Home Alone actor Macaulay Culkin has revealed one of the roles he turned down–and it’s a very big one. Speaking on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Culkin said he was relentlessly pursued for The Big Bang Theory, which is one of the biggest, most popular, and enduringly successful modern TV shows.
Culkin told Rogan that he passed on the show at least three times. It’s not exactly clear which role Culkin was apparently being eyed for, but it sounds like one of the leads.
“They pursued me for The Big Bang Theory,” Culkin said. “And I said, ‘Noooo.’ 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.’ 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.”
Culkin said he lost out on lots and lots of money by passing on The Big Bang Theory, but decided against it because the process of making a TV show didn’t strike his fancy. On the podcast he said he’s living comfortably today, owning properties in America and abroad, and living “a life of leisure,” as he calls it.
“I’d have hundreds of millions of dollars right now if I did that gig,” Culkin said. “At the same time, I’d be bashing my head against the wall.”
The five original actors are set to make around $900,000 per episode for the upcoming 12th season, according to Variety, so indeed, Culkin passed on what could have been a large sum of money.
Culkin, 37, played Kevin McCallister in the 1990 Christmas classic Home Alone and its 1992 sequel. He’s also known for his parts in 1994’s The Pagemaster and Richie Rich. In his adult life, Culkin played in a pizza-themed band called The Pizza Underground and, more, recently launched a new, totally absurd project called BunnyEars. He recently traveled to Thailand to film his part in the Seth Green movie Changeland.
The Big Bang Theory, which airs on CBS (whose parent company CBS Corp. owns GameSpot), recently wrapped up its 11th season. It is confirmed for Season 12, which debuts in September, and discussions are underway for Season 13. The ensemble cast includes Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, Melissa Rauch, Kunal Nayyar, and Mayim Bialik.
Season 11 averaged 14 million viewers per episode, making it one of the most popular shows on TV, according to Variety. A spinoff, Young Sheldon, premiered in 2017.