Macaulay Culkin explains why he turned down The Big Bang Theory three times
A lot of actors have turned down big roles. Will Smith passed on playing Neo in The Matrix, explaining to Wired, "In the pitch, I just didn't see it." Christina Applegate turned down the role of Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, telling Entertainment Tonight, "I got scared of kind of repeating myself." (She thought it was too similar to her character on Married With Children.) And Sean Connery rejected playing Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings. The actor is quoted as saying, "I never understood it. I read the book. I read the script. I saw the movie. I still don't understand it." (Which is hilarious.)
Presumably, actors kick themselves for passing on these parts. They could have won critical acclaim, and, even better, a crap-ton of money. However, Macaulay Culkin is pretty chill about turning down The Big Bang Theory. The CBS sitcom about four nerds and a beauty next door has aired for eleven seasons, and is still number one in the ratings. Since season 8, the main cast - Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar - have all been making $1 million per episode.
We all remember Macaulay Culkin from his days as a child actor, starring in the Home Alone movies. Today he's 37, but looks pretty much the same. In an appearance on Ellen, he said people recognize him all the time, and constantly ask him to do "the Home Alone face" (putting his hands on his cheeks and screaming). He looks like he'd fit right in with the other geeks on The Big Bang Theory. But during an appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, he revealed he turned the sitcom down three times.
"They pursued me for The Big Bang Theory. And I said no. 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."
Apparently, Culkin's not a fan of the show, or saying "Bazinga!" He doesn't reveal which character they wanted him to play, but it probably wasn't Penny. He admits he could have made some serious money by taking the part, but doesn't have any regrets. "I’d have hundreds of millions of dollars right now if I did that gig," said Culkin. "At the same time, I’d be bashing my head against the wall."
Recently Culkin started the podcast Bunny Ears, with comedian Matt Cohen. No word on if he will do a cameo in Stoned Alone, Ryan Reynold's "R-rated stoner version of Home Alone." But if he's offered a part, he better not turn it down.