Kieran Culkin Finally Falls in Love With Acting

“You start getting greedy,” jokes Kieran Culkin when he joins Little Gold Men to talk about how he reacted to Successions 25 Emmy nominations this time around, the most of any show.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is so cool—where the hell is Alan Ruck’s nomination?’” says Culkin. “I’ve been waiting on him. He’s just so extraordinary in the show.”

Culkin, who has just begun filming the fourth season in New York, may be quick to give credit to his costars and the writers for the show’s success. But his work as the troublesome youngest son, Roman, has been one of the series’ most talked-about performances, a huge feat when part of an ensemble that earned a record 14 individual acting nominations at this year’s Emmys. This season, Roman pulled back some of that skeevy exterior to reveal vulnerability and family loyalty but still got himself into plenty of trouble (like accidentally sending a dick pic to his own father).

Culkin, 39, who resides in New York with his wife and two children, was 7 years old when he got his first acting role, in 1990’s Home Alone, which starred his brother Macaulay. He continued to work throughout his youth in films like Father of the Bride, The Mighty, and The Cider House Rules, and as a teenager in 2002’s Igby Goes Down. But Succession has catapulted him to a new level. Culkin describes it as a career-altering job for him, allowing him the freedom to experiment on set in a way he never has before.

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Listen to the episode above, and find Little Gold Men on Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you get your podcasts. Read a partial transcript of Culkin’s interview below.

Vanity Fair: Since you’ve been playing Roman for a while now, do you know how much the writers take into consideration your voice when writing for him?

Kieran Culkin: I wouldn’t have a sense of how much I’m influencing the writers on how they do it. I did talk to one writer about that because with Nick Braun and Greg, I said, “do you always have Nick’s voice in your head?” And they were like, “oh, I guess sort of maybe on a subconscious level” but they’re not aware of it in the same way that I’m not always aware of why I make choices as Roman. It just all works really well. Sometimes I’ll feel like I’m going to have my guard up a little bit because I’ll see like one tiny little thing that I’ll fixate on, on the page, that feels almost like it’s a little too on the nose Roma, like “this is such a Roman thing to say or do.” And nine times out of 10, when I come from to set, there’s already been a fix done on it. The writers have caught that before I’d even had to say anything.The writers are so good.

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