In a riveting first person article that graces the cover of the February 24, 2014 issue of New York Magazine, Alec Baldwin addresses his recent P.R. problems—being called a homophobe after a fight with paparazzi, his failed MSNBC talk show and his involvement in the firing of Shia LaBeouf from Broadway’s Orphans—and worries that Broadway just doesn’t like him anymore.
Most interesting is the inside look at what happened in the Orphans rehearsal room. In the article, Baldwin says LaBeouf seemed “scattered” when he arrived to start work on the show, “like a lot of young actors today.” He notes tension between them from the start, partly due to the fact that, “LaBeouf seems to carry with him, to put it mildly, a jailhouse mentality wherever he goes.”
Baldwin admits that LaBeouf memorized all of his lines prior to rehearsal and was frustrated waiting for his co-star to catch up. Finally, according to the account, he “attacked” Baldwin in front of the company one day, saying Baldwin was slowing him down. “If you don’t say your lines,” he allegedly said, “I’m just going to keep saying my lines.”
Baldwin requested a rehearsal break, telling Orphans director Dan Sullivan and the show's stage manager in private that one of the two actors had to leave the production, offering to quit himself. Instead, the decision was made to fire LaBeouf. “He was shocked,” says Baldwin. “He had that card, that card you get when you make films that make a lot of money that gives you a certain kind of entitlement. I think he was surprised that it didn’t work in the theater.”
Baldwin accuses Sullivan of playing both sides, coddling LaBeouf and continuing on with rehearsals with no enthusiasm. “I don’t think Sullivan liked the play,” says Baldwin. “I don’t think he liked me. Sullivan agreed to do something that, once he realized what it was, he had lost interest in it.”
After being accused of calling a photographer a “f*ggot” on the streets of New York City and a reporter a “toxic little queen,” Baldwin came under attack from openly gay media powerhouses like Anderson Cooper of CNN, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Harvey Levin of TMZ. He even felt the chill at the opening night of Broadway’s Machinal on January 16.
“I can’t tell you how frosty the reception was toward me,” he says. “These are all people who are heavy-hitting theatrical artists in that community and many of them are gay. And I was thinking to myself, ‘These people think I’m a homophobe.’ And that makes me incredibly sad.”
Read the entire article on Vulture.com.