That’s right people, Alec Baldwin is leaving us for good. He’s had it with our unappreciative lack of understanding, our failure to forgive, our labels; our inability to comprehend his true nature. The most successful and recognizable of the Brothers Baldwin is ready to pack up his bags and leave not only the trappings of Hollywood behind, but also his home in New York City, and his political aspirations. And though he does, in an incredibly long Vulture piece, sheepishly admit some culpability in the impressions we’ve all gotten from his vitriolic, sometimes violent rants against the paparazzi, fellow actors, various media personas and um…his daughter, our dear Alec seems to be disheartened by those misperceptions. You guys, I think we broke him.
Here are a few highlights from Alec’s long, sad goodbye:
“I’ve read where a number of people have felt that 2013 was a shitty year. For me, it was actually a great year, because my wife and I had a baby. But, yeah, everything else was pretty awful. And I find myself bitter, defensive, and more misanthropic than I care to admit. And I’m trying to understand what happened, how an altercation on the street, in which I was accused—wrongly—of using a gay slur, could have cascaded like this. There’s been a shift in my life. And it’s caused me to step back and say, This is happening for a reason.”
“Photographers today get right up in your face, my wife’s, my baby’s. They are baiting you. You can tell they want to get into it with you. Some bump into me or block the entrance to my apartment, frustrating my neighbors (some of whom may regret that I live in their building).
I’m self-aware enough to know that I am to blame for some of this. I definitely should not have reacted the way I did in some of these situations. I don’t have these issues with waiters, traffic cops, store clerks. I know there’s an impression that I’m someone who seeks to have violent confrontations with people. I don’t. Do I regret screaming at some guy who practically clipped my kid in the head with the lens of a camera? Yeah, I probably do, because it’s only caused me problems.
But—I’m sorry, I can’t let go of this—do people really, really believe that, when I shouted at that guy, I called him a “faggot” on-camera? Do you honestly believe I would give someone like TMZ’s Harvey Levin, of all people, another club to beat me with?
What happened is, a TMZ videographer ambushed me as I was putting my family in a car, and I chased him down the block and said, “Cocksucking motherfucker” or whatever (when I have some volatile interaction with these people, I don’t pull out a pen and take notes on what I said). I knew that guy. This was a guy who is on a bike usually, and when we get in a car, he follows us. Very aggressive. The same guy who followed my wife on a bicycle, and when she slipped and fell trying to dodge him and hurt her leg, he laughed at her and said, “See what I made you do?” At my wife. How would that make you feel?”
It’s true, that sounds pretty mean, and I definitely think there should be a law against paparazzi getting within a certain distance, or photographing children.
Alec also takes issue with Shia LaBeouf, and who among us can argue for that plagiarizing prankster?
“There was friction between us from the beginning. LaBeouf seems to carry with him, to put it mildly, a jailhouse mentality wherever he goes. When he came to rehearsal, he was told it was important to memorize his lines. He took that to heart and learned all his lines in advance, even emailing me videos in which he read aloud his lines from the entire play. To prove he had put in the time. (What else do you do in jail?) I, however, do not learn my lines in advance. So he began to sulk because he felt we were slowing him down. You could tell right away he loves to argue. And one day he attacked me in front of everyone. He said, “You’re slowing me down, and you don’t know your lines. And if you don’t say your lines, I’m just going to keep saying my lines.”
We all sat, frozen. I snorted a bit, and, turning to him in front of the whole cast, I asked, “If I don’t say my words fast enough, you’re going to just say your next line?” I said. “You realize the lines are written in a certain order?” He just glared at me.
So I asked the company to break. And I took the stage manager, with Sullivan, to another room, and I said one of us is going to go. I said, “I’ll tell you what, I’ll go.” I said don’t fire the kid, I’ll quit. They said no, no, no, no, and they fired him. And I think he was shocked. He had that card, that card you get when you make films that make a lot of money that gives you a certain kind of entitlement. I think he was surprised that it didn’t work in the theater.”
Then there’s the part where Baldwin didn’t really want to do his talk show on MSNBC, didn’t want to interview Rob Lowe, and didn’t like that his boss had not “a single piece of paper on his desk,” which clearly is an indication of improper bossiness. I mean, come on.
As for all that homophobic nonsense, Alec wants us to know he never said any of the things people claimed he did. Not “toxic little queen,” or “cocksucker” or “faggot.”
“Am I a homophobe? Look, I work in show business. I am awash in gay people, as colleagues and as friends. I’m doing Rock of Ages one day, making out with Russell Brand. Soon after that, I’m advocating with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cynthia Nixon for marriage equality. I’m officiating at a gay friend’s wedding. I’m not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me.”
I could go on and on…and on with these highlights, but you should really grab yourself a
cup pot of coffee and read the whole thing for yourself.
As Alec himself says, “And, admittedly, this is how I feel in February of 2014,”, which I believe translates to: “I’ll be baaack.”