Kieran Culkin said that he almost played Cousin Greg instead of Roman Roy on HBO’s hit media-family dynasty show “Succession.”
“They wanted me to read for Cousin Greg,” the star told Jimmy Fallon on Friday’s “The Tonight Show,” “which I just didn’t feel right for.” The role wound up going to Nicholas Braun.
“Normally, in any other script I would be like, ‘OK, I’m not right for the part. I’m gonna close it. I’m not gonna continue reading on,'” Culkin continued. “But I just kind of liked the script, so I read on and I was like ‘Oh, there’s this guy!’ whose first line is ‘Hey, hey motherf—er.”
Fallon noted that Culkin has sworn twice in the interview before they discussed his role further.
“So I thought ‘Well, I kind of like this guy, I like the way he talks. I can do that,'” Culkin said. “I asked, I was like, ‘Can I audition for Roman?’ and the response back was, ‘We’re not auditioning for that part yet.’ But I just sort of put myself on tape anyway and sent it in.”
The rest is history — including Culkin earning a 2020 Emmy nomination for the role. (He lost to Billy Crudup for “The Morning Show.”)
To top it all off, Culkin will host “Saturday Night Live” on Saturday for the first time — though the actor noted that it won’t be his first appearance on the NBC comedy staple.
The “Succession” star recalled that when he was 9 years old and his older brother Macaulay Culkin hosted back in 1991, he appeared in a sketch with then-cast member Dana Carvey. Fallon held up a photo of Kieran with Carvey.
“I actually remember quite a lot from that,” Culkin said. “By the way, it was 30 years ago almost to the day, I had to look it up, my brother hosted in November of ’91.”
Culkin continued, “I remember during rehearsal day, being on the stage and I was with my mom, and Kevin Nealon walks by, and she grabs him and she goes, ‘Oh hey, you’re great. By the way, you’re my son’s favorite.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, thank you very much, that’s nice to hear.’ And I went, ‘Mom’ — cuz I’m 9, kids don’t have a filter — ‘I told you, he’s my second favorite, Dana Carvey’s my favorite.'”
Kieran Culkin makes his hosting debut on “SNL” airing Saturday, Nov. 6 at 11:30 p.m. ET, 8:30 p.m. PT with musical guest Ed Sheeran. You can also catch him on episodes of “SuccessIon” airing weekly on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.