Fresh off the heels of Monday night’s high-rated “SNL’s” election special, Baldwin stopped by WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” on the morning of Election Day to speak about playing Trump.
“I’m trying to shed the Donald Trump cloak,” the actor said with a laugh, as the radio interview started.
Lehrer asked Baldwin if it was creepy to play Trump, given that his impression was so good.
“I’m not an impressionist, per se, but if you do any kind of comedy and they ask you to do that, most of the time, there’s some degree of appreciation, I think, involving somebody you like,” Baldwin explained. “Trump is somebody who, I don’t hate Trump, but he’s not somebody I admire, so it was more difficult.”
Speaking more at length about mastering the GOP nominee, Baldwin said, “You just watch him … like a caricaturist who draws … they exaggerate … this is an exaggeration of his masticating every word. I almost sprained my jaw pushing my lower jaw forward to talk the way he does.”
Baldwin said he would practice in front of a mirror, while he was in hair and makeup, to crack down on specific words that Trump brought to the forefront of the campaign cycle. “I would sit in a room while they were doing my makeup … say ‘grab’ … ‘grab’ … try to get his annunciation,” Baldwin explained with a laugh.
Though he admitted he doesn’t “hate” Trump, Baldwin did admit he’s shocked at how far the ex-reality star has gotten in the presidential race.
“‘The Apprentice’ was a huge success, and Trump was a huge television star who managed to trick people into thinking he was the guy from the show,” Baldwin said. “So that to me was the miracle of this candidacy, that he was able to fake everyone out into believing that he really is that guy from ‘The Apprentice.'”
He also analyzed Trump’s decisions throughout the campaign cycle, pointing out many of his mistakes throughout the past year.
“He could have won. She was beatable, if he had unified with a party … he might have created a great role for himself in this country,” Baldwin said, specifically mentioning Trump’s statement that he won’t accept the outcome of the race, if he doesn’t win. “I often wonder if there’s something wrong with him medically. It’s like this compulsive need to burn every bridge.”
Baldwin continued, “I think the other things about him — and I mean this sincerely because we all, as public figures, have had our difficulties and our reversals in the press and so forth — I feel bad for his family. He’s got kids, he’s got grandchildren. The Trump name is now going to mean something else.”
The interview also covered Tina Fey being the one who suggested to “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels that Baldwin should play Trump. Baldwin also raved about his co-star Kate McKinnon, who impersonates Hillary Clinton on “SNL,” saying, “One of my greatest joys is that I got to do it with Kate,” he said of McKinnon. “She is just this staggering talented woman.”
So, with the election coming to an end, will Baldwin continue to portray Trump when he’s needed on “SNL?” “I want my weekends back so I can be with my kids,” he says.
Listen to Baldwin’s entire radio interview here: