April 28, 2006

So Alec Baldwin punched the wall because of the air conditioning.

Here's a puzzling story about an actress, Jan Maxwell, quitting her role in a NY play, because she can't stand Alec Baldwin, her co-star.
[Maxwell wrote] in an e-mail message to a friend that Mr. Baldwin "created an unhealthy and oppressive situation." She referred specifically to an incident in which Mr. Baldwin punched a wall because he was angry that the air-conditioning was not turned high enough....

Mr. Baldwin admitted to punching the wall, but said he had been sweating onstage and, as his character wears glasses, the sweat was making it difficult to see.
Baldwin also says that the play -- "Entertaining Mr. Sloan" -- subjects the character Maxwell plays to relentless misogyny. Is the actress broken by the "unhealthy and oppressive situation" of the play itself, or is Alec Baldwin really so terrible? That air conditioner incident just doesn't seem like enough to justify cutting out on the play. His explanation sound pretty decent, but maybe there is a whole list of scary Baldwinesque acting out on and around the stage.

Hmmm... we could try to make a Top Ten list: Things Alec Baldwin Did to Freak Out Jan Maxwell.

48 comments:

Davefa said...

I can quote another scary Alec Baldwin eruption. The producer Art Linson recounts how when setting up the trhiller The Edge (1997), he got news that Baldwin wanted to play his character with a full beard. Linson and the rest of the production team nixed this idea and Baldwin got very very angry. Finally he confronted the producers at a meeting and lost. He then smashed his fist down on the table and snarled: "Motherf***er!" and stalked out. I gather he is pretty volatile.

Steve Donohue said...

Top ten creepy but-undoubtedly-untrue Alec Baldwin things? I haven't the energy, but here are a couple:

1.) Occasionally protending to be one of his brothers backstage to ignore criticism.

2.) Renewing the old SNL canteen-boy scoutmaster role backstage with co-workers.

3.) Demanding people call him Mr. Conducter or "Maestro" because of his role in "Thomas the Tank Engine- the Movie". When others tried to tell him that a maestro wasn't that kind of conductor, he put his fist through the wall.

OK, I've done my part.

Bruce Hayden said...

Is this the same Alec Baldwin made famous as the antagonist in Team America: World Police? Kim Jong Il's accent was so atrocious there that I wasn't absolutely sure, but I assume that was the same Baldwin.

I guess it shows how impressed I am by his acting and how many regular movies I go see if this was his most memorable role for me.

Jacques Cuze said...

Well, I just don't know. I know he's a "liberal", yes it is true. I know he reneged on his promise to leave the country. I know he is in the middle of a terrible child custody dispute. I know he is an America hating "liberal".

I have no idea what happened at the play, or the truth of actors and actresses that act literally like "prima donnas".

I do know he is a liberal and thus deserving of our two minutes of hate. Thank you Professor Althouse for encouraging us to do our part.

Alec Baldwin, Alec Baldwin, Big Brother Big Brother BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB BB....

MadisonMan said...

I'm puzzled by the closing quote: "I asked Jan in spite of all of it to stay," he [Baldwin] said. But he added, "No one is displeased by the way it all ended up, and Jan can't be either."

So is everyone happy?

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Joe said...

So Baldwin is as unhinged in his professional life as he is in his politics and personal life, if you recall the breakup with Kim Basinger. A spoiled, smug, petulant, and somewhat demented egotist. In other words a poster boy for the left.

SteveR said...

hey "Sweaty Balls" was funny and he was decent in "Hunt For Red October." Otherwise I think he's a lunatic regardless of his political POV.

sonicfrog said...

When he was a teenager, 17ish in 1982, my older brother Jeff punched a hole in the wall because Butch, the one-eyed Boston Terrier, peed on his Jimi Hendrix album cover. Hate to think what would have happened if Jeff ever found out I threw away his two shoe boxes full of baseball cards in retaliation for being mean to me. What he did is something I can't remember, but he was a general bully in those days to both me and my little brother. And of coarse had I known those card would be worth some money today, I wouldn't have done that. I still feel a little bad about it.

john(lesser) said...

*

The guy is all class.

Henry said...

He was terrific in Glengarry Glen Ross. Could it be typecasting?

Madisonman, that's an awesome pull quote. It reminds me of the title of the underappreciated Charles Grodin's show-biz autobiography, a sentence for which he was on the receiving end: It Would Be So Nice if You Weren't Here.

Jeff said...

So he pounded a table and punched a wall?

Maybe he should have cried a little instead, and insisted that he was feeling opressed by the lack of air-conditioning or beard-approval!

Joe said...

It's shocking to think so (sarcasm off), but the NY Times whitewashed Baldwin's behavior. My local paper printed her email in full, and she was genuinely in fear of him.

Hamsun56 said...

Henry, I agree that he was great in Glengarry Glen Ross (has there ever been a better ensemble of American male actors?). He was also good in Miami Blues. Nowadays, I wouldn't pay to see him in a movie.

Icepick said...

SonicFrog wrote: And of coarse had I known those card would be worth some money today, I wouldn't have [thrown them away]. I still feel a little bad about it.

You should feel bad. You could have just hidden them, and you could sell them today on EBay and pocket the money! Better still, set up an account on EBay under an alias, and tell your brother about it so he could buy the cards back from you! Then you'd get his money, too!

And yes, Alec and his pair of brass balls were brilliant in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Simon said...

Does anyone else ever wonder if quxxo is actually a conservative agent provocateur, who's invented this bizarre character as a reductio ad absurdum of liberal bloggers in order to make liberal bloggers look bad?

Simon said...

MadisonMan said...
"I'm puzzled by the closing quote: "I asked Jan in spite of all of it to stay," he [Baldwin] said. But he added, "No one is displeased by the way it all ended up, and Jan can't be either."

It just sounds so much like the Pauline Kael quote about not understanding how Nixon could have won when no one she knows voted for him, doesn't it? Or, "how can Althouse not be a conservative if she supports the war, because I don't know any democrats who support the war," as no doubt the kossacks would bleet. It's groupthink 101. Baldwin doesn't understand how if he isn't displeased with the way it ended up, and all his friends agree with him, how anyone could be displeased with the way it ended up. Which, when you think about it, does sounds kinda familiar (as Joe points out, ante), doesn't it?

Elizabeth said...

Joe, thanks for a remarking typifying the usual rightwing jerk. And please, no one respond telling me I just don't get the joke.

Baldwin really is an irrational lunatic when he gets mad. I witnessed a tantrum myself when he appeared in a literary festival here in New Orleans and didn't get the precise star treatment he wanted. I'd give more details but I don't want to compromise the job of a friend of mine involved in the incident. Everyone involved was a liberal, but only the spoiled star behaved badly. It's stupid to have to point that out, but there are stupid people out there who make stupid assumptions.

MadisonMan said...

Well, I suppose Jan is happy -- she got out of a bad place without losing money. And she got to leave earlier than she wanted. And she got good reviews. Her understudy is happy. Baldwin is happy because he's getting press. (Anyone hear of him in this play beforehand?) The producers are happy because they get publicity.

Marghlar said...

Does anyone else ever wonder if quxxo is actually a conservative agent provocateur, who's invented this bizarre character as a reductio ad absurdum of liberal bloggers in order to make liberal bloggers look bad?

As a liberal who has to share this page with quxxo, I've often wondered about this. It would be so much easier than the truth, which is that he's probably just an idiot on the left -- every political persuasion has them. I'd like to think that, in the end, he only makes himself look bad, but I can't say that he doesn't have the effect you describe.

I personally find it easy to get worked up about policy (although I am often reluctant to think that I know good answers), but I find it hard to get into "politics," which is quxxo's drug of choice. The personalities bore me; it's the ideas I like. Since politics is the art of rhetoric stripped of real ideas (for the most part), I find it supremely dull.

Elizabeth said...

Marghler, that's a reasonable response to quoxxo. I've always assumed there are spikes and valleys in his/her medications that account for the relative length and intensity of the comments. I stopped reading them long ago, so the volume and frequency is my only measurement of quoxxo's moods. Quoxxo doesn't represent me, nor you. If some rightwingers want to fanatasize that quoxxo is typical of the left, I believe that fits their needs, and I can't do anything to change that.

Joe said...

Elizabeth? you're welcome. I see it's much easier for you to engage in ad hominem attacks rather than address my point. Sorry if the generalization offended you, but go scan Kos or DU and then tell me where I am wrong.

Dawn said...

The other film he was decent in is "Married to the Mob". Didn't have a lot of screen time, but he made the most of it.

Coffee is for closers". One of the greatest lines in film!

Other than that, he's a man with serious anger issues.

Christopher Althouse said...

Maybe Alec Baldwin wouldn't have sweat so much if he weren't so porky.

knoxgirl said...

It's always made me sad that Alec Baldwin--who I've always enjoyed as an artist--had to become such a shrill political freak. I sort of feel the same way about Al Franken, Sean Penn, Chris Martin, Tim Robbins, Janeane Garofalo, Madonna, George Clooney, Jessica Lange, Johnny Depp, Sandra Bernhard, Robert Altman...

But they're all just anolmalies, really, it's not fair to stereotype or draw any conclusions.

MadisonMan said...

Joe, if you have complaints about the posters on Kos or DU, why don't you complain there? I'm not sure what complaining here does. Who here on the left side of the political spectrum is "A spoiled, smug, petulant, and somewhat demented egotist. "?

knoxgirl said...

Uh... quxxo?

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Elizabeth said...

Joe, you throw out a lame generalization and then whine about ad hominem attacks, and expect a substantive response. Someday perhaps you'll see the flaw in your approach.

Maxine Weiss said...

If I were single diner, dining alone, at a restaurant, and Alec Baldwin came to my table--- I would not refuse him.

Peace, Maxine

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Jacques Cuze said...

Yes knoxgirl? Do you have the loofa?

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Simon said...

knoxgirl said...
"It's always made me sad that Alec Baldwin--who I've always enjoyed as an artist--had to become such a shrill political freak. I sort of feel the same way about . . . [among others] Janeane Garofalo"
Oh, no, I disagree. I think she's dreamy, and in a kinky kind of way, the shrill liberal stuff makes it even better. It's good that someone's passionate; it's better when they're passionate for causes I agree with, of course, but cute and passionate is always good.

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knoxgirl said...

Yeah, I have to admit it's hard not to like Janeane Garofolo, shrillness notwithstanding.

Joe said...

Elizabeth, Madison man, if you had bothered to read my original post, I was referring to Alec B., based on his politics and his personal and professional behavior. I was not referring to anyone on this blog. I did not think it necessary to list chapter and verse from Baldwin's life to support my point, and in my experience, the lefty blogs are the most deranged, generally more than you see on the conservative side. It's just my opinion.

ignacio said...

A friend of mine had dinner with Baldwin, because of showbiz considerations, in what must have been 1999 (in other words, before we all began choosing sides as we tend to now). The word this word used to describe him (Baldwin) to me was "moron."

I'm sorry this sounds like such an ad hominem slur. But it's "just the facts, ma'am."

Isn't it funny how for the most part we all now divide ourselves into factions depending on how we have reacted to 9/11? Those who do not believe we are at war, or do not want us to be at war, hate Bush a priori and see Iraq and even Afghanistan as unnecessary nonsense. If we ignore it it'll all just go away.

The position really isn't much more nuanced than that (though I'm sure they'll indignantly claim otherwise. "Incompetence" has been the organized buzzword for some while.)

Fine. Fine. But when Iran gives Hugo Chavez nukes down in Venezuela? Is yet another conference to understand the hatred of America the answer then?

Oliver said...

Six years on and Hugo still hasn't gotten those nukes. Not exactly sure why Hugo would want to start WWIII if Stalin never did, either.

PS: I'm a liberal and I happen to think Alec Baldwin is as much an irrational idiot as any rightist.

Make sure your poor heads don't explode when Obama gets re-elected, y'all.