Alec Baldwin Opens Up on ORPHANS Controversy, Homophobic Accusations & Leaving Public Life in New Essay
In a revealing essay in New York magazine, set to hit newsstands today, actor Alec Baldwin opened up about the past year, filled with both controversy and joy over the birth of his child.
In the essay, the '30 Rock' star discussed his recent return to Broadway in the revival of 'Orphans,' in which he famously butted heads with co-star Shia LaBeouf.
"Last year began with making plans to do a play called Orphans, on Broadway," begins Baldwin. "I was filled with hope. I had spent six and a half years on a television sitcom. I won every award you could win in television. I got paid well. And people loved 30 Rock. And I loved 30 Rock."
"Getting back onstage seemed like a good idea," he opines. "Then Shia LaBeouf showed up. I'd heard from other people that he was potentially very difficult to work with, but I always ignore that because people say the same thing about me. When he showed up, he seemed like a lot of young actors today-scattered, as he was coming from making six movies in a row or whatever."
Baldwin says that tension between the two of them arose from the onset. "LaBeouf seems to carry with him, to put it mildly, a jailhouse mentality wherever he goes. When he came to rehearsal, he was told it was important to memorize his lines. He took that to heart and learned all his lines in advance, even emailing me videos in which he read aloud his lines from the entire play."
He continued, "I, however, do not learn my lines in advance. So he began to sulk because he felt we were slowing him down. You could tell right away he loves to argue. And one day he attacked me in front of everyone. He said, "You're slowing me down, and you don't know your lines. And if you don't say your lines, I'm just going to keep saying my lines."
Startled by the outburst, Baldwin quiipped, "If I don't say my words fast enough, you're going to just say your next line?" I said. "You realize the lines are written in a certain order?" He just glared at me."
At that point, the actor spoke privately with the stage manager and Director Dan Sullivan and issued an ulitmatum. "I said one of us is going to go. I said, "I'll tell you what, I'll go." I said don't fire the kid, I'll quit. They said no, no, no, no, and they fired him. And I think he was shocked. 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. I think he was surprised that it didn't work in the theater."