The real-life political affiliations of the Baldwin brothers may be fairly common knowledge, but on Dirty Sexy Money, on which Billy Baldwin plays Senate hopeful Patrick Darling, it’s never been revealed which side of the aisle he’d sit on if he won. But, last night, at the release party for DSM’s first-season DVDs, at the Edison in Los Angeles, Billy was able to sidestep the ABC spoiler police for a minute and tell us that his character, the oldest son of the Darling clan, is a Democrat: “I was on the set the other day and — they’re going to be mad at me for saying this — we’re doing a scene of the election returns, and I’m standing there with Peter Krause, and all of a sudden they have all these video monitors all over the headquarters, and it comes up on screen like they’re projecting winners and losers,” he told us. “And the percentage is 51 to 49, and [my name] comes in with a blue border and a ‘D’ above it, and my opponent’s comes in with a red border and an ‘R’ above it. And I turn to Peter and I go, ‘How about that? I’m a Democrat.’”
He continued: “I had been asking for six months! ‘Is Patrick a Democrat or a Republican? Will somebody please tell me because I need to know?’ And they said, ‘Well, the network’s not sure about how heavily they want to get into the politics, so we’re not sure. We’re not going to commit yet.’ And that’s sort of what you’re up against in television.” (When we caught up with executive producer Matthew Gross later at the party’s absinthe bar, he tried to keep Patrick’s political affiliation a secret, saying, “I don’t think we’ve announced whether he’s one or the other.”)
According to Baldwin, though, this is pretty much par for the course: “When you do a movie, you get the script four months in advance, you talk to the writers, you talk to the director, you set all this backstory and subtext — how many siblings did my character have? And is he college-educated? And were his parents divorced? And was his mother an alcoholic? You do this whole process to prepare. In television, you get the script for episode seventeen of season three, and they start talking about the homosexual affair you had when you were a sophomore in college. Whose idea is that? If you had told me in the very beginning, before the pilot, that I had a gay affair, it could’ve changed everything.” Maybe he’d have ended up a Republican!