Macaulay Culkin and girlfriend Brenda Song are parents.
The couple met on a movie set in Thailand a few years ago—for Changeland, a funny, moving story about friendship (directed by Culkin’s old friend Seth Green). They moved in together, to a charming house, and Culkin painted a yellow brick road leading to the front door. They wear matching pajamas. Song bakes bread—she was baking bread long before the pandemic. They have animals: three cats (the youngest is one he got her for Christmas 2019, named Santa), a few fish, a Shiba Inu, and a blue-headed pionus, which is a parrot.
Now all of that recedes into the blurry background, as it does when you have a child. Their private universe has a new center, a son: Dakota Song Culkin, born Monday, April 5 at 1:10 p.m., in Los Angeles, weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces. Song is healthy.
Dakota, the first child for both actors, is named in honor of Culkin’s sister Dakota, who died in 2008.
The couple released only this statement to Esquire after the birth: “We’re overjoyed.”
When I spoke with Song for an Esquire cover story about Culkin last year, she said, “You can’t be around him and not be happy.” That’s how they talk about each other: with a kind of disbelief that it can feel this good to be with another person. They surprise each other with little expressions of that feeling—a plate of sushi ordered and laid out all nice after a long day, or a warm bath drawn to soothe an aching back. When they first started dating, Culkin told me, “I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.” After a while, he realized, “No—sometimes it’s just good.”
Song told me that when her mother was receiving cancer treatment and would stop by to see the couple, Culkin would do things like make her vegetable soup—with a sweet-onion broth, because she’s vegetarian—and his signature homemade potato chips, packed up in a bag for her to take home.
That detail didn’t make it into the cover story, nor did the yellow brick road or the warm baths. But they belong in this one, which is not a story about child actors or shoes dropping or fame or any of that.
Congrats to Macaulay and Brenda.