Vintage overalls, Ralph Lauren (price on request). ralphlauren.com. Plaid shirt, Buffalo David Bitton ($69). Impulse Clothing for Men, 85 Main St., Westhampton Beach; buffalojeans.com. Hat, Stetson ($76.50). stetson.com. Desert boots, Clarks Originals ($110). Macy’s, 180 W. Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays; macys.com

  Linen shirt ($69.50) and Ludlow pants ($118), J.Crew-at-the-Beach. 14 Main St., East Hampton; jcrew.com. Hat, Stetson ($85). stetson.com. Boots, Clarks Originals ($110). Macy’s, 180 W. Montauk Hwy., Hampton Bays; macys.com. Bike ($559), NirveKhanh Sports, 60 Park Place, East Hampton; khanhsports.com
 
»Slideshow: Behind-the-scenes shots from our cover shoot

I was sitting at the back of a darkened theater—the Ethel Barrymore, to be exact—when my jaw dropped. The play was the 1992 revival of Tennessee Williams’s A Streetcar Named Desire. The cause of my stunned expression was Alec Baldwin’s riveting performance as Stanley Kowalski. I had seen him in films before; he was, after all, the leading man of the day, a heartthrob of note. But there was something in the theater that night—a mixture of masculine hunger and wounded bravado oozing from the perfect meeting of actor and role—and I never forgot it.

Almost 20 years later, Baldwin, 53, has found another perfect match. Since signing on five years ago to play Jack Donaghy, the savvy network boss on 30 Rock, he has garnered two Emmys, three Golden Globes and five SAG awards, and this past Valentine’s Day, he received a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Yet despite the critical acclaim and a slew of recent film roles, Baldwin says this season of the NBC favorite might be his last, and rumors of his aspirations to inhabit the New York City mayor’s office were explored in an August 9 New York Times interview. The actor, it seems, may be poised for a sea change.

Alec Baldwin: Hometown Hero
But to those of us who are lucky enough to call the East End home, Baldwin is simply our good neighbor. Born in Massapequa, he has been coming here for almost 30 years and has owned a home in Amagansett since 1987. We see him at Mary’s Marvelous having coffee, or walking the beach at Indian Wells, or browsing the hardcovers at BookHampton, and his commitment to local causes is passionate and unwavering.

“Alec’s great,” say friends who know him, enunciating with the kind of pride reserved for a hometown hero. One thing is certain: If a move to Gracie Mansion isn’t in the cards, East Hampton will always welcome him with open arms. Just a few days after his return from Rome, where he just finished shooting The Bop Decameron with Woody Allen and on the eve of Authors Night, one of the local events Baldwin cofounded, the actor talks about his childhood memories of the East End, his controversial biography and his commitment to giving back....

Do you remember your first visit to the Hamptons?
ALEC BALDWIN: I came here as a child with my father a couple of times. I was very young, so I don’t remember much other than being on a boat in Montauk with fish guts everywhere.

Tell me about coming here as an adult.
AB: I came out to Amagansett to look for a rental in the summer of 1982; my real defining experiences began then. When I bought my house in 1987, I slowly began getting more and more involved in things.

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