Kieran Culkin: Not a Fan of Being Bossed by Co-Actors

Exploring the Unique Dynamic of a Star-Studded Film

by Zain ul Abedin
Kieran Culkin: Not a Fan of Being Bossed by Co-Actors
© Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Kieran Culkin, celebrated for his compelling portrayal in the acclaimed series 'Succession,' recently offered a delightful peek behind the curtains of his latest project, 'A Real Pain.' Speaking at the prestigious 2024 Sundance Film Festival, Culkin engaged the audience with his characteristic humor, shedding light on his unique experience working under Jesse Eisenberg - his co-star who also donned the hats of writer and director for this venture.

The collaboration between Culkin and Eisenberg in 'A Real Pain' presented an intriguing on-set dynamic. Eisenberg, widely recognized for his exceptional acting, ventured into a dual role that blurred the lines between fellow actor and director.

This multifaceted position brought about some humorous challenges, especially for Culkin, who is known for his immersive and nuanced acting approach. Elaborating on his experiences, the 41-year-old actor shared, “That was a first for me.

And it felt like there was a pretty good rapport right away." However, this rapport faced a quirky twist when Eisenberg, after a take, would transition from co-actor to director, providing guidance and notes to Culkin. With a playful tone, Culkin recounted, "My first thought was, like, ‘Hey, I got notes for you, too.’”

Behind the Scenes: 'A Real Pain'

The audience at the festival was treated to a burst of laughter as Culkin continued in his light-hearted vein, “I don’t want to be noted by an actor.

Get out of here. Seriously." His jesting remarks not only entertained but also highlighted the unique and occasionally comical challenges that arise when an actor steps into a directorial role, especially when directing peers.

The movie, 'A Real Pain,' explores the narrative of two estranged cousins, portrayed by Culkin and Eisenberg, who embark on an emotional journey to Poland to pay tribute to their late grandmother. The plot weaves elements of humor and sentimentality, mirroring the off-screen relationship and playful interactions between its leading actors.

As anticipation builds for the film's release, Culkin's behind-the-scenes stories offer an intriguing glimpse into the film's creation. His anecdotes and the evident chemistry with Eisenberg promise a cinematic experience that is not only emotionally resonant but also filled with humor and the charm of unexpected collaborations."