Alec Baldwin Reveals How Paramount Screwed Him Out Of Playing Jack Ryan Again
Alec Baldwin has never really been known to hold back his opinions-- or epithets for his young daughter, for that matter-- but apparently he's been holding back on us all this time about his real reasons for never reprising the role of Jack Ryan after The Hunt For Red October. In a Huffington Post column that's loosely tied in to both Conan O'Brien and Charlie Sheen (you kind of have to read it to get it), Baldwin takes the time to strike out at Paramount executive David Kirkpatrick, who basically played Baldwin against his eventual replacement, Harrison Ford, to get Baldwin fired.
Here's how Baldwin describes the somewhat confusing situation, with his hilarious insult of Kirkpatrick included:
Kirkpatrick was a beady-eyed, untalented tool who had seemed like he was up to something throughout my sequel negotiation. Now, he became vividly clear. I had to decide if I would agree to an open-ended clause relating to dates for the first sequel and thus completely give up the chance to do one of the greatest dramas in the American theatre, or he would rescind my offer. They had the other guy all lined up, and they were looking for a way to gut me. I thought he wasn't serious at first. Then, when I realized he was, I chose A Streetcar Named Desire.
Baldwin never names Harrison Ford but it seems pretty clear that's the actor he's describing-- Paramount apparently owned him money after an earlier project fell through, and they figured the easiest way to make good on their promise was to ditch Baldwin, cast Ford as Jack Ryan and pay him for that movie instead. Really, it worked out pretty well for everyone-- Ford played Ryan twice, Baldwin got to do Streetcar and went on with his own career, and now Baldwin is powerful enough to write a column about how the entertainment industry is "the rock under which you find the biggest, lyingest, thievingest, scumbags on earth."
To wrap up his story he gives some bizarre advice to Charlie sheen, which range from "write a huge check to B'nai Brith" to make up for all that perceived anti-Semitism to "buy [Jon] Cryer a really nice car." Granted, Baldwin knows a thing or two about doing damage control, but is apparently well past caring about how many bridges he burns. Let's hope next time he tells us the real story about working with Bart the Bear and Anthony Hopkins in The Edge.
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