×

Stephen Baldwin on Endorsing Trump Early, ‘SNL’ and Alec’s Impersonation

Stephen Baldwin was one of the first people in Hollywood who came out as a Trump supporter, back in July 2015. It was an endorsement that his older brother, Alec Baldwin, later spoofed on “Saturday Night Live”: “I’ve got the cream of the crop,” said Alec, playing Donald Trump. “I’ve got Sarah Palin. I’ve got Chachi. And get this, I’ve got the best Baldwin brother — Stephen Baldwin.”

“You never thought that after those words were spoken, that Trump would actually win,” Stephen says. “But he did. So it turns out Alec’s a bit of a prophet.”

Stephen, who recently produced the faith-based movie “Youth Group,” knows Trump from appearing on “The Celebrity Apprentice.” He talked with Variety about why he’s hopeful for the next four years.

JAKE CHESSUM for Variety

Why did you endorse Trump so early?
A good buddy of mine, Don Lemon, called me up. I think he’s a wonderful journalist. Unfortunately, leading up to the election, he kind of had to stick to the script over there at CNN. But I don’t blame him for that. He said, “Hey, come talk about Trump.” I said, “No, no, no.” The first Republican debate was coming up in two weeks. And he goes, “Oh, come on. Since when do you care?” And he schmoozed me, and he talked me into it.

You called Trump’s populist appeal early on.
It was because there were people frustrated by our system, and they might just be crazy enough to vote for this guy, because they’d like to see real change. And I was right. It was a hunch, really — after eight years of an administration that, in my opinion, didn’t try to unify anything. They had their agenda. God bless them. They are gone.

What are you most hopeful about?
I think the thing that needed to happen most, and as quickly as possible, is this breath of fresh air into our economy that we’re already seeing. Healthcare — whatever’s going to happen with that, I have no idea. But I think people are going, “Wait a minute, my premiums went up and maybe with Trump, they’ll go down again.”

Is there a secret group of conservatives in Hollywood?
There are organizations like Friends of Abe and things like that. There’s a larger constituency of Hollywood folks who, I wouldn’t say are hardcore conservatives, but they’re right-leaning. They choose to remain very quiet about it, and understandably so.

“I think he really wants what’s best for everybody.”
Stephen Baldwin

Do you talk to your brothers about politics?
My answer to “How’s that all going?” is, “No comment.” But watch “Glengarry Glen Ross.” (Alec has a cameo, and he plays a very serious business guy who’s kind of tough and mean.) It’s been quite tense, and I’m prayerful that by Easter things will be a little bit better.

Do you think Alec will continue to impersonate Trump?
I can tell you one thing for sure: Alec Baldwin’s got a good gig for the next four years, even if he just does Trump on “SNL” regarding the tweets. If Trump stops tweeting, it will be a miracle. Imagine the intuitiveness of this guy to realize, “I can use my Twitter to talk directly to the people.” It worked.

How do you think Trump’s presidency will be remembered?
I think he really wants what’s best for everybody. Unfortunately, he’s jammed into a presidency that may be the most difficult four years for any president almost ever to figure out how to bring people together. I say bravo to a lot of Hollywood folks who didn’t support him and didn’t vote for him who are now saying, “We’ve got to give this guy a chance.” That’s the only right, fair thing to do.

You’re making Christian movies now. What has the reception been like?
That’s the other thing that trips me out as far as being a Trump supporter or a Christian. People are like, “Hey you were great in ‘Usual Suspects’ and ‘Bio-Dome,’ but now you’re a Jesus guy, so you suck.” [laughs] I guess when Jesus comes into your heart, your acting skills go right out the window.

We think we’ve really done something unique and different in the faith-based marketplace. “Youth Group” is a Christian comedy by Christians, for Christians that we think will have tremendous potential to cross over into the mainstream.

Any other projects you’re mulling?
Variety, help me talk to the studio that helps control the sequel rights to “Bio-Dome” because Pauly [Shore] and I are ready, and I have the money now with my new company. Let “Bio-Dome” two live! Let “Bio-Dome” two live!

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Barron HiltonBarron Hilton 1990

    Famed Hotelier Barron Hilton Dies at 91

    Barron Hilton, a famed hotelier who helped expand the Hilton Hotels empire and a founding owner of the Chargers NFL football team, has died, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced. He was 91. “Today the world of hospitality mourns for one of the greats. Barron Hilton was an incredible family man, business leader and philanthropist. [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content