Ever since Igby Goes Down, Kieran Culkin has been one of the best go-tos for a rude putdown. As Succession scion (and probable least good basketball player) Roman Roy, he’s arguably the show’s insult champ, snarling his way through one withering jab after another, offending strangers and close family alike. The real Kieran seems much, much nicer (although he’s not above on-set wrestling), but if a tale he told on The Tonight Show Friday night is any indication, he’s always at least had some bite.
Culkin was there to talk about the belated new season of Succession, which is currently three amazing, jaw-dropping, Nirvana-blasting episodes in. He’s not yet 40 but he’s been around for ages. His screen debut was alongside his older brother Macaulay, as the bed-wetting Fuller McCallister in the original (and newly rebooted) Home Alone. Kieran also joined Macaulay on the 1991 episode of SNL he hosted (with musical guest Tin Machine, the hard rock group fronted by David Bowie). And backstage the nine-year-old Kieran had an awkward run-in with one of its cast members.
“I remember, during rehearsal day, being on the stage, and I was with my mom. Kevin Nealon walks by and she grabs him and she goes, ‘Oh, hey, you’re great. By the way, you’re my son’s favorite,’” Kieran said. But Kieran didn’t 100% agree with her detective work. “And I went, ‘Mom, I told you he’s my second favorite. Dana Carvey is my favorite!’”
Nealon, the underrated straight man (who often played secret weirdos), seemed taken aback, Kieran thought. “I remember actually seeing him take this little tiny dagger and go… ‘Well, still very nice to meet you,’” he said.
You can watch Kieran Culkin’s entire interview in the video above and Succession returns for its fourth episode on Sunday on HBO and HBO Max at 9pm.