quarta-feira, setembro 03, 2008


O Alec Baldwin é o meu herói. Narrou um dos meus filmes preferidos e é basicamente o maior do mundo no 30 Rock, uma sitcom bestial. Não é só a voz dele, é também o porte e a pinta – ninguém tem mais pinta que ele no mundo inteiro. Este perfil da New Yorker mostra-o como um homem desiludido, chateado com as voltas que a vida deu, sem grande amor-próprio e com muitos desgostos. Ou seja, fá-lo parecer ainda mais fixe.

He is very conscious of what is lacking in his life—a spouse, for example, and a film career something like Jack Nicholson’s, and the governorship of New York—and his rhetoric can sometimes bring to mind a scene from “30 Rock” in which Baldwin, in his role as Jack Donaghy, a shameless but astute TV executive, stares at an equestrian painting by Stubbs and, in a growled whisper of longing, says, “I wish I were a horse—strong, free, my chestnut haunches glistening in the sun.” According to Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of “Saturday Night Live” and an executive producer of “30 Rock,” Baldwin “guards against enjoyment.” (Michaels is a friend of Baldwin’s and was a model for the Donaghy character.) “I’ll say, ‘Alec, you have one of the best writers in television’ ”—Tina Fey—“ ‘writing this part for you. It’s shot in New York, where you chose to live. You work three days a week, you get paid a lot of money, you’re getting awards. It’s a great time in your life. It’s an all-good thing. And, if you were capable of enjoying it, it would be even better.’ ” Or, as William Baldwin, one of Alec’s three younger brothers, said recently, “There’s always something for him to fucking whine about.”

“Do you want to know the truth?” Baldwin said to me not long ago. “I don’t think I really have a talent for movie acting. I’m not bad at it, but I don’t think I really have a talent for it.” He described the film actor’s need to project strength and weakness simultaneously. “Nicholson’s my idol this way. Pacino. There’s a mix you have to have where the character is vulnerable, the character is up against it, but there’s still a glimmer of resourcefulness in his eye—you look at him and the character is telegraphing to you this is not going to last very long. ‘I’m down’—Randle McMurphy, Serpico, whatever it is—‘but it’s not going to last, I’m still going to figure my way out of this.’ ” In contrast, he referred to Orson Welles. “Welles was a powerful actor, but he wasn’t always a great actor,” Baldwin said, with, perhaps, a faint nod to his own career. “Even when Welles was lost, he was arrogant.”

I recently asked Marci Klein, one of Baldwin’s closest friends, if she had tried to discourage Baldwin from writing the book about his legal battle with Kim Basinger. “Oh, yes,” she said. Klein is a senior producer on “Saturday Night Live” and an executive producer on “30 Rock”; she has known Baldwin since he was first on “S.N.L.” She told me, “I said, ‘Do not write this book. Nobody cares. Nobody wants to hear about your divorce anymore.’ ” She laughed. “He goes, ‘You bitch!’ I go, ‘You loser!’ We work well together.”

Baldwin and Klein—who is forty-one and married, with young children—chaperone each other to award shows or sit at home and order takeout. “He’s happiest eating Lupe’s Mexican food and watching a movie,” Klein said. “I like to ask him, ‘Who fucked you up? Which girl in sixth grade?’ ” Baldwin often jokes about how they should have married. “But we’re friends,” she said. “And also I feel like I’m his mother, even though I’m a lot younger than him. I feel like I take care of him.” She added, “Marriage is very important to him. He didn’t want to get divorced. He wanted to make it work. He was very committed. With men, it’s not the first thing—‘I want to get married, I want to have kids’—but Alec is a different kind of guy. And therefore having it not work, for whatever reasons, was very difficult for him.”

In late 2004, when Fey—then the head writer for “Saturday Night Live”—began to devise “30 Rock,” it was in the hope, but not the expectation, that Baldwin would play the boss of Fey’s character, Liz Lemon, who is the head writer for a show something like “Saturday Night Live.” As Lorne Michaels said recently, “We were looking for a foil for Tina’s character—someone who was right just often enough to be infuriating.” Baldwin was wary. It was a sitcom, and he had played Macbeth and Stanley Kowalski on the New York stage. His mind turned to the example of Conrad Bain, the actor with a fine theatrical background who came to be Philip Drummond, the white father of two adopted African-American boys, on “Diff’rent Strokes.” Embroidering on this thought, Baldwin imagined an actor who signs up for the quick money of a sitcom pilot quite confident that the show will never be commissioned: “The agent’s saying, ‘Don’t worry, it’s the biggest piece of shit in the history of show business.’ Cut to six years later: you’re in your dressing room, you’re in season five, and on the wall are posters of you from the New York Shakespeare Festival—these achingly beautiful posters on the wall. By that point, you’re making a hundred and seventy-five thousand a week, you’ve got a house in East Hampton, you’re getting laid constantly, you’ve got closets of beautiful Italian suits, and you’ve got three cars in the garage and you’re paying alimony to your ex-wife who’s living down in Florida. And you’re doing the same jokes, again and again and again.”

Baldwin, who admires Fey—“She’s so bright you’re always wondering if you’re boring her,” he says—agreed to be in the pilot, but on the understanding that, if the show worked out, he would appear in no more than six episodes a season, for six seasons. The pilot was made. NBC saw it, and offered to take the show only if Baldwin was in all twenty-one episodes of the first season. It was a fair judgment: Baldwin’s Donaghy—too smart and too perverse to be a standard business blowhard—was an obvious asset. Although originally conceived as a bullying antagonist to Liz Lemon, by the time of the pilot the character had already begun to expand into a fellow-protagonist, a cynic who guides a neurotic. Unpunished for saying aloud what he should not even be thinking (“Don’t ever make me talk to a woman that old again”), Donaghy became a kind of mentor to the writers and performers under him. In Baldwin’s mind, “Jack Donaghy is Lorne, first and foremost. ‘What am I, a farmer?’ That is Lorne. I think he said that. Lorne’s got a tuxedo in the glove compartment of his car. Lorne is a big-ticket A-list New York water buffalo. He’s big on the Serengeti. Lorne is a person who seduces you into thinking that if you take his advice and play your cards right you’re going to end up with his life.”

He bought a coffee at Starbucks, where a young woman said something nice about “30 Rock.” “I do feel I’m entering that Clinton phase,” he said after we left. “I’m fifty. There are women who’ll go up to a young movie star and they’ll look at him, like, ‘There are certain things I really want to do with you, and it’s pretty plain to anyone why I’d want to do them with you.’ And then there are people who look at me now, at my age, and they’ll look at me and the look is ‘I can’t explain why, because it’s kind of strange . . .’ It confounds and perplexes even them. ‘In spite of the fact that you don’t look like a young leading man anymore, I’d quite like to throw you down on this blanket right now.’ A bit of that.”

1 comentário:

Mafalda Azevedo disse...

Já cá faltavam os teus exageros...

Ultimamente, Alec Baldwin esteve MUITO bem no The Good Shepherd, no The Departed e no The Cooler, mas não é o ser humano com mais pinta! Para ocupar esse pedestal, existem deuses como o Sean Connery e o Paul Newman.