Alec Baldwin


  1. Joe Polis, The Thing, 1981.   For his unwanted re-hash of the (so-so) 1950 original, director John Carpenter looked over Baldwin for Fuchs…
  2. David Clennon, The Thing, 1981.   … and also for Palmer. Buty Clennon pinched that when given Benninbs tro play and asking to be Pal mer – “much more intereting and… fun!”
  3. John Laughlin, Crimes of Passion, 1984.   So, OK, he made the appalling Marrying Man, 1991, but at least Baldwin passed on twaddle. Jeff Bridges and Patrick Swayze were also seen for the square Bobby Grady getting love and sex lessons from Kathleen Turner’s part-time hooker in Ken Russell’s most outlandish film – although the reason could be the mass of cuts made to get an R and not an X rating. Roger Ebert said that. And this: “You know you’re in trouble in a sex movie when you spend more time thinking about the parts they left out than the parts they put in.”
  4. Mel Gibson, Lethal Weapon, 1986.      In all, 39 possibilities for the off-kilter, ’Nam vet cop Martin Riggs – not as mentally-deranged as in early drafts (he used a rocket launcher on one guy!) Some ideas were inevitable: Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn (shooting Aliens), Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Al Pacino, Sean Penn, William Petersen, Dennis Quaid, Christopher Reeve, Kurt Russell, Charlie Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis. Some were inspired:  Bryan Brown, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum (he inherited Gibson’s role in The Fly), William Hurt (too dark for Warner Bros), Michael Keaton, Michael Madsen, Liam Neeson, Eric Roberts. Some were insipid: Jim Belushi, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Kevin Kline, Stephen Lang, Michael Nouri (he joined another cop duo in The Hidden), Patrick Swayze. Plus TV cops  Don Johnson, Tom Selleck… three foreign LA cops: Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dutch Rutger Hauer and French Christophe(r) Lambert. And the inevitable (Aussie) outsider Richard Norton.
  5. Kevin Costner, No Way Out, 1986.  For his excellent thriller – labyrinthine and ingenious, said Roger Ebert – the under-praised Aussie director Roger Donaldson caught Costner on the cusp of susperstardom (between The Untouchables and Field of Dreams) after seeing if the hero’s US Navy uniform would suit… Alec Baldwin, Michael Biehn, Jeff Bridges, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, William Hurt, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Michael Nouri, Bill Paxton,  Sean Penn, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, Patrick Swayze, Bruce Willis. Or even the French Christophe(r) Lambert  or Robin Williams?!  
  6. Will Patton, No Way Out, 1986.  OK, if not the hero, how about the villainous Gener Hackman’s gay aide? Roger Donaldson also ooked at his fellow Aussies Bryan Brown and Colin Friels..  Plus, Michael Biehn,  Richard Dreyfuss, Scott Glenn, John Heard, Stephen Lang, Gary Oldman, Ron Perlman, Sam Shepard, James Spader, JT Walsh. Patton got the gig and  was cast as gay again in The Punisher, 2003. 
  7. Kevin Costner, Bull Durham, 1987.
    Ron Shelton had one helluva job trying to win backing for h his directing debut. “Baseball? Get outa here. Ball movies don’t sell.”  But his producer Thom Mount was part-owner of the real Durham Bulls squad and recognised what Roger Ebert would call “a sports movie that knows what it is talking about – because it knows so much about baseball and so little about love.” Orion stumped up $9m, eight weeks, creative freedom – the cast cut their costs because of the script. For the minor-league veteran, Crash Davis, Shelton  looked at: Alec Baldwin, Tom Berenger, Jeff Bridges, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones (he was baseball icon Ty Cobb in Shelton’s Cobb, 1994), Michael Keaton, Stephen Lang, Nick Nolte (more into football), Bill Paxton, Ron Perlman, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell (who worked on the script with Shelton), Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis – and even three foreigners to the game: Aussie Mel Gibson, French Christophe(r) Lambert and Austrian Arnold Schwarzenegger. Result: more sports from Shelton (basketball, golf, boxing) and more baseball movies from Hollywood: A League of Their Own, Eight Men Out (with Sheen), Field of Dream (Costner), Major League (Berenger and Sheen).  

  8. Roddy Piper, They Live, 1987The pitch was fine: Drifter finds some sunglasses that let him to see that aliens have taken over the Earth. And, apparently, the film.  Lousy! Which is probably why 18 other big guns, said nadato being Nada: Baldwin, Michael Biehn, Jeff Bridges, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Christophe(r) Lambert, Dolph Lundgren, Bill Paxton, Ron Perlman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis (plus three mere pistols: Brian Bosworth, Bruce Campbell, Stephen Lang). And the less said about Russell’s wrestler replacement, the better.“Just John Carpenter as usual,” said the Washington Post, “trying to dig deep with a toy shovel.”
  9. Mark Harmon, The Presido, 1988. The usual old cop-young cop routine but set to a dull military beat in San Francisco’s Presidio Army Base.  Due for Lee Marvin-Jeff Bridges, but Lee fell ill and died.  Gene Hackman-Bridges were not as hot as Sean Connery-Don Johnson – except Don was hog-tied to Miami Vice.  OK, Sean-Kevin Costner – he quit so no Untouchables reunion as the pair finally became Sean-Mark Harmon.  Also up for the young upstart were 15 others:  Alec Baldwin Michael Biehn, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Michael Keaton, Bill Pullman, Dennis Quaid, Kurt Russell, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, Bruce Willis, even Europeans Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme None could have saved what Chicago critic Roger Ebert called “a clone,of a film assembled out of spare parts from other movies, out at the cinematic junkyard.”  
  10. Harrison Ford, Working Girl, 1988.   They had two versions, said producer Douglas Wick. Expensive: Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver. Less so:  Baldwin and Natasha Richardson. Then, Fox decjded to spend the money, leaving director Mike Njchols to make the call. “Mike told me that they said… if you make it with these people, we’ll give you $15m…  make it with these other people, $90m. He was very straightforward as he always as.” So much so, Alec agreed to be the other guy.  “I did a bit of that back then. There were people I wanted to work with, so I did small roles just to be around them.” Hence, Married to the Mob, Great Balls of Fire, Beetlejuice.” Added Wick: ”Alec understood and was so lovely about it. He came in and really nailed that character. [Mick]. It was an awkward adjustment.”

  11. Kurt Russell, Tequila Sunrise, 1988.  Producer Thom Mount recalled that Baldwin had been first choice for LA cop Nick Frescia. He was so keen, he auditioned a second time. Fine, but Mount and Chinatown scenarist Robert Towne changed directions and got Russell to base Frescia on another contender for the role – Pat Riley, coach of the LA Lakers basketball team. “Riley’s look was right… arrogantly confident but not offensive,” said Russell. So he used it again as Fast and Furious 7 and 8’s Mr Nobody in 2014 and 2016.
  12. Michael Keaton, Batman, 1988.
  13. Adam Baldwin, Next of Kin, 1989.   Baldwin (no kin to Adam), Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, Ray Liotta, John Malkovich, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn, Ron Perlman, Tim Robbins were seen for mobster Joey Rossellini in the hillbillies v the Mafia re-run of the same UK director John Irvin’s tons better Raw Deal, 1985.
  14. Adam Coleman Howard, Slaves of New  York, 1989.     Attended a crowded reading session with director James Ivory.
  15. Brad Johnson, Always, 1989.     Steven Spielberg’s next choice after failing to Cruise with Tom in the pointless re-make of  an old Spencer Tracy movie, A Guy Named Joe, 1943.
  16. Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society, 1989.     The actor that director Oliver Stone calls “the working-class Cary Grant” was first favourite for teacher John Keating. As directors changed from Jeff Kanew to Peter Weir – Baldwin, Mel Gibson, Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray and Mickey Rourke backed off. Williams’ co-star, Ethan Hawke, called the film: One Flew Over the Robin’s Nest… with Wlliams as Jack Nicholson, Norman Lloyd as Nurse Ratched and Robert Sean Leonard as Brad Dourif.
  17. Richard Gere, Internal Affairs, 1989.    UK director Mike Figgis said Paramount wanted Mel Gibson or Kurt Russell (big hits in ’88’s Tequila Sunrise) as the badass cop-cum-hit man. “If we’d hired a movie star to play Peck,” noted producer Frank Mancuso Jr, “we might not have been able to so successfully explore the darkness of the character.” Some 19 other stars, Baldwin, Tom Berenger, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Kevin Costner, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Ed Harris, William Hurt, Don Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta – and three outsiders Richard Dean Anderson, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Ron Silver – all passed Peck to Gere for a double whammy comeback with Pretty Woman. “I’ve never been away,” snapped Gere. Oh, but he had. Almost to Palookaville.
  18. Dennis Quaid, Postcards From the Edge, 1989.  Nichols’ and his casting director , Juliet Taylor, never forget Alec from Working Girl and tried to make it up to him – by  co-starring with Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine in  the film, of Carrie Fisher’s (real life) book. But Baldwin had problems with his current lover. That’s OK, said Nichols in January, “we’re not , stsrting until May.  “I can’t really say where I’m going to be,” said Baldwin. After a long pause, Nichols said: “What kind of problems could you possibly have that couldn’t be solved by May?
  19. Patrick Cassidy, Longtime Companion, 1990.    With colleagues running scared, due to the low money and high risk “mistaken for sick” image, Baldwin  was first to sign for the AIDS drama – until asked to substitute  Harrison Ford in The Hunt For Red October.  He made up for it by repeating his stage role in the same writer’s Prelude To A Kiss.
  20. Fred Ward, Henry and June, 1990.     Film was delayed five weeks for him.  “I like to be naked  in movies. I’ve a reputation to uphold.”  He still pulled out – rehearsal problems plus exhaustion from hunting Red October.  Took a break, apart from a ghost in Woody Allen’s Alice, as writer-director Philip Kaufman went back to his originally tied-up choice.

  21. Tim Robbins, Jacob’s Ladder, 1990.     Good decision. The movie  never really worked.  Nor did the other bad choices he did make – “to get some short-end money… I did The Marrying Man, that bombed. I did Prelude To A Kiss, that bombed. I did Malice, that might have made a couple of nickels. I made The Shadow, that bombed. I did Heaven’s Prisoners, that bombed…”
  22. Jim Belushi, Curly Sue, 1990.    “What I thought would be this cute, sweet little movie experience ended up going on for something like five months,” reported Kelly Lynch. “So much money was spent. It was insane! But a great experience. It was originally going to be me, Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey, which would’ve been a whole different situation. [They left for stage dates].  Those were two guys I knew really well, but I’d never met Jimmy [Belushi] before, and then he and [director John Hughes] didn’t get along. I kinda felt like a mom dealing wredited]. ith two 12-year-old boys. They, uh, definitely weren’t the best of friends.“   Also in the Bill Dancer mix were Jeff Bridges, Richard Dreyfuss, Mel Gibson, Jeff Goldblum, Steve Guttenberg, Ray Liotta, Bill Murray (off shooting What About Bob?), Kurt Russell, Tom Selleck, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Bruce Willis. [Quotes va IMDb; no other source credited].
  23. Patrick Swayze, Ghost, 1990.     Me, a ghost? Get outa here.  Kevin Bacon and  The Toms – Cruise and Hanks – said much the same. Plus Bruce Willis – and Mrs Bruce, Demi Moore, was the leading lady!
  24. Brad Pitt, Thelma & Louise, 1990.
  25. Andy Garcia, The Godfather: Part III 1991.

  26. Kevin Costner, JFK, 1991.
  27. Gary Oldman, JFK, 1991.

  28. Stuart Wilson, Lethal Weapon 3, 1991.   Not only a Brit (like the best baddies) but born in  the finest UK county of Surrey, Wilson stole the villain, crooked ex-cop Jack Travis from some powerful A-Listers… including  five of the 39 guys he’d seen for Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs in 1986:  Alec Baldwin, Robert De Niro, Michael Keaton, Al Pacino and John Travolta. Director Richard Donner also cast an eye over  James Caan, Gene Hackman, Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino. NB This is the first time we see Gibson and Danny Glover actually making an arrest. Only took ‘em five years!
  29. Gary Oldman, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992.   Baldwin joined the Drac auditions, mainly at Francis Coppola’s Nappa Valley estate. Losing his favourites – Jeremy Irons, Daniel Day-Lewis – Francey looked at everyone else.. Baldwin, Armand Assante, Antonio Banderas, Nick Cassavetes, Nicolas Cage, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Andy Garcia, Hugh Grant, Ray Liotta, Kyle MacLachlan, Costas Mandylor, Viggo Mortensen, Dermot Mulroney, Michael Nouri (a long way from Flashdance), Adrian Pasdar, Jason Patric, Aiden Quinn, Keanu Reeves, Alan Rickman, Christian Slater and Sting.
  30. Michael Douglas, Falling Down, 1992.  “I lost my job. Well, actually I didn’t lose it, it lost me. I am over-educated, under-skilled. Maybe it’s the other way around, I forget. But I’m obsolete. I’m not economically viable.” The guy known only by his car number-plate, D-FENS, is suffering from society and melting down. Dangerously. Perfect, therefore, for Alec Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Robert De Niro, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Ed Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Robin Williams – and, indeed, director Joel Schumacher’s choice of his pal, Douglas, in a Spartacus buzz-cut, glasses and, finally, his very own Cuckoo’s Nest.

  31.  Harrison Ford, Patriot Games, 1992. 
    Starring in Broadway’s Streetcar NamedDesire cost him  the rest of the Jack Ryan franchise – created by Baldwin hunting the Red October. Having rejected the  first film, Ford wanted a return to action.  He was paid $9m to be Ryan, while Baldwin had been on $4m – for the two films. At least that was the ’92 story… It was another 19 years before Baldwin  told the full story on the Huffinghton Post website, March 12, 2011.    “The truth is the studio cut my throat   Or, more specifically, an executive at the studio named David Kirkpatrick who was, as studio executives are on their way both up and down the ladder, eager to prove he had that special quality that studio executives are eager to display… an utter lack of sentimentality while transacting deals around a business built on sentimentality.
    “The run of events in 1991 went like this. John McTiernan, who directed The Hunt For Red October told me,he had been negotiating to do a film with a very famous movie star who had dropped out of his film days so that he could go star in the sequels to Red October. John further told me that Paramount owed the actor a large sum of money for a greenlit film that fell apart… and pushing me aside would help to alleviate that debt and put someone with much greater strength at the box office in the role. I sat there mildly stunned because not only was I in an active negotiation with Paramount, but for them to negotiate simultaneously with another actor was against the law.”
    His next call came from  the film’s producer , Mace Neufeld. “The call resembled that final scene in Sorry, Wrong Number (great film), where Burt Lancaster exhorts Barbara Stanwyck to get out of bed and scream for help lest she be killed by emissaries of Lancaster, himself. Neufeld told me to sign whatever deal they were offering and ‘the rest would take care of itself.” Baldwin was then asked to call Kirkpatrick  who told him  he had to decide
    “if I would agree to an open-ended clause relating to dates 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    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. And I do not reg ret it. The movie and television business are filled with some of the most wonderful and talented people you could ever know. It is also the rock under which you find the biggest, lyingest, thievingest scumbags on Earth. (They tend to be the ones that are not in any craft or union related to actually making a movie).”

  32. Harrison Ford, The Fugitive, 1993.    “The minute Harrison Ford shows up, they drop everything and sign up Harrison Ford.” Baldwin also fiercely  complained about losing Dr Richard Kimble.. Long Beach auteur Walter Hill was friendly with Baldwin. Indeed, Mrs Hill, Hildy Gottlieb, ran the actor’s Meadowbrook Productions in the 90s – and planned to have Walter helming Alec in the film version of David Janssen’s 1963-1967 series.  They made The Getaway, instead, Next up for the doctor on the lam: Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner (directing as well), Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia,  Richard Gere, Michael Keaton, Nick Nolte (director Walter Hill’s choice, but Andrew Davis made the movie – the fourth in his home town, Chicago), Al Pacino, Christopher Reeve, Arnold Schwarzengger. And Mel Gibson was up for either Kimble or his Javert-like hunter, Lieutenant Gerard – an Oscared gig for Tommy Lee Jones.
  33. Jason Patric, Geronimo: An American Legend, 1993.      Patrick Swayze was also in  the running.   
  34. Keanu Reeves, Speed, 1993. There were 30 stars queuing for Die Hard On A Bus. From A Listers Jeff Bridges, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Kurt Russell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Patrick Swayze, even Mr Die Hard, himself, Bruce Willis… to the B group: Kevin Bacon, three Baldwin brothers (Alec, Stephen and William), Michael Biehn, Bruce Campbell, George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Richard Dreyfuss, Michael Keaton, Christophe(r) Lambert, Viggo Mortensen, Dennis Quaid, Mickey Rourke, Tom Selleck… and two also-rans Bruce Campbell and Chuck Norris. All beaten by a whippersnapper!
  35. John Travolta, Pulp Fiction, 1993.  
  36. Harvey Keitel, Pulp Fiction, 1993.
  37. Michael Keaton,The Paper, 1993.    For another of his tepid movies, director Ron Howard mused over Baldwin, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kurt Russell, John Travolta andRobin Williams for Henry Hackett, the New York Sun‘s metro editor…   who tells his editor-in-chief (a superb Robert Duvall – is there any other kind?): “Every day I’m behind from the minute I get up.”
  38. Sean Penn, Carlito’s Way, 1994.     When Marlon Brando was still attached. Penn’s salary helped finance his second film as a director, The Crossing Guard, 1995.
  39. Val Kilmer, Batman Forever, 1994.
  40. Tim Allen, The Santa Clause, 1994.   The guy who accidentally kills Santa (it wasshootinghim, but Disney wasn’t having that) and take over his duties was penned for for Bill Murray. “Not my kind of humour,” he retorted.  Next in line: Allen, Rowan Atkinson, Jim Carrey, Richard Gere, Steve Guttenberg, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams.  Plus eight Batman candidates: Baldwin, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Mic hael J Fox, Mel Gibson, Kurt Russell, Patrick Swayze and the winning Michael  Keaton.

  41. Al Pacino, City Hall, 1995      When director Paul Schrader was supposed to make Nick Pileggi’s  script.  “It was a miracle I got that many trips to the plate,”  continued Baldwin’s tale of woe. “In 95, I did The Juror, that bombed. I did Ghosts of Mississippi  and The Edge, and both of them were very tepid. I had a hit movie [The Hunt For Red October] and…  had eight bombs in a row.”
  42. David Caruso, Kiss of Death, 1995. Variety inevitably said that Baldwin kissed off Kiss,… letting the NYPD Blue redhead cop into cinema.  (Thankfully, not for long).
  43. Mel Gibson, Ransom, 1996.   Director Ron Howard’s initial choice for the airline owner whose son is kidnapped… didn’t approve of the character – nor of “endangering” a child.   Hi Mel, you free next month, man?
  44. Gary Sinise, Ransom, 1996.      Baldwin then  offered to play the NYPD cop when Sinise preferred Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse and then  Baldwin politely  stood aside  when the Clancy project fizzled.
  45. Nicolas Cage, Face/Off, 1997.     “Since the story is too crazy to be real,” said ex-Hong Kong director John Woo, “we needed two great actors. My first choice was John Travolta. – and the studio suggested  Alec Baldwin for  the bad guy – because he had a  good body and face match for John. But Alec was busy and John suggested Nic.”
  46. Tom Cruise, Jerry Maguire, 1996.   Super-Tom One, Hanks, was into his helming debut, The Thing That You Do, 1996. Super-Tom Two, Cruise, said: “I may not be right for this but let me just read for you.” And Super-Tom-One added: “It couldn’t have been anyone but Cruise.” Except auteur Cameron Crowe had also considered Baldwin, Tim Allen (briefly, thankfully), Edward Burns (who reccommended his latest co-star, Connie Britton, for Dorothy; they both came second), Johnny Depp, Sean Penn (from Crowe’s first script, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 1981), John Travolta and Bruce Willis.
  47. Jason Patric, Incognito, 1997.      Inherited by director John Badham when Peter Weller quit his helming debut after complaining that the producers’ “idea of a budget is going to a hot dog stand.”
  48. Colin Firth, Nostromo,  TV, 1997.      When iconic director David Lean was preparing it, long before it became a TV mini.
  49. Ed Harris, The Third Miracle, 1998.      Vatican priest investigating three Brooklyn miracles.
  50. Daniel Baldwin, Vampires, 1998.      Head brother Alec changed his mind about being Montoya. He obviously had no wish to be second fiddle to James Woods’s vampire-hunter and suggested brother Daniel take over the horror movie – but which also closely resembled the Western that director John Carpenter had always wanted to make. For vampire-hunters, read gunslingers.

  51. Christopher McDonald, The Iron Giant, 1998. The character was Mansley, the very mansley BUP agent – Bureau of Unexplained Phenomena – investigating sigthtings of  the 50ft metal-eating robot created by  the  British Poet Laureate  Ted Hughes.  So the antagonism should come from who? Alec Baldwin, Tommy Lee Jones, Burt Reynolds or Arnold Schwarzenegger?  Answer: None of ‘em! The toon’s director, Brad Bird, went for the lesser known McDonald. Bird went on to make Pixar’s The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Tom’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

  52. Tom Cruise, Eyes Wide Shut, 1999.      From the outset, Stanley Kubrick told his scenarist Frederic Raphael that his stars (and he distrusted stars) should  be a real couple. First thought: Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger. 

  53. Charlie Sheen, Rated X, TV, 1999.     Sean Penn’s version of the life of the porno-making Mitchell brothers collapsed – starring Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson.  So,  the Baldwin boys, Alec and William,  tried to get it rolling anew.
  54. Guy Pearce, Memento, 1999.     Christopher Nolan’s first choice for poor  Leonard suffering Anterograde Amnesia. (The inability to form new memories after hippocampus damage, OK?)  Having a less familiar face, Pearce was a perfect choice.  Baldwin would have just  shouted and hit someone.
  55. Tim Allen, Galaxy Quest, 1999.  “Very funny,” said William Shatner.  Patrick Stewart was more on the ball: “Brilliant. Brilliant.”   Probably the finest Hollywood send-up of a TV show had the cast of a copy-Star Trek  being mistaken for  real spacemen  by Thermian aliens wanting their help!  Harold Ramis wanted Baldwin as Jason. Harold Ramis wanted Baldwin as Jason – or Kevin Kline, Steve Martin – and quit when Tim Allen was chosen.  Ramis  later agreed Allen was great. ”He had that Shatner-esque swagger down pat,” said George Takei. “And I roared when the shirt came off and Sigourney Weaver rolls her eyes and says: There goes that shirt again…. How often did we hear that on the set? [Laugh].”  (Tim thought he was channelling Yul Brynner’s king from TheTen Commandments, 1954).
  56. Patrick Swayze, Forever Lulu, 1999.   Baldwin was  seen about being Melanie Griffith’s old love, learning they’d had  a child together. (Antonio  Banderas also lost out, despite being wed to Griffith!).  Swayze tried hard to  fit the bill. Too hard. Ironically, Baldwin made his movie debut in a 1986 New York film called… Forever, Lulu.  (The difference is the comma).  
  57. Matthew McConnaughey, Sex and the City (Episode 43: Escape from New York), TV, 2000.    The actor-producer inviting Carrie to LA to discuss filming her column  was penned for Baldwin.  When he refused, Himself  turned  into Beatty, then  George Clooney and finally, McConaughey.
  58. Kurt Russell, Vanilla Sky, 2001.     Maybe he didn’t like the Cameron Crowe  script. While Kurt accepted without reading it.
  59. Russell Crowe, A Brilliant Mind, 2001.   The choice of the right actor to portray the schizophrenic Noble Prize-winning mathematician John Forbes Nash Jr was vital.  Which had me wondering  why  Keanu Reeves, Charlie Sheen, John Travolta and  Bruce Willis   were on the short-list!   Then again they might have proved as surprising as Crowe. Director Ron Howard’s other candidates included Alec Baldwin, Matthew Broderick, Nicolas Cage, Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, John Cusack, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr, Ralph Fiennes, Mel Gibson,  Jared Leto, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt.  Nash liked the six-Oscar-winner. “But it wasn’t me.”
  60. Ray Liotta, Narc, 2002.      Considered by helmer Joe Carnahan for  the cop Henry Oaks. Then,  Joe walked.

  61. Steve Martin, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, 2002.  “A pretty grim experience all around –  longest year and a half of my life.”  Director Joe Dante refusing to say anymore about how his planned tribute to his late friend, toon ikon Chuck Jones, ended up a mess. Then again, when the suits approve Timothy Dalton  over Alec, Brian Cranston, Robert De Niro, Tommy Lee Jones and  Kevin Spacey for Damien Drake,  you know you’re in trouble.

  62. Denzel Washington, Man on Fire, 2004. 
    Tony Scott backed out of directing the first version in 1986, but helped  Denzel Washington retrieve his lost taste for acting in this re-make.  Sergio Leone chose  Robert De Niro  and Marlon Brando nearly played A J Quinnell’s ex-CIA hero turned mercenary (certainly helped re-write  him) but Scott Glenn won the  role. Tony Scott  had wanted Robert Duvall. The new scriptwriter, Brian Helgeland,  recalled going  into the LA Video Archives store  in the 80s and asking the clerk: “What’s good?” The clerk said:  Man on Fire. The clerk was Quentin Tarantino.  In both films Creasy  is trying to rescue a kidnapped girl, almost a daughter to him, that  he’s bodyguarding.  Yeah, rather like a matrix for Liam Neeson’s Takens. So no surprise to find Liam among some 25 actors up for Creasy. Alec Baldwin, Sean Bean (a nearly 007), Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Andy Garcia, Mel Gibson, Ed Harris, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, Viggo Mortensen,  Gary Oldman, Dennis Quaid, Keanu Reeves, Alan Rickman, Kurt Russell,  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Will Smith, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis… even our dear old  Bob Hoskins.  Creasy was later Bollywooded by the inimitable  Amitabh Bachchan (at age  63!). There were three songs, of course!

  63. Philip Winchester, Thunderbirds, 2004.     One of numerous notions for live-actioning  the UK sf puppet series, 1965-66, was four Baldwins bros  (Alec, William, Daniel, Stephen) as  the Tracy brothers. Alec, obviously, as the the eldest, the Thunderbird 1 pilot, Scott (born 2039, named after NASAstronaut Scott Carpenter). Funny, but suddenly the the script never  mentioned  the fifth Tracy bro, Alan…
  64. Luke Wilson, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron  Burgundy, 2004.     Will Ferell and Adam McKay wrote Baldwin’s name alongside the Garth character in their first draft.
  65. Maurice LaMarche, Team America: World Police, 2004.      Keen to voice his own (unflattering) puppet, he  was (like all other celebs) voiced by impersonators. Baldwin could have done ‘em all. As proved on Saturday Night Live, he is a clever impressionist – he does a wicked De Niro.
  66. Bob Balaban, Lady in the Water, 2005.     For his seventh fantasy, director M Night Shyamalan finally had some humour such as Balaban’s  film critic from hell.
  67. Greg Kinnear, Little Miss Sunshine, 2005.   Bill Murray and Robin Williams were first/second choices for Richard Hoover, trying to teach nine-step programmes when he’s barely at three. And father of little Miss Abigail Breslin.  National Lampoon’s Family Vacation with soul, said Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers. Baldwin, Thomas Hayden Church, David Duchovny, Ray Romano nearly Hoovered.  Michael Ardnt quit his job as Matthew Broderick’s assistant to pen the script – and won the for best original screenplay. His next credits included such pears as Toy Story 3, Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens!
  68. George Clooney, Leatherheads, 2008.     Seventeen years in  the making.  Baldwin entered the mix as the 1920s ball player John “Blood” McNally when Mel Gibson voted for The Man  Without A Face.  Next stop: Michael Keaton. Clooney directed his version – a shock flop.
  69. Dennis Quaid, The Special Relationship, TV, 2009.     Baldwin, Russell Crowe, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tim Robbins were also trying to be President Bill Clinton opposite Michael Sheen, straightening his naturally curly hair to be the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair for a third time – following the same scenarist Peter Morgan’s The Deal, 2003, and The Queen, 2006. This one opened with Oscar Wilde wisdom: True friends stab you in the front!
  70. Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire, TV, 2010-2014.    On the list for Atlantic City hood Nicky Thompson when HBO realised it couldn’t expect James Gandolfini to go back to the gangster well one more time. Baldwin must have realised that Martin Scorsese’s involvement as a exec producer would dissipate after directing the HBO pilot. Baldwin more closely resembled the real  Atlantic City politico-gangster Enoch ‘Nucky’ Johnson but The Sopranos writer Terence Winter didn’t want a Tony Soprano lookalike. (Just a one of his victims!) The series lost its balls when Michael Pitt’s character was killed off… for effortlessly stealing the show from Buscemi?