By his own admission, Alec Baldwin is currently riding high, personally and professionally, in a career that’s had its share of peaks and valleys over the last 37 years. The Amagansett resident and actor is blissfully married and besotted with his wife Hilaria and their three young children—Carmen, Rafael and Leonardo—and he’s more than mended fences with eldest daughter Ireland, 21. His animated film The Boss Baby was a smash hit, earning $494.9 million at the box office, with a sequel already in the works. And, aside from those who resent him for it, Baldwin’s Donald Trump impression on Saturday Night Live garnered high praise from a public that can’t seem to get enough. He even picked up an Emmy nomination for the role last week, and his satirical book about it (with Kurt Andersen), You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump, is due for release on November 7. The actor’s first book this year, Nevertheless: A Memoir, hit shelves in April and was hailed as “Beautifully written and unexpectedly moving…” by The New York Times.
With this deluge of good fortune and a full schedule of television and film roles, Baldwin says he’s putting family before career and saying no to anything that might stand in the way of the happy new life he’s created. Thankfully, supporting local arts and culture organizations, such as Guild Hall, Dan’s Literary Prize and the Hamptons International Film Festival fits into that contentment, so Baldwin will don his writer’s hat and sign copies of Nevertheless at this year’s East Hampton Library’s Authors Night on Saturday, August 12. It probably helps that his wife Hilaria will join him at the event, signing copies of her first book, The Living Clearly Method: 5 Principles for a Fit Body, Healthy Mind & Joyful Life, published in December of last year.
Baldwin sat down with us at the Amagansett Free Library last week to discuss his memoir, Authors Night and more during an interview for the August 4 issue of Dan’s Papers. Toward the end of the candid, one-hour chat, he also answered our 10 Questions—a set of standard, rapid-fire queries we ask many of our most notable subjects. We present those questions, and his answers, below. Scroll down for a link to more 10 Questions interviews.
To learn more about East Hampton Library’s Authors Night, and buy tickets, visit authorsnight.org.
1. Favorite book?
Great Expectations [Charles Dickens, 1861]
2. The last thing that took your breath away?
My kids, something my kids did.
3. The last thing that made you cry?
My kids, and probably laughing, because my daughter Carmen is the reincarnation of Elaine Stritch—she’s this very kind of acerbic, funny kid.
4. It’s the eve of your execution… What would be your last meal?
Probably a pizza.
5. Something worth fighting for?
Saving this country right now from the people who are trying to sink it.
6. Something worth giving up?
I’m giving up sugar again. Whenever I eat sugar I completely blow up like an elephant.
7. Spend an afternoon with anyone—alive or dead—who would it be?
Other than my family and my wife and so forth, I’d probably say Robert F. Kennedy.
8. An interesting object in your home or studio?
I collect a lot of travel alarm clocks. I started one day I was in France 25 years ago, and I found this beautiful case and I opened it up and it was a Jaeger-LeCoultre folding travel alarm clock, an antique one. I started collecting them after that. I’ve had several of them.
9. Last film you watched?
I’m in the middle of watching I Am Not Your Negro now, but I had to stop.
10. Of your many film roles, which is your favorite?
The role I liked playing the most, that I enjoyed the most, in film…that’s tough. Probably the movie Miami Blues because I was young and George Armitage, who directed, was a friend of Jonathan Demme who produced. And with Jennifer Jason Leigh, it was all very organic and fun and new. I felt like I was much freer, and the more you make movies, the more there’s always the hand of commerce at your throat. I always enjoyed plays far more than movies.