Alec Baldwin: Hometown Hamptons Boy
BY CHRISTINA HAAG
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARY ELLEN MATTHEWS
So this is home?
AB: Yes, this is home. This and the city, but I find the older I get, I’m very happy when I get out here. I can use the quiet.
Historically, the East End has been a community not only of the privileged, but also of artists, actors and writers. Was the artistic community something that drew you here?
AB: When I first came out here, I wasn’t really interested in the legacy of the area. I was working in New York and traveling around doing films; I had a pretty tough schedule. I came out here to rest and go to the beach. Over time the artistic mantle of it has grown in importance.
|Sportcoat, J.Crew-at-the-Beach ($278). 1 Main St., East Hampton; jcrew.com. V-neck T-shirt, SCP ($38). Scoop Beach, 51 Newtown Lane, East Hampton; scoopnyc.com. Corduroy shorts, Gant by Michael Bastian ($195). Scoop Beach, SEE ABOVE. Vintage plaid scarf, Ralph Lauren ($68). 31–33 Main St., East Hampton; ralphlauren.com. Boat shoes, Various Projects by Eastland ($285). 38 Orchard St., NYC; projectno8.com|
Do you like the winter here?
AB: It’s a rare breed of people who enjoy being out here in the winter, but I love it; it’s one of my favorite times.
You have always shown support for the local arts and gave very generous gifts to both Guild Hall and the Hamptons International Film Festival. Can you talk about the importance of the arts and arts education?
AB: Arts funding in schools and communities is one of the first things to be thrown away in a time of real economic constriction. I think that wealthy individuals who have the resources focus more on medical issues or their alma maters; I keep the flag waving for the arts all I can so that people don’t let it fall completely to the wayside.
Were you always involved with Guild Hall?
AB: No, Guild Hall to me was a bunch of men in lime-colored blazers and madras pants and women in yellow sun hats going to events for gardens. But as time went on, I got more involved, and I saw an opportunity. I thought Guild Hall was poised to enjoy a great shift of fortune, because they owned their own property. They did the conversion of the theater, and the facility is great; now the programming is the focus. I love going there.
And the film festival?
AB: The Film Festival was something I didn’t want here at first. I didn’t want any more 212. Then I went and was knocked out by what they were doing. Now I host a documentary series called SummerDocs.
You once said that being an actor required saying goodbye to certain parts of yourself. You also said it is a job where you get to learn about yourself. What have you had to say goodbye to, and what have you learned?
AB: I think this is a business where you really do sign away your time in a very concrete way. I’ve missed baptisms; I’ve missed confirmations and weddings; I’ve missed a lot of my life sitting in a trailer making a movie. What happens is you get to a point in your life where you want to live your life, not someone else’s on screen. I’m at an age now where I’m far more interested in living my own life. I still like acting; I probably like it now more than ever. It’s interesting how these two things converge.
You are a big supporter of Authors Night at the East Hampton Library. Was there anyone you were looking forward to meeting this year?
AB: I adore Dick Cavett. I have the DVD box of his old shows, and I was very happy to go to the dinner for him after the cocktail party.
You are an author, too. In 2008, St. Martin’s published your book, A Promise to Ourselves.
AB: I wouldn’t say I’m an author, but I did write a book. To be an author, I believe you need to write more than one book.
Did you enjoy the process of writing?
AB: The subject matter was difficult, but I was gratified that I got to write it, and the response that I got from people who had been through the same situation, that was gratifying as well.
Do you think you have other books in you?
AB: Probably. I would like to do that once I stop what I’m doing now. That would be one of the first things I’d think about.
How would you describe a perfect summer day?
AB: Taking my boat to Lazy Point, a quick swim and lunch at the Fish Factory.
Styling by Lauri Eisenberg
Styling assistant: Lora Schlein
Grooming by Elisa Flowers for Dior Beauty at ba-reps.com
Produced by Jenny Landey Productions Inc.
Prop Styling by Stephanie DiTullio
Special thanks to East Hampton Marina and Quail Hill Farm