Now 37, the "Home Alone" star spends most of his time living in Paris and recently launched his own podcast, "Bunny Ears." During the hour-long interview with Maron, Culkin revealed why he loves living overseas, talked about the "scars" his father allegedly left him with after abuse as a child and got candid about his relationships with both Michael and Paris Jackson.
Here are the 4 most interesting tidbits from the conversation:
His Loyalty to Paris Jackson
Culkin made it very clear his relationship with goddaughter Paris Jackson wasn't something he really wanted to talk about.
"I am close with Paris. I'm going to warn you now, I am very protective of her so just look out," he explained. "I am a very open book when it comes to things but like with her, she is beloved by me."
Maron said he wasn't looking for any "dirt," which Culkin understood. "I know you're not. I'm just letting you know if we want to start going down that road it's going to be a dead-end, you know, but I mean that in the fact that I love her so much."
When asked if she's doing alright, Culkin added: "She's tall, and beautiful and smart. It's great."
Culkin's closeness with Paris stems from his personal ties with her father, the late Michael Jackson.
According to Mac, he and MJ met when he was doing performances of "The Nutcracker" at Lincoln Center in NYC. "He came backstage before the show. He loved dance, he was a dance man. He came backstage with Donald Trump, because they were friendly back then," he told Maron. "I remember he looked at me like, 'I know you from somewhere. Oh, 'Uncle Buck,' yeah you're funny.' Then after 'Home Alone' came out, he reached out to me and my family."
He said Jackson reached out to just make sure everything was "alright."
"There's no child actor self help group," Culkin explained. "He said, 'Do you want to hang out? Do you want to come to my house?' He was like my best friend growing up for a stretch of my life. It was a legitimate friendship."
Culkin admitted that Jackson was "emotionally young" and "enjoyed my youthfulness." Though the singer was hit with molestation allegations later in life, Macaulay said their interactions "never struck me as odd."
"I never felt uncomfortable, that was the way that he was, down to his bone marrow," he added. "It never felt weird. It was just the way that it was. I looked at him for who he was. At that point, I was pretty famous, and I met plenty of famous people, his fame did not make a thing. I was not enamored by him."
While Culkin is still close with his mother, his relationship with his father is non-existent.
"I haven't spoken to him in about a quarter of a century. It's the way it has to be," he told Maron. "I was never tight with him to begin with. My concept of a father is one of those things you get from TV shows and movies rather than having that affection from a father. I was never tight with him."
He said his father "disliked" him even before Culkin became a household name, bringing in some cash flow for the family.
"It was sour from early on, even before the fame stuff. He disliked me too, we didn't like each other," he said. "He was a bad man, he was abusive, physically and mentally. I can show you all my scars if you want to. He was a bad dude, across the board. I started catching the brunt of it. Better me than somebody else."
Culkin went on to call his parents' separation "one of the best things that happened" and a move that allowed him to walk away from show business. "I hope you all made your money," he recalled thinking, "there's no more coming from me."
Mac added that he's "not really receptive" to communicating with his father at this point. "It's not like I've shut that door completely, I have forgiveness in my heart, I've made amends with that whole kind of thing," he said. "At the same time, I don't think he's there. I don't think he's willing to say the things he should say."
These days, Culkin is living it up in France, though he also has a place in New York.
"I've been living in Paris for the last 4 years and my French is still terrible," he said. "I live well out there. I've never shit better in my life, my bowels enjoy being out there. I'm a 30-something retired person, pretty much, walking around with a baguette tucked under my arm."
In addition to his new podcast, he also spends his time writing, painting, sleeping and drinking.
"I live well, I drink well, I smoke well. My life affords me the opportunities to do other things," he added.