in Home Alone lost out to  Charlie from Minneapolis. Ironically in the second of his eight movies, Men Don’t Leave, Korsmo played a kid called… Matt Macauley.  Now called Charles, he won a BS in physics from MIT and a Juris Doctyor degree from Yale Law School. In 2011, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation by  President Obama.
  4. Elijah Wood,  Radio Flyer, 1991.  Columbia won what was then the hottest script in town – and cowardly   chickened out of its subject, cast and debuting writer-director.  And called in Richard Donner – “hey, The Goonies was a great kids’ movie!” However, the main subject here was (or had been) child, abuse. When David Mickey Evans was still in charge of his own semi-autobio drama, Rosanna Arquette’s kids – well, Lorraine Bracco’s now – were James Badge Dale and Joseph Mazzello as his younger brother, abused by their stepfather. Elijah had auditioned for poor Bobby and won Mike…. from a reported 3,000 candidates, including Macauley Culkin (he’d just finished Home Alone), James Badge Dale and Milo Ventimiglia. DME turned his ruined script into a novel, The King of Pacoima (with no cuts) and directed 16 other movies by 2022
  5. Norman D Golden II, Cop And A Half,  1992.  Left it (and $1.5m) due to “script problems”  – at age 11!  Plus the fact  that  his father  got him $8m for Home Alone II, 1992. Dealing with Fox, Kit Culkin said “You  want this? We want this” and passed over a note saying: BIG BUCKS.
  6. Ryan Todd, Pontiac Moon, 1994. “If you get Macauley Culkin,  even a gorilla could play the father,” was MGM’s tip to writer-director Jeff Brown.
  7. Brad Renfro, The Client, 1994. Powerful author John Grisham made it clear. No professional Hollywood kids, get a local, from the Memphis area –  or forget it!  Renfro, a drug and booze victim, was dead by 2008.
  8. Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic, 1996.
  9. Chris Farley, Beverly Hills Ninja, 1997. “Everyone was waiting for a performer – whoever was hot at the moment,” said the writers as their comedy scuttled from Dana Carvey to Steven Seagal to young Culkin in a ten year gestation.
  10. J Evan Bonifant, Blues Brothers 2000, 1998.Only the kid was wiser than his elders and recognised celluloid camembert. Just as he knew not to make theMy Girl sequel, 1994, also with Dan Aykroyd.

  11. Joshua Malina, The West Wing, 2002-06.  A nutty notion!  Home Alone At The White House!! As if to prove Rob Lowe’s character was not replaced  so  much as his function, the job went to  Malina  and his character helped make Lowe  a US Senator as his get-out storyline.  Lowe returned for the final two episodes in 2006, to assist the new Prez, Jimmy Smits.  By 2007, Lowe was running for  President in TV’s Brothers & Sisters.  Culkin, Jon Cryer, Dermot Mulroney and Judd Nelson… but  Malina was a pal of creator Aaron Sorkin – in everything Sorkin had written from A Few Good Men onwards.
  12. Crispin Glover, Willard, 2003. Joaquin Phoenix also refused.
  13. Michael C Hall, Dexter, TV, 2006-2014.  The Showtime cable network shortlisted 14 stars, from the impossible (Culkin, Dan Aykroyd, Tom Cruise, Sean Penn, Ben Stiller) to the plausible (John Cusack, Jake Gyllenhaal James Spader) for  the Miami Metro PD bloodstain pattern analyst ,  moonlighting  as a serial killer… of serial killers. 
  14. Gaspard Ulliel, Hannibal Rising, 2007. Most surprising choice to test for… Hannibal Lecter: The Teenage Years, more of a revenge trip for the wartime murder of his sister than a cannibal’s apprenticeship. Somehow a French actor beat such potential Lecters  as Dominic Cooper, Hayden Christensen, Macauley Culkin (honest!), Hugh Dancy, Rupert Friend, Tom Payne, Tom Sturridge to play the  cannibal nephew of Gong Li, no less… in the fifth movie since Manhunter, 1985.
  15. Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory, TV, 2007-2019.     Mac passed when  producer and co-creator Chuck Lorre offered him  Leonard  – among four CalTech geeks more into science (fact and fiction) than girls.  Good for five minutes? No, it And it lasted a dozen years and 279 highly paid episodes.




 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  15