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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT
Interview with Alec Baldwin
Aired January 29, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, my exclusive in-depth interview with the one and only Alec Baldwin. Nothing is off limits. His politics.
ALEX BALDWIN, ACTOR: I do want to run for office one day.
MORGAN: "30 Rock."
BALDWIN: Every week I get the scripts, I look at them, and I go, you've got to be kidding me? You want me to what? You want me to get drunk and talk to a peacock?
MORGAN: His movie career.
BALDWIN: Everybody said, you know, it's just an honor to be nominated, but you really do want to win.
MORGAN: And that little problem he had with words with friends.
BALDWIN: We could be playing a smart word game rather than watching episodes of NBC sitcoms all the time. What could be more, what could more of a preposterous waste of our time than that?
MORGAN: Alec Baldwin, outspoken, unapologetic, and very, very funny.
BALDWIN: But I must ask you, Piers, have you ever been properly in love? I was instructed by your staff to pose this very question.
MORGAN: Alec Baldwin. PIERS MORGAN interview starts now.
If you're Alec Baldwin then life is pretty damn good right now. The man's at the top of his game starring in "30 Rock", making movies, even hosted in New York Philharmonic radio show. He's so busy apparently he doesn't have time to run for mayor of New York City. He's also a man never afraid to say what he thinks or to leave a plane when he feels he's being annoyed.
It's time for me to have some words with a friend. Alec Baldwin.
BALDWIN: Thank you. Good to -- good to see you.
MORGAN: Now, we're going to come to that remarkable moment of you live tweeting your own ejection from an airplane a little later and also your dramatic new appearance because for all the slightly chubbier end of the cable news anchor market like myself you have been the standard bearer of how not to live in the gym all day and be on camera. Now I see the svelte new Alec Baldwin in front of me. You've ruined everything.
BALDWIN: Well, you know, it's interesting because earlier this year I realized that, you know, I worked out all the time and I wasn't achieving the results I wanted to. And I became aware of the fact that it isn't -- it's as much about what you eat and what you don't eat as it is about exercising. So I gave up eating sugar. And that was a really, really big thing for me.
MORGAN: Well, we're going to come to this extraordinary transformation a little later. This is unsettling for me because I will now have to try to do something about it.
Let's talk with the State of the Union. President Obama made this big speech last night and some core themes, really, I guess, that came out of this were that America remains a great country. That America remains a country that is revered around the world still. It can still be strong but it must go back perhaps to basics, to manufacturing things. President Obama said the following in the speech.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: During the Great Depression, America built the Hoover dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. After World War II, we connected our states with a system of highways. Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody. From the workers who built them to the businesses that still use them today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: And that surely is the crux of the problem here is that America has been in tough times before. You know, we're not in the Great Depression now. We're in a recession. It's not as bad as it was in the '30s and the way that America got itself out of that hole before was to build big things to, I guess, inspire people at the same time as creating jobs in its own country.
BALDWIN: Well, I think that the United States -- I mean, I have said this kind of broad banner I have waved this banner before in this kind of conversation where I say America is great in direct proportion with when we do great things, and when we fought wars, it was clear who our enemy was and that they were people that needed to be stopped from their aggression, and so forth.
In the last several decades and since through the '60s and '70s and now during this period in the Middle East, I'm not quite sure that the wars that America was fighting were the best idea and the amount of money and the amount of American lives and the amount of innocent civilian lives abroad that were killed, especially in the Middle East, is troublesome to me. MORGAN: Do you think that President Obama has the gumption, I guess, to carry through what he said in the speech? Do you think he's actually going to start commissioning those kind of dreamy inspirational projects which will get the whole world gasping and all?
BALDWIN: Well, I'm hopeful that he will and I'm -- and that hope is based on the notion that presidents, regardless of party, have more flexibility or perceived flexibility in their second term because there is no possibility for re-election. Many people play their cards pretty close to the vest and they play a rather conciliatory game if not a kind of zero sum game, if you will, especially when the other party is in control of the Congress in their first term.
And then in their next term they kind of let it rip. You know they really let it fly in a philosophical basis because they don't have to worry about running for office again.
MORGAN: When we look at the Republican candidates, down to four, obviously, I've done a little montage which I thought might bring a smile to your face of some of their greatest moments recently. Let's watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The sacrament of marriage is based on a man and woman, has been for 3,000 years, is at the core of our civilization, and it's something worth protecting and upholding.
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military.
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We could start with the -- with his idea to have a lunar colony to mine minerals from the -- from the moon. I'm not in favor of spending that kind of money to do that.
RON PAUL (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: How many people here would use heroin if it's legal? I bet nobody would put to -- yes, I need the government to take care of me. I don't want to use heroin so I need these laws.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Quite a good time to be a comedian, I would have thought, Alec.
BALDWIN: Well, my friends who are comedians are certainly spelling it out that way. But listen. I think the Republican Party is in a tough place. I want to say this in a kind of a nonpartisan way. I think the Republican Party is in a tough place. They seem to be mimicking the way the Democrats were 30 years ago or so.
And with the Democrats were sorting out who the nominee was and they were battling in the primary period. When it was over, they took their ball and they went home. They didn't share. The remaining coffers that they have in their campaign and donate it to the -- to the national party and donated to the winning candidate. When they didn't win they got a little petulant and they went home.
The Republicans seemed to be running that program now. I listen to Gingrich on FOX say things about Romney which are going to be very, very hard for Gingrich to retract if Romney is the nominee, which I still assume Romney will be the nominee.
I mean, Gingrich have said --
BALDWIN: Gingrich said the phrase dishonesty. He characterized Romney as being a dishonest man which is the worst thing I think that either party can say about their own nominee and the other person but let alone your -- the member of your own party. I mean, if Romney is the nominee, how Gingrich is going to dig -- is going to back away from that statement, I don't know how.
MORGAN: Well, I think that's a very interesting point, isn't it? And it's also about the state of political discourse in America right now, not just between Democrats and Republicans, but between Republicans and Republicans, because once this battle gets for real, once one of these guys wins the Republican race and takes on Barack Obama, all he has to play -- assume it's Mitt Romney. All he has to play, repeatedly, is Newt Gingrich calling him dishonest.
This man who wants to be president, wants to beat the president in the race, is a dishonest man. I mean, as you say, I couldn't imagine a worse slur.
BALDWIN: What's happened now in the primary period, and you have a very, very kind of, you know, strident group of people seeking the nomination for the Republican Party now and you're having a lot of -- you have the FOX News Channel amplifying all these kinds of statements on their behalf. You have a lot of anyone-but-Obama rhetoric and you're going to hear this all the way to the end until the convention.
And -- but then that's going to end. And they're going to have one man, presumably a man unless there's a brokered convention where we have a woman step forward on behalf of the GOP, but they're going to have one man running against Obama and then it's going to become more real, and you're going to start to see Obama listing in his commercials.
There's no point in Obama really running any advertising now. Let this sort itself out and then you're going to have an opponent, and Obama will begin to categorize for everyone what he's accomplished and when you look at what Obama's accomplished in office, there are quite a few wonderful things that he's done.
MORGAN: Yes, there are. I mean, I get a sense that a lot of Americans don't fully appreciate what Obama has done for America's reputation abroad, for example. BALDWIN: I agree with you. Listen. The war, for all intents and purposes, is over. The war as we know it in which a large number of American soldiers, men and women, were in imminent danger by the tens of thousands on a daily basis over in Iraq. That's over.
There are still people there and they won't -- this is an a hornet's nest that we kicked and we're going to have to stay there, unfortunately, for probably an indefinite period of time. But I think that Obama is responsible for finally bringing the bulk of our troops home.
Obama is responsible for stabilizing the economy. I mean, I thought -- I look at the Republican Party and I look at men who are the standard bearers of Wall Street, I mean, not that Obama is someone who has, you know, abjured Wall Street money in his -- in his campaign, but I look at these men like Romney who are just -- I mean they might as well put Romney's picture on Monopoly money.
He's so pro-Wall Street and then you look at the Dow, the Dow is in the high 12000s now and they'll never give this guy credit for it. So I mean, I think that Obama has done some wonderful things for this country.
MORGAN: People will be watching this, Alec, saying, look at this guy. He looks razor smart tonight. He lost a bit of weight. He's talking like a president. And yet, when you were given the chance to confirm if you would run for mayor of New York City, you finally said you wouldn't. And there are people like me going, but why wouldn't you, Alec Baldwin?
Let's take a break and find out the answer.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The question is, can you speak for 10 seconds without alienating your base?
BALDWIN: Now the conservative base needs to know that Rick Perry stands with them 110 percent. I believe we need to lower the corporate tax rate, I believe we need fewer regulations. I believe all 10-year-old girls should be vaccinated for HPV so they can enter into meaningful sexual relationships.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Alec Baldwin playing Texas Governor Rick Perry on "Saturday Night Live."
I mean, obviously, you -- it seems to me you get just a little more pleasure out of tormenting them comedically than you would from actually doing the stuff yourself, Alec, which is a bitter disappointment to political fans of yours like myself who would love to see you run for office.
BALDWIN: Well, you know, it's interesting you say that because I was at work today. We were shooting today. And everybody is in this frame of mind now as we're coming towards, you know, the end of the -- we have a half of the season to go and then we have presumably some kind of a season next year which everybody thinks might be our last.
And we were all saying how we're never going to have this good again and I really enjoy the opportunity to say that, that I will never, ever, ever in my life, ever, no matter what happens. I'll never have a job as good as the job I have now. And that's a part of what makes me think about running for office or not running for office.
I have friends of mine -- I mean, you know people in the political world and you know more of them and more intimately than I ever will by virtue of your many positions you've had in the media and the ones that I know, very prominent people who I won't name, but some of them have held very high elective office and nearly all of them try to dissuade me from running for office.
They say, don't do it, don't do it. And you can have just as much influence in certain areas from your vantage point now and so forth. But I believe that, you know, what I've been doing for the last 25 years, I've been heavily involved periodically, I mean, intermittent because of my career with campaign finance reform and anti-nuclear power in this country and several different issues, most of them environmentally linked.
And I don't have a government position. I don't have an office. I don't have a budget. I have to do all of this on my own and raise money privately from people to do that and it's been a dream of mine to hold office so I would have some of the power to do some of the things and try to create some of the reforms that I've wanted to do.
MORGAN: But the way you're talking it seems to me this is not something you've completely ruled out. I mean, you've obviously -- you've not decided to go for New York mayor at the moment but could that change in the future? I mean are you still --
BALDWIN: That's a -- that's a possibility.
MORGAN: -- back in your mind thinking --
BALDWIN: That's a possibility. I mean, the only reason I say that is because right now the timetable I'm on, workwise, careerwise, contracts I have signed, and obligations I have, would make running for mayor, for example, very, very difficult.
I mean, is it something I could do? Possibly. And I see people running for mayor. I mean, to be very plain speaking, there are people who are running for mayor who I'm overwhelmingly indifferent about, most of them. There's a couple of them I think if they made certain changes they'd be OK, and there are certain people who are running for mayor that I'm appalled that they're running for mayor and I'm appalled that they've raised so much money, and I'm appalled that they're being taken seriously considering some of their -- some of their past actions and some of their past records.
MORGAN: I mean, when you see, Alec, when you someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger become governor of California, you must think to yourself, I could do at least as good a job as that?
BALDWIN: You'd be reading my mind if you said that. Yes. I would agree with you there. Yes, I'd agree with you.
BALDWIN: But California, of course, that's a very unusual place where they have that kind of a very kind of hysterical referendum procedure and they ousted Davis and, you know, the whole path that led if you know the story of Issa and the way that they deposed Gray Davis.
That path and how it opened up the door for Schwarzenegger was a very unusual and very anomalous set of circumstances, but, you know, for me, I do want to run for office one day but what it would be and when and how is still something that I'm trying to think very seriously about because, A, I'm not done doing what I'm doing now. I've got at least a couple more years of this kind of work I want to do on the drawing board.
And, B, in political -- in the political world, two years is an eternity. I mean, whoever thought in the New York political world that Spitzer would resign? Whoever thought that Hillary would run for the Senate? Whoever thought that Hillary would leave the Senate to become the secretary of state in the Obama administration? Obama who had vanquished her in the primary.
There's so many different things that happened in the political world over the course of two years that in that amount of time, maybe the not too distant future I'll survey that again and think about, is there an opportunity for me? Because in New York, for example, where I live, we have safe Democratic seats around the horn sort to speak.
It's the governor and the AG, and the two Senate seats, so what I would want -- run for and when would be something I'd have to give a lot of thought to. But in the meantime --
MORGAN: Would you be --
BALDWIN: I have a job I love.
MORGAN: Well, and a job that we love you doing. So there's no hurry on this. But when you look at somebody like Newt Gingrich and indeed Arnold Schwarzenegger, and you see personal stuff being used to hammer them into the ground, would you be concerned about that? If you ran for public office, given the very well-known travails you've had in the past? How much would it be --
BALDWIN: Why, I would be --
MORGAN: How much --
BALDWIN: I would be concerned about that, I would be, sure. I would be very concerned about that. Not so much for myself because I mean, I've developed -- you know, for example, I mean, to me the most, you know, kind of handy example of that is this phone message I left for my daughter, you know, and that's been --
BALDWIN: That's been thrown at me by political opposition and people who want to do that kind of diminishing of your political opinion by bringing in these other things. I mean my relationship with my daughter is normal. I mean, by that, I mean, I'm a father who has a 16-year-old daughter and I communicate with my daughter as often and as effectively as any 53-year-old man can with a 16-year-old daughter. I mean I was trying to be funny here.
BALDWIN: I mean I work with my daughter --
MORGAN: But you tweet -- you tweet her. I read your tweets.
BALDWIN: I worship my daughter. You know, we -- we get along fine and that situation was something which a certain group of people, you know, wanted to -- you know, create a very, very sensational news story there. And -- but the truth of the matter is, is that I have two things. One is that I have worked in this kind of silly and childish and puerile world of comedy and "Saturday Night Live," I mean all of it has been very, very funny, but the day you run for office you have to kind of draw a line. You have to say, everything I was doing back then was for the most part for entertainment value.
I'm on the record with some very, very firm and very, very -- what I think are well thought-out political opinions that I have. But a lot of what I've done has been kind of nonsense for entertainment purposes.
MORGAN: I mean, has part of you always harbored -- and be honest here. Has part of you always harbored the possibility that you could one day run for the presidency?
BALDWIN: Well, I think that it's something that I used to think about a long, long time ago. It would be a little late in the game for me I think to set my ship on a course that would lead to that ultimately. I mean that's something -- that's what I wanted to do my whole life and quite frankly when I got in to the business I'm in now, it was a very -- on a personal level.
I mean, this is a very personal thing and I have said this on a couple of occasions. It was a job that I got and I wasn't even quite sure that this is what I wanted to do. I still had this hangover of wanting to do something else in public policy or to go get my graduate degree or to go to law school.
There were -- there was a whole menu of things I was contemplating. But then I got a job in this business and I -- and I started to work and I got the sense that I was on a bit of a roll that I would always have work and I was -- I had no shortage of opportunities. And I really did it to -- for the money. I did it to support my family. But I'm not complaining. I'm very happy with the way it's gone.
In this business, you know, it's funny. You do this for a living. And you talk to people all the time. I have my radio show, "Here's the Thing." It's called on WNYC. And you see how when you get in this zone with someone that you really like and you really are engaged with and fascinated with, you could talk to them for two or three hours.
You and I, we need to order some sushi and stick around and have dinner together, you know. I wish you were here, we were having dinner. And it's become -- it has become such a -- in this business, the real thrill for me, the real joy, the thing that has made me happiest are the people that I have met, the people I've gotten to work with. And it's not just the actors, although there are innumerable actors that I had worshiped like Tony Hopkins and I cried the day they called me. I was in North Carolina on vacation.
I had tears in my eyes crying when they told me I was going to make a film with Tony who I admired at the highest level.
MORGAN: Yes. Amazing guy.
BALDWIN: And the same is true with people on the crew, the technical people. The business is a huge collaborative colony and I'm so grateful for the people I've been able to work with.
MORGAN: Well, let's take a little break and come back and talk about the ultimate pinnacle for the people you've worked with. The Oscars.
MORGAN: I want to know who you think may win in the forthcoming Academy Awards, and I also want to talk to you about a few words you had with some ex-friends.
MORGAN: Back with my special guest Alec Baldwin.
Alec, the Oscars are coming up. Who do you fancy?
BALDWIN: Well, I think that the only thing I can day about that is I have some personal favorites, I have people that were nominated that I was excited about and some that I was -- like anybody -- I was maybe perplexed by, if you will.
I do know that, you know, to climb -- to climb that mountain as you know observing this business, to climb that mountain and to -- and to complete that cycle where you get the script and the movie gets made and you shoot it and it comes out well and the distribution works and the marketing works and people buy some tickets and sometimes they buy a lot of tickets and then you get that buzz and then the votes come in and you're nominated, it is really, really a great thrill.
I see George and Brad and people who have made a lot of films and, you know, my hat is off to them. Because that's a tough, tough thing to pull off. I was nominated for an Oscar for supporting actor years ago in 2004, whatever it was. And I lost to Tim Robbins and I remember everybody said, you know, it's just an honor to be nominated. But you really do want to win.
BALDWIN: Really. I really I really would have been so grateful if I -- I'm happy for Tim and admire Tim but you really do want to win. But I say I saw really a bunch of great films this year. I saw -- I loved "Melancholia." I don't -- I don't see that they got a lot of that. I love Rooney Mara. I mean, my god, this woman is hypnotic on film.
MORGAN: Yes, I totally agree.
BALDWIN: She's fantastic. Meryl, I saw in "Iron Lady." I saw "Money Ball." I thought Jonah Hill was fantastic. I'm glad he's got his nomination. So there's a lot of -- there's a lot of wonderful films.
I do think this idea, though, that they've expanded the best picture category in this way was not such a good idea and I do hope they go back to just five nominees because I do think it's kind of a way that they're kind of gaming the promotional -- the promotional equity of the -- of the nominations.
So now, people who were nominated will have a full 60 days to go out and market that film and say, it's an Academy Award nominated best picture film and I think it's kind of diluted the value of that award to a degree. I hope they go back to just five nominees.
MORGAN: I mean I always like it when truly what I call proper stars win the big awards and the reason I say that is that -- I reckon and I'm not an expert but I reckon that the two best performances I have seen this year were George Clooney in "Descendants" and Meryl Streep" in the Margaret Thatcher film, "Iron Lady." I think they should both -- if they were to win best actress and best actor, to me, that just immediately gives the Oscars that kind of heavyweight glamour, you know?
BALDWIN: Well, to the extent that the Oscars, I mean, sometimes those votes as you well know even in recent history, they swing in a very wide track. They will want to honor someone for their career, they're really handing career achievement award even though they're -- in particular their work in that specific film might not have been their best work. It might not have been the best work in that category. Are they going to want to honor someone who they deeply admire and who they might have the chance to do so again? And then there's someone who just is like a hood ornament for Hollywood glamour, someone who they think is a great star. And then there's someone who is not going to make a lot of movies. They might not star in a lot of movies, but they're going to give them -- I mean, Benigni -- when Roberto Benigni won, that wonderful moment he won, when he was climbing over the people in the audience to get to the -- that very Chaplin-esque moment he had.
I mean, Benigni didn't go on to make a lot of films in the United States. But sometimes the Academy decides they're really just going to stick that thing in the hand of the person that they think gave the best performance.
MORGAN: I spent last night watching you having sex with Meryl Streep.
BALDWIN: Yes. I got paid a lot of money to do that, too. It was really --
MORGAN: I couldn't believe it. I thought, this guy is getting paid millions of dollars to do this. So I was watching "It's Complicated," which is a terrific movie. My parents were over. We're going to watch this. We all loved it.
What was she like to actually work with? Because Meryl Streep, to me, is just an iconic -- to me the best actress alive today. What was she like?
BALDWIN: You know, she is -- Meryl's -- I'm not going to say anything fresh about her or new that hasn't been said by countless other, you know, more formidable, leading men than I'll ever be. She's worked with the greatest leading men of the last 25, 30 years. And she's made some of the greatest films.
But for me, it was a question of beyond the kind of a sex play of the two characters, where it was a man who missed his wife on a kind of chemical level. I remember, I kept saying to Nancy when we were working, in whatever way we could imbue this in to the film, was to -- to point out that my character was still in love with his wife. He still loved her.
It wasn't just about he wanted to sleep with her and he missed, you know, having sex with her. He was still in love with her and deeply in love with her. And the great thing for me was -- is that Meryl is very easy to fall in love with. And she's very easy to play love scenes with, because you fall in love with her the moment you lay eyes on her.
She's a great, great person.
MORGAN: Now we're going to take another break, Alec. We are going to get to air travel this time, because I want to know what happened on that plane, what words were exchanged and why the airline is now an ex-friend.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TINA FEY, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": You know, he got -- had some trouble on the plane a couple of weeks ago. And the one thing -- when I heard that news story, my first reaction, the thing that I was upset about was last spring, like seven months ago, whatever, I said to him, hey, there's really fun game called Words With Friends.
And it's a lot like Scrabble, but it's a little different. You should get it. You should get it. He's like, oh, I don't know. I was like get it. You should get it.
So anyway, I didn't think he ever got it, because he's never invited me to play him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: That was Tina Fey on "Late Show with David Letterman," taking the blame for introducing my guest, Alec Baldwin, to Words With Friends. Was it really Tina Fey's fault, Alec?
BALDWIN: No, of course not. No, no, no. My advice to people is when you get on a plane, turn off your phone. Try with all of your might. Try with all your strength and inner resolve.
MORGAN: You don't mean that, Alec Baldwin.
BALDWIN: I do mean that. Try to -- you don't want to have happen to you what happened to me. But I will say --
MORGAN: Tell me --
BALDWIN: No, I will say that there were some extenuating circumstances, which is I had flown for many years on an airline where there seemed to be, in the first class cabin, a bit of a more relaxed environment while the plane was at the gate. And we were at the gate.
I want to also mention, because I'm very much of a stickler about this, that the flight was already 45 minutes late prior to anything that went wrong with me. The plane was late prior to anything that happened.
So I don't think that they could really pin all that on me and my cell phone. But I was on this plane. And then all of a sudden, I was in the presence of someone for whom all those rules changed. And we were going to have a very, very kind of a Soviet-level of enforcement of the rules, if you will, in an instance.
And it was done without any -- no quarter. It was done very brutally. This woman was very harsh and very, very snappy. And I reacted badly to that. I got really, really, very upset. And then I was asked to get off the plane and get on another plane.
And to the extent, as I said, that I inconvenienced anybody else on the flight, I was very, very sorry. And I really mean when I say, when you get on the plane -- I mean, even though most people I think are aware that these rules about this stuff, while they're on the ground or certainly while they're at the gate -- these rules are kind of stupid and inane. It's still something you have to contend with.
Just turn your phone off while you're in flight. And the other thing --
MORGAN: You are on this plane.
MORGAN: You are on this plane. How are you feeling as this woman is giving you this lecture? Other people around you presumably knew it was you as this scene unfolds. This is all a bit -- how are you feeling? Embarrassed? Angry?
BALDWIN: You know, I was very embarrassed and I was very upset because I thought, you know, first of all, that there were people -- I mean, the joke obviously when I got off the plane was there were four other guys Twittering from their cell phones as I was getting kicked off the plane for using my cell phone.
BALDWIN: So there was a lot of them. But I have heard a lot of people say that that's a weak defense to say, well, everybody else was doing it. And they do have a point. But I did feel this woman, she had kind of marched directly at me and toward me and singled me out.
Maybe she is kind of a Christian conservative Republican who's, you know, on the payroll there. I don't know. But she was very -- yeah, she was very ardent and she was very tough. And she really, really came at me with everything she had. She was pretty blistering.
But the truth of the matter is that, in the end, turn your phone off when you're on the plane. That's what I've learned, literally, really.
MORGAN: If American Airlines had spent more time on that particular flight apologizing to you as a paying first class regular passenger for donkey's years, for the inconvenience of being kept waiting 45 minutes, rather than focusing on a harmless game you're playing when you're at the gate, then perhaps they wouldn't have slipped in to the bankruptcy position they found themselves in. To me, it's utterly ridiculous.
BALDWIN: I'll let you say that.
MORGAN: I just did.
BALDWIN: But I mean, American Airlines is in bankruptcy. American Airlines is in a lot of trouble. And I feel bad, because as I said, I flew with them exclusively for 20 years. Every now and then, I would work with somebody who would -- they had a deal with United or some other company. But I could see where maybe the people working at the airline are under a lot of pressure, because they're not quite sure about what their job security is.
I mean, I'm very understanding of that, as well. MORGAN: I agree with you. And part of it, I'm afraid, does come down to customer service. You know, you have to look after your clients. Would you ever fly American again?
BALDWIN: I guess if they gave us -- if they gave us a device on board that we could play Words With Friends while we were flying on the plane with other people on the plane -- play words with friends with other people on board. Press seat 3-J, press seat 41-F -- would you like to play Words With Friends? I think that's a super idea.
We could be playing a smart word game rather than watching episodes of NBC sitcoms all the time. What could be more of a preposterous waste of our time than that?
MORGAN: We have got the message loud and clear, Alec, although the trouble was hugely entertaining. And it brings me to another great love of yours, which is Twitter, because the most devastating fallout of this for me was you went off Twitter for a month. Thank God you came back. Let's talk about Twitter after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BALDWIN: You already know what I would say. And you know I'm right.
FEY: I'm ignoring you. You're not here. Who's not here, Liz? I don't know, Liz. I love you. I love you too.
BALDWIN: So, I might as well meet him and get it over with. I'll probably love him. After all, we're both Princeton men.
FEY: Princeton? No. Chris went to -- no. I'm on to you. I am not going to talk about him.
BALDWIN: You can't keep me out.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MORGAN: Alec Baldwin starring in "30 Rock." My favorite character ever, I think, Jack Donahue. I love that man. I love him.
BALDWIN: You know, it's been such a thrill for me because -- I have said this countless times. Their writing is so good. We have such great writers. And they give you the scripts and you -- every week, I get the scripts and I look at them and I go, you got to be kidding me. You want me to what? You want me to get drunk and talk to a peacock. I think my boss has gone to the body.
Rip Torn's character has entered the body of a peacock. All of this insanity. You want to play this kind of Patty Duke, you know, twin character, where I talk to myself in the scene? I play this Mexican soap opera actor. The stuff that they have me do, it's always insane but fun.
MORGAN: It is a fantastic show. Do you get more or less fun from Twitter than you do from "30 Rock"?
BALDWIN: Oh, I get infinitely more fun from "30 Rock" than anything. But Twitter -- when I first went in that direction, what I liked about it -- and up until I stopped, was is that it's -- it was a direct way and a very terse way, a very kind of concise way to communicate directly with your fans. Because so much of what people do is stuff like this, where we talk to a producer and you work out a time and a segment and I -- and your staff was very, very kind and very, very kind of cooperative with me to try to make this happen in a certain time and everything.
But doing this, with filtering who you are through a television show, which is more direct -- but even more difficult is a magazine, let's say, and a writer. Twitter removes that. And it's you writing what you want to write directly to people instantly.
And I was very, very fond of that possibility. But then I realized that talking to people on Twitter might not be such a good idea, because a lot of people -- they want to just attack you and they want to kind of wrestle with you and they want to --
MORGAN: Yeah, but the great thing about you, Alec, is you react like I do, which is the way it should be. You're very visceral and raw. And you get stuck in to these people. And you re-Tweet the abuse and you abuse them back.
BALDWIN: I love getting down in the mud with them and kind of wrestling in the mud with them. And I see that you kind of give as good as you get, too. I love this.
BALDWIN: But I thought to myself, I'm going to stop and I'm going to kind of hit the reset button here, and come back on Twitter and have kind of a different program, where the people who come on who attack you in a very vulgar way, for example -- there's no thought behind it. If people say to me, I think you're stance against nuclear power is idiotic because -- then I'll re-Tweet that or I'll discuss that.
But people who say, I'd like to beep you in your beep, because you're a beeping beep, then I delete them. I block them. Yeah.
MORGAN: It is quite fun, though, isn't it? Although it is rather addictive.
BALDWIN: It can be. Well it is because, I mean, you -- and I'm a big fan of yours because you love to communicate. And you want to communicate something smart and something relevant. And you want to kind of whittle it down and get down to the core, to the marrow of what you think really, really matters and focus peoples' attention on things that you think are important and really, rally matters.
Because God knows we live in a country where there's a lot detritus out there, that doesn't really matter. So -- but I -- and I like Twitter for that. MORGAN: Well, you're great entertainment. If anyone's not following you, @AlecBaldwin. And I commend it to you with great enthusiasm.
Let's take a final break. Let's come back and talk love, Alec. I want to talk to you about your love life.
MORGAN: Back now with my special guest, Alec Baldwin. So Alec, I have got to congratulate you, because you have had, as I have, and many people have, had a checkered past romantically in many ways. Yet you found I think almost utopia, a woman who is a yoga expert, who has transformed you physically into this Adonis that is now before me, someone who has never watched "30 Rock," doesn't even own a television.
This is the perfect woman for you, isn't it?
BALDWIN: Well, Yeah, yeah. You know, it's is funny because I was -- it is true what people always say. And it's tough to make your way to that place, I guess, where you -- you stop looking. You know, I was married and I was with somebody for ten years. And then after I got divorced, I dated people. And I had one girlfriend for several years.
Then I kind of -- right before I met Elaria, I was -- I did lay in my bed and say, this is it. I'm going to be alone for the rest of my life. I'm going to die alone in this apartment, in this bed. I'll have my friends. I'll have Twitter. I'll have Words with Friends. I'll have my "New Yorker" subscription. I'll have my table at Elio's.
You know, I'll have my quiet life. I'll have my quiet Manhattan life. And then right when I put it all on the shelf and it was over, and then I walked into a restaurant downtown on Gramercy Park. And I met this woman who is probably one of the greatest people I have ever met in my life as a person. I mean, forget about the whole man/woman thing.
But I must ask you, Piers, have you ever been properly in love. I was instructed by your staff to pose this very question to you.
MORGAN: I have been properly in love.
BALDWIN: You have?
MORGAN: I was about to ask you how many times you have been properly in love in your life?
BALDWIN: The past is just a blur to me now, Piers. It's all just a blur. Now is the time. Now is all that matters. The woman I am with currently is the only woman I have ever really been in love with. Everything else was just child's play before now. It wasn't -- I wasn't properly in love. MORGAN: You actually do a brilliant British accent.
BALDWIN: No, not really. No, no, no. I don't. I don't. I'm very, very happy. And I have a great line. I'm going to quote Tony Bennett. And Tony is married to Susan. And Tony is -- he's a few years older than Susan. And I went to Tony's school -- I went to visit the Frank Sinatra High School for the Performing Arts that Tony and Susan built. His wife is a wonderful partner of his in their Exploring the Arts Program.
I said to Tony, I'm dating a woman who is younger than I am. She's a lot younger than I am. I sometimes think about that. And I know, Tony, you're with Susan and you're quite a bit older than her.
He looked at me said and he goes, yeah, people say that to me all the time. And I say to them, consider the alternative.
I want to thank Tony for that perspective. You have a baby, correct? You have a child?
MORGAN: I just -- my wife gave birth to a little baby girl two months ago.
BALDWIN: How long ago?
MORGAN: Two months ago.
BALDWIN: You have a two month old baby. You're a very, very -- you're very, very spry and you're very, very perky for a man with a two-month-old child. Does she sleep well, your child?
MORGAN: She doesn't sleep too badly. Have you thought about any little Alec Baldwins?
BALDWIN: Have I thought about having more kids?
BALDWIN: Would I like to have more kids? Oh sure, that would be great. That would be heaven. That would be fantastic. I mean, I would be -- as my friends said to me, when you have children, typically in a second marriage, when you're older and you get married again to a woman who would have children, you must always remember that you make sure they attend a college where the commencement ceremonies are held in a facility with a wheelchair accessible ramp.
MORGAN: I have to ask you this, Alec, because I ask everyone this: outside of children and marriage and so on, what has been the single greatest moment of your life, the moment that if I could relive it for you right now, you would ask to relive it?
BALDWIN: There's a few of them. I mean, there's quite a few of them. But I think I was driving in a car -- you know, becoming involved in the political process is something that has great meaning to me. And I had traveled around the western part of the state of Massachusetts in 1994 to campaign for Teddy Kennedy's re-election. And his nephew, Ethyl Kennedy's son, Michael Kennedy, was my in- state coordinator of my activities. I went to Massachusetts for four consecutive four-day weekends in the month of October 1994 to cover all of these community colleges and these different stops. We covered a lot of ground. We went to a lot of small venues, because it was presumed that Kennedy already had the Boston Democratic vote in his pocket.
So we went out to western Mass. When we were done, we were driving back to town to jump on a plane. We were driving from Williamstown or Springfield, across the state to go to Logan and fly home. And the phone rang.
I was in a van with Michael, the late Michael Kennedy, who died, unfortunately. And it was Teddy Kennedy called me. And he said I want you to know that if I win this race, you are partly responsible for that. He said, you put your brick in the wall of my campaign. And I will never be able to repay you or thank you.
I got this call and I just was -- felt like I was going to cry, because I worked so hard to try to puff my little wind into the sails of Teddy's campaign, because people were saying that he was going to lose that race.
MORGAN: Fantastic moment. Alec, it's been a real pleasure interviewing you today. We have covered -- we've straddled almost every divide imaginable. But it's been a delight.
I forgot to mention earlier, you're an ambassador for the SAG Foundation. Tell me very quickly about that.
BALDWIN: Well, the SAG Awards are on Sunday this weekend. And the foundation is their not for profit arm, which is the charitable arm of the foundation, which does a lot of work with human resources for members of the Screen Actors Guild.
I'm -- every year, I'm assuming they're going to have a new ambassador to represent the foundation at the ceremonies and to present a check to --that has been raised for their efforts. They're going to present a check for a million dollars.
But I'm very, very proud to have that role, that kind of ad hoc roll for them. And I'm very, very proud of my union.
MORGAN: Alec, it's been a great pleasure. Thank you very much indeed.
BALDWIN: My thanks to you, Piers. Thank you.
MORGAN: That's all for us tonight. "AC 360" starts right now.