Kieran Culkin has been acting since he was a child. But his recent star turn on HBO’s Succession made him into a star. Accolades and awards aren’t the only things Culkin picked up on set. It seems the actor has a new problem with profanity.
The role Keiran Culkin almost played on ‘Succession’
Succession follows the story of the Roy family as they fight for control of the family business, Waystar RoyCo. The show stars Culkin, Jeremy Strong, and Sarah Snook as CEO Logan Roy’s (Brian Cox) scheming children.
While many can’t picture Culkin playing anyone but the immature and irresponsible Roman Roy, the actor almost took a different role on the show.
During an appearance on The Tonight Show, Culkin revealed that the showrunners initially had him read for the part of Cousin Greg (played by Nicholas Braun).
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“I didn’t feel right for [it,]” the actor explained. “I knew I was wrong.” However, as he read the rest of the script, Culkin resonated with Roman’s character. He even asked Succession’s showrunners if he could audition for the part. They told him they weren’t seeing actors for the role yet.
Culkin laughed, “I just sort of put myself on tape anyway and sent it in. I was like, ‘Here’s three scenes, if you want to…’”
How ‘Succession’ made Keiran Culkin ‘want to be an actor’
In addition to almost ending up in a different role, Culkin was also unsure if he would even continue acting before he got the Succession script. He started acting when he was 6 years old, telling NPR, “I found that suddenly I had a career that I never decided I wanted, and didn’t really like that.”
He did his best to “stay out of the limelight” and would work on projects he was interested in “from time to time.” However, his part in Succession changed all that.
“I can’t remember if it was Season 1 or 2 [of Succession], but I remember coming home from work one day and telling my wife, ‘It’s going really well. … I think I know what I want to do with my life. I think I want to be an actor,’” Culkin recalled.
Why Culkin’s time on set makes the f-word ‘slide out’ of him now
Succession star Kieran Culkin on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert | Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images
Culkin didn’t just find a new love of acting on the set of the HBO drama. The actor also picked up a bad habit of swearing.
“I would say the F-word just slides out of me,” Culkin laughed, before admitting that it’s always been “a natural word” for him.
He continued, “I’m trying to be careful now because my two-year-old daughter actually has become a mimic.” Luckily, she hasn’t said it yet.
Keiran Culkin’s amazing talent for memorizing lines
Culkin might not have loved his childhood acting career. But he does admit his early experience gave him a pretty good tool for his performances. The actor has an amazing ability to memorize lines very quickly.
“I can look at a speech like once or twice, and I can repeat it back pretty quickly,” Culkin explained. He shared a story about a time when Cox wanted to run lines on set. Culkin admitted he hadn’t even looked at the scene yet and grabbed his script. After reading his lines just once, Culkin was able to deliver his lines perfectly, frustrating Cox.
“He got so mad because he had to work the night before and try to learn the lines and I looked at it twice and I knew it,” Culkin laughed.
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