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Alec Baldwin Doesn't Have Any Interest in Acting Anymore

by
November 30, 2009

Alec Baldwin

He's been nominated for Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards, an Academy Award and received several Emmy nominations and even wins for his work on NBC's hilarious series "30 Rock." But apparently that's just not cutting it as Alec Baldwin told Men's Journal (via THR) that he doesn't "have any interest in acting anymore." To make this even more depressing, he says: "I consider my entire movie career a complete failure. The goal of movie-making is to star in a film where your performance drives the film, and the film is either a soaring critical or commercial success, and I never had that." It's very sad, but essentially true.

At first I thought, "That's crazy, Alec!" But then I tried to name one of Baldwin's film characters who could be considered iconic, and could only think of the The Shadow and Jack Ryan in Hunt for Red October. And while Baldwin has had stellar performances in films like Beetle Juice, The Aviator and The Cooler, his roles haven't exactly been the driving force of the films themselves. Sure they're integral supporting characters, and I find them to be fine performances, but I can understand why Baldwin is disappointed. "The movies I've been in, I never give them a moment's thought. Every movie I've ever been in, I just avoid."

He's made his share of bad decisions (The Cat in the Hat, My Best Friend's Girl), but to call his career a failure is unfathomable. The guy is a force on screen and makes the best out of even the smallest parts (see Glengarry Glen Ross or The Departed). Working with directors like Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton, Wes Anderson, Cameron Crowe and even Michael Bay are accomplishments within themselves. And while his film career in recent times hasn't been in the greatest shape, his character, Jack Donaghy on NBC's "30 Rock" is one of the most hilarious characters in television today, maybe even in history. Still, Baldwin seems firm: "Movies are a part of my past. It's been 30 years. I'm not young, but I have time to do something else."

Baldwin's next film, Nancy Meyers' romantic comedy It's Complicated, will be released later this month, but after that he only has one other film in pre-production as well as shared hosting duties for the upcoming Academy Awards show with Steve Martin. Until then it looks like we're in countdown mode as Baldwin says he's pretty much done with acting once "30 Rock" has its wrap party or whenever he leaves the show, which looks to be around March of 2012. We can only hope that he gets reeled into a few more films before then.

While Baldwin claims his lack of success in film is the reason for his acting departure, I can't help but think that personal problems are also to blame, especially following his previous mention of leaving the industry after the ridiculous exploitation of his personal relationship with his daughter revealed in an embarassing voicemail. Despite the glitz and glamor we always see in bright lights on the red carpet and the big screen, the life of an actor is always public and surely quite tiring. Personally, I'll be sad to see Alec Baldwin leave the acting scene, but I'm hoping that someone will write something to keep him around for years to come.

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  • Vic
    In no way was his career a failure. I love Alec Baldwin, he's a great guy and a great actor. I hope that's just a phase he's going through and he's not seriously considering quitting acting.
  • Janny
    at least we'll always have 'The Shadow'
  • zombiesdonrun
    his performance in glenn gary glenn ross is astounding. it's the roll he got the oscar nom for. one of my favorite movies and favorite performances
  • Vic
    "You want a smoke? You don't smoke, do you, right? What are you, one of those fitness freaks, huh? Go **** yourself" Classic! :)
  • @ #3, Zombiesdonrun, As phenomenal as his movie-stealing performance is in Glengarry Glen Ross, it was actually his supporting role in The Cooler that garnered Baldwin's first and only Academy Award nomination.
  • Frame
    He's great in 30 Rock.
  • Cody
    Ummm boo-hoo...Ive made millions and millions of dollars and most people whove seen my movies love me...My career is just a failure. Thats like Chuck Norris saying he doesnt think hes badass.
  • xerxex
    I love Baldwin but this is kinda arrogant...well maybe not, hopefully he will spend time with his daughter, but to quit acting all together is just a tad arrogant, I mean he has been in some great films, The Departed, Glengarry Glen Ross, and The Edge so quitting just because he feels his career is a failure is slapping his fans across the face, we support his films, even the bad ones, and he just goes...oh well, maybe arrogant is a strong word, it could be that I really wish he wouldn't quit, and this is my initital response...so I'll end this spiel with a :(
  • By the way his brothers are not actors and must stop being in movies ... Not he .. He is a really good actor and he did a great job in his career . I don't know why but first thing it comes in my mind when I read his name is ( The Departed ) ... Shot role but a great performance specially when they teas each other with Mark Wahlberg : Ellerby: Go fuck yourself. Dignam: I'm tired from fucking your wife. Ellerby: How is your mother? Dignam: Good, she's tired from fucking my father. That was hilarious :-)
  • Lou
    Has anyone ever seen Miami Blues! Now that's a good fuckin movie! And The Edge too! 2 movies that could not have been as good if some other actor came out in them!!
  • napoleonblownapart
    Yes , I liked Miami blues, haven't seen it in years but remember liking it. Didn't Liam Neeson threaten to quit movies a couple of years back?
  • Trip
    I wish actors would stop doing interviews. Every time they open their mouths' they sound like a-holes. How about being gracious that we have supported your "failure" of a career, that has carved out a nice living for yourself (better that most people will ever have). I don't care about your opinions (political views, social issues, etc.) on anything other that acting, and the film you are trying to get me to see. Shut up and go act, entertain me. By the way Alec, you voiced an episode of "The Simpsons", your career WAS a success.
  • Daniel
    Duh what? He was Dennis in Spongebob the movie, He was in Fun with Dick and Jane, 30ROCK,Leonardo Leonardo in Clerks shows, SNL! What more does he want? All my favorite shows.
  • twispious
    this is a good way to drum up publicity for that new movie w meryl streep he has coming soon
  • LetterJ
    Wa - wa - wa ... "Be careful what you shoot at, Ryan. Most things in here don't react too well to bullets."
  • The movie guy
    Miami Blues!!!! I watched it on TV a few weeks ago and he was brilliant. Check it out if you haven't seen it, he is awesome as a low life hood posing as a cop and robbing people. Great fucking movie!!! And don't forget Malice "I am GOD" What a classic line and he totally sells it, speaking of which. "You know what it takes to sell real estate?"
  • subcelsious
    maybe hes just depressed , the holidays can do that sometimes if your lonely. i think hes a great actor, i loved this guy in th juror and almost every other movie hes in hes the most convincing.
  • Eric B
    See Ya!!!
  • napoleonblownapart
    Very convincing in Team America
  • Peter
    Alec Baldwin's best roll by far was Outside Providence. Can't believe no one has mentioned that yet. The Edge was also badass.
  • Chris
    Well this will play out in one of two ways 1. This is a hoax just like it was the last time Arec Bardwin wanted attention when he said he would leave the United States if Bush was reelected. 2. This doocher will actually retire. Either way the world is better without him. One less Baldwin to worry about
  • I like Baldwin. As others have mentioned his "ABC" in Glengarry Glen Ross is wonderful, as is his role in The Cooler. Let's also not forget another great scene that he did, similar in delivery to his "ABC". His turn in the film Malice when he is undergoing the inquest and comes out with his "You think I've got a god complex...I am god". Brilliant.
  • Mike
    This isnt the first time he's said this.. What else can he do and make this kind of money.. He clearly loves the limelight and he's good at it.. He's not going to retire. A lot of actors do this.. Sean Penn has been threatening to quit for 20 years..
  • Shige
    #8 and #12. Wow you make it sound like he is actually owns you something. The guy wants to quit. His life, his choice.
  • Dan
    President Baldwin? :p
  • whomever
    He was great in The Usual Suspects.
  • What Alec really meant - http://bit.ly/8KPMeC
  • xerxex
    Shige did you read all of my comment? If he wants to quit then oh well, but fans like myself are gonna be diasppointed, and anger is usually the first response.
  • DoomCanoe
    thank god! wahoo lets celebrate! the mans entire movie career was a complete failure and Hollywood will be better off with out him. this makes my day! now we just need to bring Joaquin Phoenix back to the screen. And make sure Viggo stays on the screen. anyway ill drink to this
  • xerxex
    aww DoomCanoe...thats mean...oh well...
  • Dan
    @26, that was Stephen (Alec's brother) ya jackass.
  • branden
    His character, is far from one of the funniest characters in tv history. There are 5 characters from Arrested Development alone that are funnier than Donaghy. I don't care what type of awards he gets either. Seriously Ethan, 99% of your article was good, but that statement was stupid. I guess you said one of the best today and one of the best in history, but that list better be a top 25 and he'd be at the bottom of that list.
  • Bry from Chi
    Wow. Yeah, I hope he's not pullin' a Phoenix.
  • gohikeone
    @ 8,10,12 The Edge is one of the most underrated adventure/dramas of the 90s, IMHO. The adventure level is high, and Hopkins and Baldwin's interplay are great...the way that Baldwin turns on Hopkins at the end after what they go through is pretty brutal. "Never too late for a kind word, eh Charles?" Sweet jazz transition on the main theme during the credits as well by Jerry Goldsmith...
  • @ #32, Branden, I may have been a bit over zealous in my claims, but as a huge fan of 30 Rock and Alec Baldwin's work on it, I would definitely put him on my list of funniest television characters in history. And I definitely agree that most of the characters from Arrested Development would take their fair share of spots on that list too.
  • west
    crazy. I just saw this linked on drudge and thought: is jack going to go with the microwaves, or tgs?... at any rate he has the perfect write-off for the show. http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D9CAP8D80&show_article=1
  • Tra la la la la di da
    The Departed is one of the few films I liked him in. Frankly, I couldn't care less about him leaving. He's an awesome supporting actor but Ethan said it like it is, couldn't think of one thing that he was the main guy in that was good. Like I said, I don't like the guy but I've seen a lot of his movies. I hate 30 Rock but simply because of Tracy Morgan. I can't stand the guy and it sucks because I do like Baldwin and Fey in the few episodes I've seen. Oh well, it's a good show but nothing overly spectacular. The best thing he was in though that the movie couldn't do without him, was Team America!!! lol
  • Jeep-Fu
    Well it's good that Alec Baldwin doesn't have any interest in acting anymore because I don't have any interest in seeing Alec Baldwin acting anymore. lol
  • xerxex
    #34 most underrated all the way.
  • Colt
    i actually really loved his character in The Departed. I wish he'd stick around
  • Dan the Fan
    His film career ends in March of 2012?! WTF... That's years away. Smoke some weed Mr. Baldwin and get over it. You'll feel better in awhile, I assure you.
  • Vazel
    I love him as The Shadow. Sure the script is a little cheesy but him and the cinematography and music made the movie a joy to watch for a Shadow fan.
  • Trip
    #24 He does, some gratitude. His fans made him rich...
  • Ariel
    I don't know guys, I liked him in Team America!
  • "David Webb"
    What is this? A mid-life crisis bringing him down? He's down some great characters and performances over the years people love that could never be considered a failure (including that telephone one to his daughter :p) +1 for The Edge, too.

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