Macaulay Culkin dropped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday to talk about his time dancing ballet, growing up with multiple siblings, and taking a long hiatus from the acting scene. But before your Home Alone nostalgia has you cautiously reaching for that aftershave, Culkin also shared that he avoids leaving the house during the holidays. Yes, the iconic '90s movie still impacts the 37-year-old actor's day-to-day-life, nearly 30 years later.
While interviewing Culkin about his relationship with Home Alone as an adult, DeGeneres asked if he gets recognized more during the Christmas season. Culkin confirmed that fans' attention always spikes around December — so much so that he lies low and prefers to hang out at home, rather than venturing out too much in public. "It's my season. It's Macaulay season," he quipped. "I try to go out less and less that time of year."
And it's not just that more people spot the My Girl actor when he's out and about — Home Alone diehards have even asked Culkin to recreate Kevin McCallister's infamous scream face. "I've already been there done that, guys," Culkin said, revealing that he's turned down well-meaning enthusiasts for an on-the-spot role reprisal. "I'm 37 now, OK?"
Culkin's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show is notable, given the actor's quiet retreat from the Hollywood scene when he was a teenager. Though he chatted with DeGeneres about on of his latest projects — the Bunny Ears Podcast, which he hosts alongside friend Matt Cohen — he was also explained his desire to get away from the spotlight, especially after the punishing pace of his child-acting career. Considering how much love most '90s kids still have for all things Home Alone, it's pretty easy to understand why that kind of pressure could quickly become exhausting.
“I was tired of it, to be honest, I did like 14 movies in six years or something like that,” Culkin said. “I was away from home a lot. I was away from school. I needed something else. I needed to grow and develop as a person." He also noted how going to high school helped ground him after such a frenzied Hollywood experience. "It was great to be around people my own age for once... It was the smartest thing I could have possibly done was to take eight years off.”
Even though DeGeneres gracefully resisted asking Culkin to resurrect his most unforgettable scenes from Home Alone, she did give audiences a heartfelt look back at some of his career's biggest moments, including a 1991 SNL appearance to his close friendship with Michael Jackson. Some of DeGeneres's nostalgia clearly rubbed off on Culkin, since he shared a playful tweet teasing his Ellen appearance with an otherworldly-cute picture featuring himself kissing his My Girl co-star, Anna Chlumsky, back when he was just 11 years old.
Despite fans' rapacious appetite for their childhood memories of Home Alone, Culkin has certainly come a long way in the intervening decades. Back in 2013, he thrilled fans by posting a viral video of himself eating a slice to promote his pie-themed band, Pizza Underground. And last year, he shocked millennials and the Twitter-verse alike by stepping out with a bit of scruff and a pair of hipster-approved glasses — one of the internet's all-time favorite child star glow-ups.
So while it's probably for the best if fans can contain their Christmas joy by not asking him to reprise his most iconic role, there's no doubt his next projects will satisfy every nostalgic urge — just maybe don't ask him to do that scream.