RIGHT OFF THE BAT, ANNA CHLUMSKY wants you to know that she and Macaulay Culkin are just friends. Yes, they shared their first kiss as costars of the odd new comedy My Girl. But the brief smooch “was just part of the job,” Anna says. Culkin is even less starry-eyed. “It’s not,” he has said, “a real kiss.”
However icky it was, it didn’t compare to the time Mac put double-stick tape on a toilet seat on the Florida set. “Mac’s an easy person to get along with,” says Anna, 11. “But he’s a mean teaser.” Then again, he’s also a major box office star who took a supporting role (albeit for a reported $1 million) as the best friend of newcomer Anna (her salary was considerably lower). Director Howard Zieff chose Anna from more than 1,000 youngsters to play the daughter of widowed mortician Dan Aykroyd. “She was so far removed from anyone else,” says Zieff, “as far as purity and big eyes.”
But though Anna has been modeling in her native Chicago since she was 10 months old, she’s not likely to let stardom go to her head. “Anna’s not going to do movie after movie,” insists her mother and manager, Nancy Chlumsky, 39. A former airline reservation clerk, Nancy is raising her only child in a modest Cape Cod house in a working-class Chicago suburb. (Nancy is divorced from Anna’s father, Frank, a chef in Wisconsin.) Rather than disrupt Anna’s routine with trips to L.A., Nancy mails videotaped auditions to casting agents. “Anna has to have a normal life,” she says.
Well, pretty normal. Currently, Anna is codirecting Grease at her parochial school. (A tutor instructed her during My Girl.) With some of the scampishness of Macaulay, she also wrote the copy on the ticket: SIT BACK, RELAX AND ENJOY THE SHOW, OR YOU’RE IN DEEP TROUBLE.