HOME ALONE star Macaulay Culkin mastered his performance as a wheelchair user in new movie SAVED! by learning how to "shift".

The actor spent time with real paraplegics and practiced manoeuvring around his New York apartment in a wheelchair to prepare for the part, and admits he was given invaluable advice from one pal called Brad.

He says, "I remember I asked Brad, 'Is there any one thing that you see people in wheelchairs in movies do wrong?'

"He said, 'You have to shift in your chair.' They explained to me that essentially the muscles in their legs have atrophied because they're not using them anymore.

"It's basically bone and veins and skin. There's nothing in between. They'll be sitting there and their legs will fall asleep... They're cutting off the blood to their legs.

"So they have to shift every once in a while to keep that going and, if you don't, you get the equivalent of bed sores and they have to put you in stasis for like six months to a year.

"It was something that almost seemed absurd at the time. I realised that this is something that they have to do every 10 minutes for the rest of their lives. It's almost as important as breathing and eating.

"I'm not even sure how much of it made it into the movie. I'm sure that the director was just like, 'He looks uncomfortable.'"

27/05/2004 09:08