On Sunday, New York magazine published a piece by Alec Baldwin called “Good-bye, Public Life” in which the actor expresses his new mission to remove himself from all spheres of public life, perhaps in an effort to escape the bad press and tabloid drama he’s attracted in recent years. From the article:
It’s good-bye 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. I want to go make a movie and be very present for that and give it everything I have, and after we’re done, then the rest of the time is mine. I started out as an actor, where you seek to understand yourself using the words of great writers and collaborating with other creative people. Then I slid into show business, where you seek only an audience’s approval, whether you deserve it or not. I think I want to go back to being an actor now.
Yesterday, writer Joe Hagan – who penned Baldwin’s piece after extensive interviews with the actor – spoke to Capital New York about the article and confirmed the allusion to the end of Baldwin’s SNL days:
The cynical view is that all of this is only image rehab and he’ll come back in eight months as a new and improved Alec Baldwin and host SNL (which he promised never to do again). That’s quite possible. He did tell me, “If I wanted to straighten out some public-relations reversal in the press, I used to go do The View.”
Baldwin currently holds the record as the most frequent SNL host with 16 episodes under his belt, with Steve Martin’s 15-episode record trailing close behind. It’ll be unfortunate for SNL if Baldwin sticks with this plan, but he’s no stranger to public meltdowns and anti-press tirades, so there’s probably still some hope for more Baldwin in SNL’s near-distant future.