Meaghan Kirby
August 10, 2018 8:17 am

It’s almost impossible to imagine our favorite shows with any other actors than the ones who were cast. In a different world, Matt LeBlanc could have played lovable family man Phil Dunphy on Modern Family, and both Leah Remini and Jane Krakowski could have been on Friends. And it turns out one of the biggest sitcoms on air right now could have starred one of the biggest child stars of the ’90s.

In a new interview with comedian Joe Rogan, Macaulay Culkin revealed he was approached a whopping three times by CBS to star in The Big Bang Theory. While appearing on Rogan’s podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, the former child star and now-podcaster said he just wasn’t interested at the time.

"They pursued me for 'The Big Bang Theory,'" Culkin revealed. "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.”

The long-running CBS show, which is going into its 12th season, is the network’s most popular sitcom. The series’ five original stars—Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, Simon Helberg, and Kunal Nayyar—each earn about $900,000 per episode (after taking a pay cut down from one million last year in order to allow co-stars Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch to receive raises).

However, Culkin has no regrets about turning down the role. He said, "I’d have hundreds of millions of dollars right now if I did that gig. But at the same time, I’d be bashing my head against the wall."

Culkin may not be interested in big-budget projects, but he is returning to movies after a long hiatus. He’ll be appearing on the big screen in Changeland, which was written and directed by fellow ’90s kid Seth Green. He also currently runs the Goop-parody site BunnyEars.com and co-hosts the Bunny Ears podcast.

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