We’ve waxed poetic about Macaulay Culkin before, and, to be honest, we probably will again, for every sighting and project that he’s involved in is not only a spectacle of pure magic, but also odd, honest, and self-aware in a way that would intimidate most people. So when we heard that the pizza-enthusiast once again returned to his acting roots in Jack Dishel’s new web series, RYVRS, we experienced what felt like the entirety of the vast spectrum of human emotions. After reigning ourselves in, we pressed play. What we found was a character who was not only broken by his cocaine-using wife’s disregard for his well-being, but also from his family leaving him at home alone for a week during Christmas.
“I had to fend off my house from two psychopath home invaders,” he says, staring out the car window. “I was just a kid. I mean, I still have nightmares about this bald weirdo dude chasing me around talking like Yosemite Sam. ‘I’m going to pull your fingernails out. I’m going to get you you little scamp!’ They don’t even curse, calling me ‘louse’ and shit like that.”
Our anxiety now heightened, exposed, out there for the taking, Dishel and Culkin have us right where they want us, contemplating the many perils of a child actor and wondering whether Culkin himself is truly damaged by the characters he once played, or perhaps just the mere peculiarity of being a child in the spotlight. And then—suddenly—a gun wielding man pops up, and Culkin goes stone cold, ready to defend his wife’s car and anything else that needs saving in the world. It all comes full circle and just like that, with one dark hostage scene. We find ourselves muttering, “It was just a comedy sketch,” and feeling okay with it all.