Macaulay Culkin Explains Why He Turned Down Starring in Big Bang Theory
Macaulay Culkin reveals that he was sought for a leading role in CBS's The Big Bang Theory, but he refused the part because he wasn't sold on the premise of the show. Best known for his roles in My Girl (1991), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), and Richie Rich (1994), the former child star has had a very interesting last several years with multiple controversies. A few years ago, he co-founded the New York-based, pizza-themed comedy rock band the Pizza Underground, where he served as the main vocalist. Early this year, however, he announced that the band had already broken up.
Poised to kick-off its 12th season in a few weeks, The Big Bang Theory continues to be a ratings juggernaut for CBS, averaging a 2.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 14 million viewers an episode in Live+Same Day last season. Loyal followers are still engrossed in the day-to-day lives of seven nerdy friends. The sitcom has become so popular, it has even spawned a spinoff, Young Sheldon, which follows the early years of Jim Parson's fan-favorite character as he grew up at Galveston, Texas. On top of that, the cast members are among the highest paid actors on TV. But as it turns out, the show could've looked very different as Culkin was one of the initial choices to play one of the show's lead characters.
During a recent interview on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Culkin shared that he was approached multiple times to star in The Big Bang Theory. He, however, wasn't sold on the pitch for the show which was why he repeatedly turned down the gig. He recalled:
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. They were like, 'We'll get some real physicists to do the math,' but 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.
Looking back at what could've been had he accepted the gig, Culkin still stands by his decision, implying that even with all the success of The Big Bang Theory, the show's concept just doesn't interest him. "I'd have hundreds of millions of dollars right now if I did that gig. But at the same time, I'd be bashing my head against the wall," he said.
From the sound of it, CBS was eyeing Culkin possibly for the role of Sheldon or Leonard, which ended up being played by Parsons and Johnny Galecki, respectively. However, considering the former child star's physical profile, chances are that he was wanted particularly for the role of Sheldon. Knowing all of this now, one would be curious to know what The Big Bang Theory would've looked like with Culkin playing the genius, but socially inept theoretical physicist, considering how Parsons portrays the role impressively.
The Big Bang Theory season 12 and Young Sheldon season 2 premiere September 24 on CBS.
Source: The Joe Rogan Experience