Kieran Culkin Didn’t Want to Be an Actor Until ‘Succession’ Season 1

By Chanak Maduranga

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Kieran Culkin Didn’t Want to Be an Actor Until ‘Succession’ Season 1
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While Kieran Culkin may be an Emmy-winning actor now, he didn’t realize that was a career he wanted to pursue until halfway through Succession season one.

The actor sat down with Jesse Eisenberg at a Tribeca Festival conversation where they discussed their decades-long careers in the entertainment industry, their upcoming film A Real Pain and more.

When asked if he considered doing something besides acting, Culkin shared that he just talked about this with his longtime manager, Emily Gerson Saines, who told him that acting was kind of thrust on him because he has been doing it since he was 6.

“Suddenly, around the age of 20, I had a phone call with Emily, and she said, ‘Something, something, something, your career,’” he recalled. “I remember having a panic and going, ‘I have a fucking career?’ I was just a 6-year-old, and I was doing this, and I never once chose to do this for myself. So I had that sort of crisis at like 19, 20, which I think is sort of normal.”

He continued, explaining that after he realized that he had never chosen acting, he didn’t work for some time and tried to figure out what he wanted. While on the set of 2017’s Infinity Baby, he remembered feeling comfortable and settling into acting being something he would do for a living because at least he knew how to do it.

“It wasn’t until about halfway through the first season of Succession, where I came home and I was having a talk with my wife, and I was like, ‘I think I know I want to do for a living. I want to be an actor.’ I had been doing it for about 31 years at that point. I spent a good couple of decades trying to figure out what else to do and then landed on the thing I was doing.”

Culkin won an Emmy for his portrayal of Roman Roy for the final season of Succession.

Jesse Eisenberg and Kieran Culkin attend Storytellers – Kieran Culkin in conversation with Jesse Eisenberg during the 2024 Tribeca Festival at Spring Studios on June 13, 2024, in New York City.

Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Chanak Maduranga

passionate journalist behind 'USA News Now 24', dedicated to delivering timely and accurate updates on US affairs. Committed to journalistic integrity and informing audiences with credible news coverage.

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