God, this is good stuff. Scribe Ian Parker has penned a heck of a profile of “30 Rock” star Alec Baldwin for this week’s New Yorker. There’s a bit of requisite NBC bashing in there, of course some discussion of the fateful voice mail message he left for his daughter last year, but the best stuff is really the stream-of-Baldwin-consciousness that he lets flow, and flow, and flow (see below). I’m rooting for Baldwin in the Emmy lead comedy actor competish this year, for obvious reasons.
“I always think, What if you just took your hand off the wheel, and slowly, over time, it all went away, and your life became about, you know, ‘Is the mail here yet?’ I always think about that.” But this dream of disengagement quickly gave way: in the space of a few minutes, sitting in weak sun on a New Jersey driveway, smoking a cigarette, Baldwin imagined himself as the restaurant critic of the Times; the proprietor of an inn near Syracuse; and the presenter of a classical-music show on public radio. “I could do that,” he said, and he wasn’t exactly joking. He cares about classical music; he began to take an interest in his twenties. (Perhaps not surprisingly, he adores Mahler and can’t quite see the point of Mozart.) “To sit there in the studio and just say”—a rich radio voice—“ ‘And now Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, with Charles Dutoit and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.’ Click. Hit a button, and then you sit back and listen, and they pay you for that. And I can’t imagine they pay you as much as the movies, but to me it’s getting to that point where there’s just something else I want to do. I don’t know what it is. I’m tired of being somebody else. I spend the waking hours of my life saying things that other people think and say and do. And behaving as someone else. I’m tired of it. I want to be me! I want to be myself!”