Alec Baldwin has announced that he is quitting public life permanently.
The 30 Rock star told New York Magazine he had decided to stick to acting projects only, with no interviews or talk show appearances. He said he made the decision after being accused of making homophobic insults to a TMZ videographer who filmed him putting his family in a car, and his wife being accused by a Daily Mail journalist of tweeting from James Gandolfini’s funeral.
In what Alec claimed would be his last interview in an American publication, he said: “I find myself bitter, defensive, and more misanthropic than I care to admit. And I’m trying to understand what happened, how an altercation on the street, in which I was accused – wrongly – of using a gay slur, could have cascaded like this. There’s been a shift in my life.”
He added: “I probably have to move out of New York. I just can’t live in New York anymore. Everything I hated about L.A. I’m beginning to crave. L.A. is a place where you live behind a gate, you get in a car, your interaction with the public is minimal…
“It’s goodbye to public life in the way that you try to communicate with an audience playfully like we’re friends, beyond the work you are actually paid for. Letterman. Saturday Night Live. That kind of thing…
“If I offended anyone along the way, I do apologise. But the solution for me now is: I’ve lived this for 30 years, I’m done with it.”
Alec also opened up about working with Shia LaBeouf on the Broadway play Orphans, from which Shia was fired during rehearsals and replaced by Ben Foster.
He said: “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.
“There was friction between us from the beginning. LaBeouf seems to carry with him, to put it mildly, a jailhouse mentality wherever he goes.”
Alec explained they had fallen out over a difference of opinion on how quickly they would need to memorise all of their lines.
“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.'”
Eventually, Shia was fired over the spat, but Alec said: “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 theatre.”
He added: “Shia LaBeouf went to a film screening recently and he wore a bag over his head and the bag says ‘I am not famous anymore’. And there was truly a part of me that felt sorry for him, oddly enough.”