To begin to understand what it’s like to be Alec Baldwin, spend a lazy, late-afternoon hour with him in the window seat of a café in Manhattan. Sitting with a good view of the street (and conversely, a good view of the recognizable actor from the street), Baldwin begins conversation midsentence, declaring that “iPads are for girls.” A moment later, he’s pulling from a FedEx envelope handwritten correspondence with Benjamin Steele, a 93-year-old survivor of the Bataan Death March, which impossibly segues to Baldwin’s reveal in a gravelly stage whisper that, just before he had arrived at the Upper East Side eatery, he’d just screened the “most depressing movie I’ve seen in five years” (Inside Job) — and then there’s an interruption.
A polite, grateful Baldwin sits his new skin-care stick alongside the table’s salt and pepper shakers and, with a grin, sums up the five surreal minutes that just passed, asking, “Can there possibly be anything left to say?”
That seems to be the million-dollar question most on the mind of Baldwin, an accidental actor who hints that he’s quitting the business entirely in the next two years. That’s right: Alec Baldwin could be done with acting.