Alec Baldwin says simply “I give up” on the cover of the latest issue of New York Magazine. But what’s he giving up? In a wide-ranging rant, he explains that he’s not necessarily giving up acting, but he’s tired of living in the public eye in New York, tired of paparazzi and the gossip press and most of all, angry that he was inaccurately accused of being homophobic. “I’m not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me,” he says, explaining that he was misheard when he yelled at a TMZ videographer last November.
In addition to hating on the media and the amped-up anger in American society, he has some choice words for a few people in particular, especially those who were involved in his short-lived MSNBC show “Up Late.”
1) Rachel Maddow: Baldwin first compliments Maddow as “the ultimate wonk/dweeb” but then partly blames her for his departure from MSNBC. “I think Rachel Maddow is quite good at what she does. I also think she’s a phony who doesn’t have the same passion for the truth off-camera that she seems to have on the air.”
2) TMZ’s Harvey Levin: “Harvey Levin exists in his own universe. He’s this kind of cretinous barnacle on the press.”3) Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post: “She created this wonderful thing. And what have they done with that? The other day, they had a thing on the home page about pimples. Tripe.”
4) Shia LaBeouf: Baldwin was to co-star with the younger actor in “Orphans” on Broadway. “There was friction between us from the beginning,” Baldwin says. “LaBeouf seems to carry with him, to put it mildly, a jailhouse mentality wherever he goes.”
“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.”
5) Broadway director Dan Sullivan: The “Orphans” director fired LaBeouf when he clashed with Baldwin, but Baldwin still says he lost the desire to make the Lyle Kessler play work. “Sullivan agreed to do something that, once he realized what it was, he had lost interest in it,” Baldwin says.
Honorable mention – Nearly everyone else at MSNBC: Baldwin says, “Topper Phil Griffin ‘couldn’t give a flying fuck about content.’ ‘Morning Joe’ was boring. Scarborough is neither eloquent nor funny. The problem with everybody on MSNBC is none of them are funny, although that doesn’t prevent them from trying to be.”
“MSNBC, in its own way, is as full of shit, as redundant and as superfluous, as Fox,” Baldwin concludes.
Musing that he might prefer the more private lifestyle in L.A, Baldwin concludes that he wants to return to being an actor, not a showbiz personality: “I want to go make a movie and be very present for that and give it everything I have, and after we’re done, then the rest of the time is mine.”