05/31/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT
He was famous by 10, burned out at 14, married at 17 and single again at 19. Now 23, a more worldly Culkin shows sarcastic charm as a handicapped teen in Saved!, a satire set in a Christian high school, out May 28.
ON LEARNING TO USE A WHEELCHAIR It was relatively easy to whiz around. You're using muscles that you didn't know you had. It's like your arms are your legs. But you'd be surprised how difficult opening a refrigerator is.
ON LIVING HOME ALONE IN MANHATTAN I finally got a bed. I used to just have a beanbag, a TV on the floor and a giant medieval table. That's it. I live a relatively modest life. I enjoy times with my girlfriend [That '70s Show's Mila Kunis, 20] and my English bulldog Audrey. She's my gorgeous baby.
ON FRIEND MICHAEL JACKSON It's an unfortunate situation. I haven't talked to him in six or eight months. It's just a circus right now. I'm supportive from afar. I'm trying to semi-keep my distance from it.
ON SELLING HIS SEMIAUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NOVEL TO MIRAMAX BOOKS I have been writing this thing for three or four years now. When I was in London [acting onstage], I started compiling all this stuff. I showed it to a few places. And I got an offer on it. It was really kind of cool.
ON BEING A FORMER CHILD STAR I know I am a part of some weird fraternity. But I tried not to go down any of those [familiar] roads. Contrary to popular belief, I have never been to jail or rehab. Except for the fact that I married young, I kind of stayed away from those clichés. I don't think I was an unhappy kid. I just felt like I was being bogged down. When people's livelihoods are on the line, that's a lot of pressure for a 9-or 10-year-old. I got happier after I got away from it and found the joy in myself.