It hasn’t even been a week and I already desperately miss Jack Donaghy.
“Good God, I can see every line and pore in your face. It looks like a YMCA climbing wall.”
And while Tina Fey and the writers were the creative genius behind his acerbic, WASPy insults, the delivery was all Alec Baldwin, who epitomized a charismatic and amoral one percenter.
In interviews, Baldwin is much like Jack: charming and cutting, witty but not try-hard funny. He’s also incredibly self-righteous and temperamental and has long had a contentious relationship with the paparazzi, telling one he got into a skirmish with just before his wedding, "I know you got raped by a priest or something." (Source)
How… what… huh? But the man can sling an insult, we all know this. Alec’s neighbours say he was incensed that the paparazzi were harassing people in his building, and when Alec’s been set off there’s no turning back: he was kicked off the plane because he refused to stop playing Words With Friends. He left one of the most infamous voice messages of all time for his daughter, Ireland. (Incidentally, she’s now a beautiful teenager and has a very funny Twitter feed. Click here to enjoy it.)
So Alec Baldwin is a hothead who can’t stand to be photographed on the sidewalk.
But announcing his baby news on Extra (where his wife Hilaria is a lifestyle correspondent) – that’s within the Baldwin realm of acceptability. They even shared the pregnancy test reveal. Something about shouting and her not telling him (because why would you ever tell your husband you bought a pregnancy test? That would just ruin the reveal!). Gender reveal parties were really big for a minute, but I swear we will soon be invited over to our friends’ houses for brunch but really to look at their pee sticks.
So thanks to this little interview, we know where they were, what she said, what he said…
What is amazing about someone as smart and droll and painfully self-aware as Alec is that he can say that celebrity is a sham, fame is a joke, and “Actors are treated like suppositories that are inserted into cavities of the movie-going public” and then turn around and appear on Extra to talk about his young wife’s pregnancy.
Because while so talented, and so likeable when he wants to be, he’s also so completely insulated by celebrity that he can't recognize when he's acting like one.
Yesterday he was on TV talking about his wife’s pregnancy, today he’ll get into a fight with a paparazzo on the street (I’m trying to think of a Baldwin-worthy insult but I lack the talent) and next week he’ll go on Letterman (because Baldwin gives great talk show) and tell a funny anecdote about the whole thing. Sure he looks like a hot-head, but not an asshole.
And the older and more indignant he gets, the more entertaining his little flare-ups are. Yes he’s contradictory (hypocritical seems a little heavy) but with so many bland, generic movie stars (especially among the men) who reveal nothing significant and seem to never have any fun, good or bad, he is what so many of them are not – entertaining. When was the last time you were entertained while watching an interview with Tom Cruise or Gerard Butler or Will Smith or Ryan Reynolds? Laughed at their anecdote? Rolled your eyes at their political grandstanding?
Click here to watch the Baldwins pregnancy reveal.