Kieran Culkin on Being Directed by Fellow Actor Jesse Eisenberg: “B****, I Got Notes for You, Too”

Kieran Culkin is in Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival, but he’s still delivering mic drop moments on stage much like he did when he cleaned up at the recent Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards and Emmys.

Culkin joined his A Real Pain collaborators at the Eccles Theater on Saturday afternoon for the world premiere of the film, directed by Jesse Eisenberg and starring the filmmaker alongside Culkin, Will Sharpe and Jennifer Grey. The plot follows mismatched cousins David and Benji who reunite for a tour through Poland to honor their beloved grandmother.

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After the credits rolled, the film got a standing ovation and the energy kept flowing through the Q&A with a slew of amusing moments. Top of the list is when Culkin described what it was like to work with and for Eisenberg. “There was a pretty good rapport right away,” said the Succession star. “But right after the first scene, he’d be like, ‘Cut,’ and start giving me notes. And my first thought is, like, bitch, I got notes for you, too. I don’t want to be noted by an actor. Get out of here. Fuck you.”

Eisenberg doubled over with laughter and the audience ate it up, as well. It wasn’t all jokes, however. “I’ve never seen a greater performance in person, and maybe on screen, except, I don’t know, On the Waterfront, and I don’t even remember it that well,” Eisenberg praised of Culkin’s work in his film.

In a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Eisenberg detailed how he came to cast the veteran actor in his film. “My sister read 20 pages of my script, and she said that there’s only one person in the world that could play this part. I said, ‘Who?’ And she said, ‘Kieran Culkin.’ She loves Succession, and I hadn’t seen it. So, I looked it up, and it immediately became clear that he’s just perfect for this because he can bring a sense of humor, as well as an intensity, that makes this character so unknowable.”

It’s been a busy spell for Culkin as he spent a chunk of time in Los Angeles recently where he attended the aforementioned awards shows and earned trophies for his work as Roman Roy on the last season of HBO’s Succession. While he touched down in Park City for A Real Pain, he’s soon heading back home to New York where his sole focus will be fatherhood for the coming weeks.

“I’m really looking forward to it when I get home because the last couple weeks I haven’t really been much of a parent, which makes me feel like shit and makes me feel like I’m not me,” the actor said during an interview at The Hollywood Reporter‘s studio during the Sundance Film Festival earlier on Friday. “I’m going to turn the world off for about a week and just be a dad. ‘Did you read the email?’ No, I did not. [I’m doing] nothing at all, except just diapers and bath time and stuff for like a week.”

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