Alec Baldwin Says He Is Quitting Public Life

Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin. Photo credit: Barry Gordin

Alec Baldwin—who is pretty much the Hamptons’ favorite person—says he is bowing out of public life in a first-person essay for New York Magazine and Vulture published online Sunday night.

He also says he will probably move out of New York. If he dumps his Manhattan apartment, could his Amagansett estate be next? Say it ain’t so, Alexander!

Baldwin wants to continue acting, but skip everything that comes after, like late night talk shows and Saturday Night Live appearances, he says. Though he was very open and personal in the article, he says, “…this is the last time I’m going to talk about my personal life in an American publication ever again.”

In the piece, which is under Baldwin’s byline with the caveat “As told to Joe Hagan,” Baldwin describes his experience of being in Hawaii for a film shoot in November just as news was circulating that he allegedly called a paparazzo a “faggot.” Baldwin writes that was not the word he used.

He had just recently started a new weekly MSNBC show, Up with Alec Baldwin, when the news of his confrontation with the paparazzo unfolded. MSNBC suspended Baldwin in response—a suspension that ultimately resulted in Baldwin being fired and the show being canceled. However, he also details in the piece how things weren’t going well at MSNBC, regardless.

The other 2013 incident that had talking heads pondering whether Baldwin is homophobic was after James Gandolfini’s funeral, when Baldwin tweet-attacked Daily Mail writer George Stark, who falsely accused his wife, Hilaria Thomas Baldwin, of tweeting during the funeral. Baldwin called Stark a “toxic little queen” and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, in response, suggested Baldwin should be vilified.

Despite advocating for marriage equality, officiating his friend’s same-sex wedding and making out with Russell Brand in Rock of Ages, the world now sees him as a homophobic person, Baldwin says. He also explains that he regrets how he reacted in certain situations when baited by paparazzi who do things such as bump into him on purpose or block the entrance to his apartment building. He says it has created a false impression that he seeks to have violent confrontations with people.

He also blames the incident for Capital One not renewing its contract with him; he was donating all of his pay from Capital One commercials to nonprofits, including a few on the East End.

Baldwin says 2013 was a great year because he and his wife had a baby, but otherwise, “…I find myself bitter, defensive, and more misanthropic than I care to admit.”

Among the bad experiences in 2013 he recalls are working with—or, trying to work with—Shia LaBeouf, which ultimately ended with LaBeouf being fired from the Broadway play. LeBeouf announced last year, after a series of plagiarism allegations, that he was quitting public life.

Though he says now that he, like LeBeouf, is quitting, Baldwin admits that this is just how he feels about show business at present. Could he have a change of heart? For all of our sakes, let’s hope so.

Vulture posted the article one day after Baldwin hosted a screening of Vertigo at Guild Hall. On Monday, it will be on newsstands in New York Magazine.

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