In a scene in the new drama The Mighty, Kieran Culkin scarfs down a hot dog. By the final take he had ingested about 25. Luckily costar Sharon Stone "made sure they were low-fat turkey dogs," says Culkin. "She was very considerate."
Stone was equally enamored of the dogged actor: "I'd be proud to have a child like Kieran." To get into the character of Kevin Dillon, who has a syndrome that causes dwarfism, Culkin, 16, spent 45 minutes a day "hunched over and zipped into a bodysuit." Culkin, a junior at the Professional Children's School in Manhattan, was thrilled to have his first starring role. But the actor—who lives in Manhattan with mom Patricia Brentrup and five of his six siblings—is happy not to be a child celeb like his brother Macaulay. A few years back, the Home Alone star (who lives nearby with wife Rachel Miner) was "hounded" when he went out, he says. Much has changed for the family since. After Brentrup won a custody battle, she took over managing duties from their father, Christopher. "I haven't seen him in more than a year, and that's the way I prefer it," says Kieran. "Things are a lot better now."