Three major award shows in the span of nine days is a lot, and by the time the Emmys rolled around last night, you could feel the burnout, especially since everything went as expected in the drama categories, with near-total Succession domination.
One person who was NOT burned out, though, was Kieran Culkin, not afraid to show the want on his face when his category (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series) was announced. And he looked THRILLED to win—he won daddy’s kiss! For real though, because Brian Cox, a fellow nominee in the category, mouthed Kieran’s name as Calista Flockhart read it out, he knew who the best boy was all along! And Kieran’s speech was great.
Kieran Culkin accepts the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.— Film Updates (@FilmUpdates) January 16, 2024
Two points of interest stood out in Kieran’s speech: the mention of his wife, Jazz, and their children’s names, Kinsey Sioux and Wilder Wolf. I live near three schools, these are not unusual names to me. Wild, Wilder, and Wolf are pretty popular, and I have heard Kinsey before, but the spelling is debatable—Kinsey, Kinzee, Kinseigh, Kynzee, who knows (Kieran’s is a Kinsey, like the doctor). I don’t love “Sioux” as a name, though, because it’s slang of a derogatory word given by the rival Ojibwe nation to the Oceti Sakowin Oyate, the People of the Seven Council Fires, also known as the Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota nations. Maybe don’t propagate “Sioux” as a name. It means “devil” or “little snakes”. Dakota, meanwhile, means “friend”, so if you HAVE to use a Native word for a name, use that one. It’s kinder.
The other point of interest was his shoutout to his mother, Patricia. He thanked her for his “great” childhood. Now, a Culkin having a great childhood is not the narrative we’re familiar with, because his elder brother, Macaulay, had a famous falling out with their terrible dad, Kit, when they were children.
Macaulay was a huge a movie star as a child, he made a lot money, some of which Kit helped himself to, including violating Macaulay’s Coogan account. Macaulay subsequently had his parents removed from his financial accounts to protect his (remaining) assets, but Patricia wasn’t the problem—Kit was. After their incredibly acrimonious divorce, Patricia got custody, and things levelled out. Patricia has a lot to do with the Culkin kids turning out even halfway normal.
Another Succession best boy who won last night is Matthew Macfadyen, who won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. He gave a good speech, thanking both of his “on-screen wives”, Sarah Snook—who looked great in a red Vivienne Westwood gown and Cartier jewels with just a hint of emeralds—and Nicholas Braun, but the real moment was Pedro Pascal’s bit with, well, Kieran, about how he injured his shoulder.
It’s the little smile after he says, “It’s actually my shoulder.” Pedro knows when he has a good bit going. Pedro, who was accompanied to the Emmys by his sister, trans actor Lux Pascal, was a triple nominee this year, for lead actor in The Last of Us, for hosting SNL, and for narrating the docu-series Patagonia. He went oh-for-three, but how much longer before Pedro is a winner?