The untold truth of Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song’s relationship

When rumors first began swirling that Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song were dating, some were understandably perplexed. Culkin, of course, will always be best known as a massively popular and successful child star who palled around with Michael Jackson and played burglar-foiling Kevin McCallister in the Christmas classic, Home Alone. In more recent years, however, Culkin has been seen as more of an eccentric figure, semi-retired from acting while focusing on Bunny Ears, his Goop-spoofing lifestyle website, and mostly avoiding the limelight.

Then there’s Song, a Disney Channel favorite who starred in sitcom The Suite Life of Zack & Cody before transitioning to adult roles, such as the Hulu comedy, Dollface, and the Netflix thriller, Secret Obsession. For those who only knew the two from their work and respective reputations, this celeb pairing initially seemed like an odd match — especially since Culkin and Song staunchly avoided any talk of their personal lives in interviews … for awhile, at least.

As their relationship grew, so too did their willingness to discuss it publicly. While they’ve gradually opened up, there’s a lot that fans are learning about this intriguing romance. Let’s discover the untold truth of Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song’s relationship.

Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song met through Seth Green

Ask most movie buffs about the 2019 comedy, Changeland, and expect to be met with blank stares. Yet the film will always hold a special place in the hearts of Brenda Song and Macaulay Culkin, who met while appearing in the Seth Green-directed film. Changeland marked the directorial debut of Green, who started his career — like Culkin and Song — as a child actor. While reviews for the Thailand-set comedy in such outlets as the Los Angeles Times and The Hollywood Reporter weren’t stellar, Variety singled out Culkin’s performance as a “flamboyant” expat tour guide as “fun.”

Changeland is also, as an Esquire profile on Culkin pointed out, only his fourth movie in 20 years, and both he and Song participated at the behest of mutual pal Green. Song and Culkin apparently hit it off on the set; by the time the film’s premiere rolled around, the two attended the event as a couple. 

Even though he cast both Song and Culkin in his first effort as a filmmaker, Green admitted to Esquire that their romance took him by surprise. “I didn’t see that one coming,” he told the magazine.

Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song initially kept mum about their relationship

As Us Weekly pointed out, rumors that Brenda Song and Macaulay Culkin were dating first surfaced in June 2017. Asked about her beau by the magazine in 2018, Song simply said the relationship was “great!” However, she also added, “I don’t like to talk about my personal life, but everything’s wonderful and I’m happy.” Aww.

Song made similar comments in an October 2019 interview with Refinery29. “We don’t really talk about our personal life,” the former Disney Channel star reiterated. While both would later open up about their relationship after that, their low-key, keep-it-all-private approach did lead to some wild tabloid speculation. 

For example, a R Online report in July 2019 claimed they had secretly gotten married during a trip to Paris, with a source alleging they “didn’t tell a soul about it.” Subsequent complications getting a marriage licence, the insider added, meant they would have to get hitched in the U.S. in order for the marriage to be legally binding. While neither has ever publicly mentioned a secret wedding in Paris, the media outlet’s source insisted that Culkin “has has never felt so happy, secure, and, well, normal.” Song, the insider continued, has helped “to create a stable home environment and Macaulay loves it.”

They bonded over their shared experience as child actors

In an interview with Refinery29, Brenda Song was asked what she and boyfriend Macaulay Culkin talked about. Without getting into details, she did admit that being former child actors was definitely something they had in common. “When you find other actors who’ve been in the industry for a long time and still love it, you have a bond forever,” she said.

Song was similarly asked by Entertainment Tonight if she, Culkin, and mutual pal Seth Green bonded over the shared experience of being child stars. “I think it’s like, child actors, we don’t even have to talk about it,” she replied. “You just look each other in the eye, and you nod, and we know.”

That bonding can also come with a side order of embarrassment. During a 2018 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Culkin discussed the ubiquity of Home Alone on TV during the holiday season. “You got like a new girlfriend and you’re flipping through the channels … and she’s like, ‘Eh, you wanna watch it?’ I’m like, ‘You wanna watch Home Alone with Macaulay Culkin, don’t you?’ And she’s like, ‘Yes!” he divulged, admitting, “I have indulged that.”

Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song are happily domesticated

A February 2020 Esquire profile on Macaulay Culkin offered a peek into his domestic bliss with Brenda Song, including such vignettes as Culkin enjoying a “fresh as f**k” slab of garlic rosemary bread she baked. The profile also detailed the couple’s menagerie, including two cats named Apples and Dude, a fish named Cinnamon, a Shiba Inu dubbed Panda, and a rare parrot, Macho. “I tend to name all the animals as if I was a five-year-old,” Culkin joked.

Their home is their sanctuary, the Esquire piece reveals, the place where they can just be. While Song pursues a thriving acting career, Culkin’s vocation — which consists primarily of running his Bunny Ears podcast/website venture — allows him to work from the couple’s house. “Yeah, I’m a homebody,” he admitted.

As proof, Culkin told his interviewer that when they were done chatting, “I’m gonna take a hot bath. I have a video queued up: the history of Castlevania, the Nintendo game. It’s 55 minutes long, and that’s the perfect bathtime amount of time. I’m gonna stretch my back out, kiss my animals, and go to sleep with my lady. I’m a man of really simple pleasures.”

The surprising reason Brenda Song finds Macaulay Culkin sexy

Brenda Song has said surprisingly little about boyfriend Macaulay Culkin when asked about him in interviews. However, she was uncharacteristically candid in the 2020 Esquire profile on the former Home Alone star. 

“People don’t realize how incredibly kind and loyal and sweet and smart he is,” she said of her man. “Truly what makes Mack so special is that he is so unapologetically Mack. He knows who he is, and he’s 100 percent OK with that.” It’s that particular quality, Song explained, that she finds to be a big turn-on, admitting, “That to me is an incredibly sexy quality. He’s worked really hard to be the person he is.”

One anecdote in the profile is particularly telling, revealing that Song keeps a notebook on a bedside table so she can write down Culkin’s idiosyncratic musings, “Stuff he says in the middle of the night that cracks her up.”

Macaulay Culkin once worried his relationship with Brenda Song was too good to be true

Macaulay Culkin’s love life has been a series of peaks and valleys, such as his 1998 marriage to actress Rachel Miner when they were both 17, and the divorce that followed two years after they split up in 2000. Then there was his relationship with That ’70s Show actress Mila Kunis. Even though they were together for nearly a decade, from 2002 until 2011, they kept things under the radar (although Kunis did reveal in an interview with Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast that their “horrible, horrible breakup” was her fault, admitting, “It’s f**ked up what I did, and it’s f**ked up how I did it”).

Given his romantic history, it shouldn’t be surprising that Culkin initially felt like his relationship with Brenda Song (who was previously linked with Miley Cyrus’ older brother, Trace) was simply too good to be true. As he told Esquire, he kept waiting for the day when something would go wrong, for that other shoe to drop. And it’s always gonna drop,” he said. “Something bad’s gonna happen. Someone’s gonna die.”

Brenda Song's hopes for Macaulay Culkin's future career

Macaulay Culkin may be quasi-retired from acting, but IMDb demonstrates that he’s definitely been dipping his toe back into Hollywood. In addition to the role in Changeland that brought him together with Brenda Song, he’s also appeared in several TV series, including a recurring role (as himself) on The Jim Gaffigan Show (pictured, above), a guest spot on Song’s series, Dollface, and a part on Season 10 of American Horror Story.

Song, however, is hopeful that her beau will get back into the game with even more fervor. “I truly believe that he is the actor he is now because of all the things he had to go through,” she divulged to Esquire. “He has gone through so much tragedy; he’s had so many ups, so many downs; he’s seen the ugly side of this industry; he’s also seen the amazing side of this industry. So he can pinpoint exactly what he doesn’t want and what he doesn’t like about it. But yeah, I hope, I hope, I hope.”

In fact, Culkin told the magazine that he auditioned for director Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood — but botched it. “It was a disaster,” he admitted. “I wouldn’t have hired me. I’m terrible at auditioning anyway, and this was my first audition in like eight years.”

Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song are trying to have a baby

While Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song have been decidedly quiet when it comes to discussing their relationship in the media, Culkin broke with that tradition when he gave several interviews declaring his intention to impregnate Song. “We practice a lot,” he joked to Esquire in his 2020 profile. “We’re figuring it out, making the timing work. Because nothing turns you on more than when your lady comes into the room and says, ‘Honey, I’m ovulating.”

That wasn’t the first time he mentioned becoming a daddy. In a 2018 sit-down with The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Culkin declared, “I’m gonna make some babies.” He described girlfriend Song as “a good one,” adding with a laugh, “So I’m probably going to put some babies in her a little bit … She’s Asian, so I’m gonna have tiny little Asian babies.” He continued to, uh, joke about creating mixed-race offspring by referencing the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono: “It’s going to be adorable — a bunch of Sean Lennons running around the house, that’s what I’m looking for.”

Brenda Song shared a sweet birthday greeting for Macaulay Culkin's 40th

It took the occasion of Macaulay Culkin’s 40th birthday for Brenda Song to offer her most public declaration of love to that point. “Happy 40th birthday to this magical being,” she wrote in the caption to a photo she shared on Instagram in August 2020, in which the couple are seen from the back, wearing matching plaid jammies with their names on the the back (Culkin’s shirt reads “Mack”). 

“I could sit here and write endlessly about how wonderful, kind, loving, genuine, loyal, honest, brilliant and hilarious you are, and how grateful I am that I get to share and do this life thing with you,” Song continued. “But firstly, that would take me an eternity and secondly, you won’t even see this because you don’t ever use instagram. Hahaha.” She went on. “My unicorn that I never thought could exist, I am [the] luckiest person in the world because I am loved by you.”

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