Alec Baldwin on Shia LaBeouf’s Exit from ‘Orphans’ and His Preference for Theater Over Film

orphans_alec-baldwinReviews haven’t made it out yet on Broadway’s Orphans, the Lyle Kessler play that has unfortunately become most notable for the behind-the-scenes squabbles that led to the ouster of Shia LaBeouf from one of the lead roles, but star Alec Baldwin is still doing all he can to promote it.  He addressed his preference for the stage in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, what he thinks his career would have been like had he moved to Los Angeles, and, of course, the backstage drama between him and LaBeouf.

Baldwin, who was born and raised on Long Island, has lived most of his life in New York City.  However, despite his success in Manhattan he confesses that he thinks he could have been a bigger success had he relocated to Los Angeles.  He explains, “I probably would have been much smarter if I settled out there. I just think it’s easier. You’re more available; you see people. There’s more surface area for you to connect. My agent once said something funny: ‘It’s not that people think they want to work with you or don’t want to work. The problem is when they don’t think of you at all.'”

Nonetheless, Baldwin also notes that his preference for theater over film and television would probably not be satisfied in he lived in Los Angeles.  On why he prefers theater, he says, “As a process, it’s more rewarding. Film is a director’s medium — the director makes it into a movie. The actor doesn’t make it into a movie. You’re like an ingredient in a salad.”

Of course, the outspoken Baldwin was asked to address (and perhaps give the final word) on the controversy over LaBeouf’s very public exit from the cast of Orphans.  In much more sensitive words than his earlier statements, Baldwin points out, “We ended up with the people we were meant to do the show with. There are people often who are involved in a process who aren’t meant to be involved in that process. It wasn’t meant to be; he was gone. I’ve seen that happen before. People, on occasion, leave films, TV shows. It’s unpleasant, but it’s unavoidable. He’s going through whatever he’s going through. We’ve all been in that situation when we were younger where we want to tell everyone to go kiss off. We want to be our own man. And, I mean, I’m older now. And there does seem to be an inverse proportion to how much experience you have and how much you shoot your mouth off.”

Hmm… considering how outspoken the veteran actor Baldwin is about everything from acting to politics I’m not sure if that last sentence applies to him!

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