Why me

Why me gy AlejandroOrti71 110R5pR 16, 2011 5 pagcs WHY ME? Alec Baldwin’s disappointment, undimmed by success. by lan Parker SEPTEMBER 8, 2008 Relentlessly self-critical, Baldwin says, «l don’t think really have a talent for movie acting. » Photograph by Martin Schoeller.

PRINTE-MAI SINGLE KEYWORDS Baldwin, Alec; Actors; Movies; Television; «30 Rock»; Basinger, Kim; Baldwin, Ireland Alec Baldwin, who stars in «30 Rock,» the NBC sitcom that has revived his career and done nothing to lift his spirits, has the unbending straight-armed gait of someone trying to prevent clothes from rubbing against sunburned skin. He is fifty years old, divorced, and lives alone in an Old white farmhouse in the Hamptons and an apartment on Central Park West—feeling thwarted, if not quite ors an occasional yelping u Sv. pe to is linked to professio and r of tabloid notoriety I he left for his daught egr tion, he lets out istful, in a way that , and to a period oice mail that , became public He is very conscious of What is lacking in his life—a spouse, for example, and a film career something like Jack Nicholson’s, and the governorship of New York—and his rhetoric can sometimes bring to mind a scene from «30 Rock» in which Baldwin, in his role s Jack Donaghy, a shameless but astute TV executive, stares at an equestrian painting by Stubbs and, in a growled whisper of lo SWipe page longing, says, «l wish I were a horse—strong, free, my chestnut haunches glistening in the sun. » According to Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of»Saturday Night Live» and an executive producer of «30 Rock,» Baldwin «guards against enjoyment. » (Michaels is a friend of Baldwin’s and was a model for the Donaghy character. «1’11 say, ‘Alec, you have one of the best writers in television’ «—Tina Fey—» ‘writing this part for you. It’s shot in New York, where you chose to live. You work three days a week, you get paid a Iot of money, you’re getting awards. It’s a great time in your life. It’s an all-good thing. And, if you were capable of enjoying it, it would be even better. ‘ » Or, as William Baldwin, one of Alec’s three younger brothers, said recently, ‘There’s always something for him to fucking whine about. On a Friday afternoon in April, at the end of a week making «30 Rock,» in a Studio in Queens, Baldwin was on a quiet suburban driveway in northern New Jersey, moonlighting on a Iow-budget independent film being made by friends of his.

The production id not have the funds to produce Hollywood bustle: the loudest sounds were birdsong and a distant wood-chipper. Baldwin was wearing hunting gear—a bright-orange vest and camouflage pants —and this disguised him; throughout his career, he has typically been seen in fitted suits that signal a menacing delight in the exercise of power—perhaps most famously in «Glengarry Glen Ross,» which he made when he was thirty-three. (‘Third prize i RI_IFS most famously in «Glengarry Glen Ross,» which he made when he was thirty-three. («Third prize is: You’re fired. «) Today, he was playing the owner of a suburban property business, a man in a roubled marriage.

When I sat with him, he said, «l’m so fucking tired. » Besides performing in «30 Rock» and in this film, called «‘Lymelife,» Baldwin had just finished writing a book on divorce and the law—part memoir, part polemic about the legal barriers sometimes put between a divorced parent and his children— which drew on his bruising experience after separating from the actress Kim gasinger, eight years ago. He said that he had been falling asleep at night with a laptop on his chest. FROM THE ISSUECARTOON BANKE-MAIL THIS Tiffany Nishimoto, Baldwin’s assistant and producing partner, anded him a phone, and he immediately began speaking into it: «It sounds to me like you want to .. » Then he stopped and started again: «First of all, hello. » He has a fast, heavily stressed, highly enunciated speaking voice, punctuated by frequent throat clearings—this can give the impression that you’re hearing a warmup rather than the event itself. When he had finished, he asked about other messages. «What else? » he asked. She told him. And then: «What else? Turning back to me, he said of the film, which he was helping to produce, «This kind of stuff, it’s so hard»—the tiny budget, the ight schedule, no more than two or three takes. «‘It’s a domestic drama, and, as you might suppose, «ve had my fill of that 31_1fS two or three takes. It’s a domestic drama, and, as you might suppose, I’ve had my fill of that subject. This is the last time, in this movie, assure you, you’re ever going to see me arguing with a spouse. » For a moment, he imagined life at the center of a blg- budget drama, and remembered watching Leonardo DiCaprio at work in the lead role in Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Aviator,» in which Baldwin had a supporting part. ‘To be Leo! » he cried out. (Baldwin an be quite earnest, even as he keeps an ironic eye on his earnestness. ) «To have a huge role like that! To play the role that is the fizz in the drink, yau know what mean? You are the movie! I wish I could play the lead role in one movie, one great movie. According to Baldwin, «The Insider» was the most recent «great opportunity’ for an actor of his kind. «It was smart, it was relevant, it was topical,» and the part went to Russell Crowe. He was called to work, and rather stiffly walked a few paces into the house, where he directly began playing a tense family scene with Jill Hennessy, in the role of his wife, and Rory Culkin, s their son. Baldwin then returned to the driveway, to sit near a full-sized stuffed deer that was part of the apparatus of the film. «Maybe one Will lead to the other,» he said. «Success begets success. Ive been offered a lot of mowes now that ’30 Rock’ has been successful. In that show, Baldwin—carrying two hundred and twenty-five pounds, like an athlete in his sportscaster years plays the corporate overseer 406 S hundred and twenty-five pounds, like an athlete in his sportscaster years—plays the corporate overseer of a fictional W sketch-comedy show made at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, the headquarters of NBC. Donaghy has the calm joy of someone who knows that nothing matters in life but ambition; Baldwin brings deadpan gravitas to a giddy parody of business egomania. (Explaining a tuxedo worn in the office: «Its after six. What am l, a farmer? ‘) His performance has been widely recognized: last year, he won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award, and was nominated for an Emmy. This year, he received the same three nominations: he won the SAG Award, and on September 21st he Will learn ifhe has won an Emmy.

Although ratings for «30 Rock» have been modest, the show has been celebrated by crltics. To all of this, Baldwin’s response has largely been: Where did everything go wrong? «On a television show, precise acting isn’t the order of the day,» he Said to me. «It’s a sitcom. The idea is to hit certain beats, and we do it cleverly. gut, you do a television show, you become a pastry chef. I’m a pastry chef now; l’m not the big chef at the big restaurant. l’m not Daniel»—a brief pause, then he jutted out his lips in a way that was familiar from his movies, and almost shouted the next You know? » He laughed. Read more http://www. newyorker. com/reporting/2008/09/08 duGTg7wN SÜFS