Macaulay Culkin starred in some of the most famous family films of the ’80s, and it turns out he almost had a chance to star in one of the modern era’s biggest sitcoms. During his recent interview on The Joe Rogan Experience, the actor explained why he turned down multiple requests to appear on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory.
“They pursued me for The Big Bang Theory,” Culkin revealed, amidst a discussion about sitcom roles and salaries. “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.”
Culkin is fully aware of how much money he lost by forsaking the role. The show’s original five stars — Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar — have made about $1 million per episode since season 8; The Big Bang Theory recently wrapped season 11.
“I’d have hundreds of millions of dollars right now if I did that gig,” Culkin said. “But at the same time, I’d be bashing my head against the wall.”
Watch the full interview above; The Big Bang Theory talk starts at around the 39:48 mark.