Well, that's that. Alec Baldwin is retiring from public life as an NYC-based celebrity. After many tumultuous years in the spotlight, the Emmy-winning actor, 55, declared just that in a cover story (a 5,000-word essay) for New York magazine.
Slamming the likes of Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, TMZ's Harvey Levin and others, he says: "Now I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible," the 30 Rock star, who has had numerous scuffles with paparazzo and reporters over the years — most recently with one NYC shutterbug who recorded him spouting what seemed to be homophobic epithets. "I used to engage with the media knowing that some of it would be adversarial, but now it’s superfluous at best and toxic at its worst."
He states: "I'm aware that it's ironic that I'm making this case in the media—but this is the last time I'm going to talk about my personal life in an American publication ever again."
The A-lister wrote of last year: "I've read where a number of people have felt that 2013 was a sh—y year. For me, it was actually a great year, because my wife and I had a baby." Indeed, his new wife, yoga-instructor-turned-TV-correspondent Hilaria, gave birth to their daughter Carmen. "But, yeah, everything else was pretty awful. And I find myself bitter, defensive, and more misanthropic than I care to admit."
The star also dismisses accusations of homophobia. "Am I a homophobe? Look, I work in show business. I am awash in gay people, as colleagues and as friends. I'm doing Rock of Ages one day, making out with Russell Brand. Soon after that, I’m advocating with Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Cynthia Nixon for marriage equality. I'm officiating at a gay friend's wedding. I'm not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me."
Also touching upon his canceled MSNBC show, his former political ambitions, and the bizarre antics of his former Orphans costar Shia LaBeouf ("there was truly a part of me that felt sorry for him"), he concludes:
"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. There's a way I could have done things differently. I know that. If I offended anyone along the way, I do apologize. But the solution for me now is: I've lived this for 30 years, I'm done with it."