Alec Baldwin Calls Me A Throat Slasher In His Rebuke To Charlie Sheen

March 13, 2011 — 12 Comments

David “beady eyed” Kirkpatrick and Alec Baldwin

If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t have laid odds that I would be linked with Alec Baldwin and Charlie Sheen on this shining Sunday morning. I woke up  today to about 20  well-meaning Facebook friends and family members sending me the Huffington Post Blog by Alec Baldwin who characterized me as an untalented, beady-eyed throat-slasher. I am fortunate that enough of my friends keep my name on “Google alert” to let me know when I have once again been proclaimed or besmirched, these days it’s largely besmirching!

I  groggily  got out of bed, went to the mirror and checked out my eyes.  Alex Baldwin is right!  They are pretty darn small. It is mind- boggling that I have lived all these years and did not realize I had eyes  not as small as buttons, but as small as beads.

Over time, it is difficult to watch talented people (apparently I am not one of them )  from Charlie Sheen, Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, Mel Gibson, and John Belushi acting out in  outlandish and tragic ways . I believe their crisis is a metaphysical one. A well respected and award-honored actress  gave me the insight on this several years ago. Recognized not only for her shining talent, she was also notoriously recognized for being late for her call times on movies. She “acted out” by first missing the planes to the distant locations, whether it be  NYC, Rome,  or Beijing.  She would inevitably be late to the set . It was difficult to pry out of her trailer or dressing room when we were shooting. Sometimes  it took  hours, keeping an entire crew waiting and burning up human and monetary capital.

I asked her one day what was the problem.

“I worry that I won’t be able to find it again.”

“Find what, darling?” (that’s Hollywood for “mam”)

“The gift,” she replied.

I looked at her puzzled.

“After all, “ she continued, “ why should an unattractive person like me have this thing….this thing that wins me academy awards and Honorary degrees from Universities? I am nothing.”

It was an honest and heartbreaking answer.  She could not reconcile herself with her gift. Yet, all of us are gifted. And we can spend a life time rebelling against those gifts and not understanding from where they come. And we can proclaim ourselves as “winning” with the “Tiger Blood” running through our veins. We can even proclaim ourselves as gods.

It is clear what scripture says about the gift : the gift is irrevocable. “For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.” (Romans 11:29) So we can hold press conferences , act out ,commit every possible sin against the one who has given us this gift, trash it and pummel it but God is faithful and  never, ever takes the gift away. He allows us to continue to work through all the talents he has given us, whether for noble or common purpose, whether for public or private display, come hell or high water. Every one who breathes has gifts. Even my “beady eyes” are a gift.

But I believe the cosmic struggle for the truly gifted becomes, “why me?”

After-all, and I can hear it all…“I don’t have an education. I am a terrible person. I am too fat. I’m from a small town.  I am too short. I am not popular. Why should I be making $20 million a year and my brother can not pay his rent?” Like the actress of 20th century history, most of us do not realize that all gifts come from our God. Quite simply, the story of human history is man rebelling against God  and the gifts we are all given.

People often mistake the notion of “meek”. Meek does not mean “timid”.  “Meek” or “meeking” comes from a process developed by Greek stable-masters to bring wild, young, undisciplined colts into serving stallions. Meek actually means “strength under control”.  I can pretty much speak for all Hollywood “bad boys” including  Alec Baldwin and myself, when I say  we have all  been out of control; and that we could all  use a little “meeking”. In fact, that is all part of life: to bring our gifts under discipline. This is why, Jesus Christ in the Aramaic language spoke a Greek term when he said, “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the world.”(Matthew 5:5)  In many respects, meeking is the journey of our lives: to achieve our destiny through our gift.

The thrust of Alec Baldwin’s blog surrounds an incident that

Harrison Ford in Patriot Games

occurred in 1991 when I was a “studio boss” at Paramount Pictures and he had played Jack Ryan in Paramount’s  movie version of Tom Clancey’s best seller, The Hunt For Red October. In those days, both of us were unbridaled; we were big personalities. We were not under God.  And we were  not exactly meek. In fact, we  believed we were  golden,  immortal and incapable of death; albeit he was the tall and good-looking god and I was the balding, beady-eyed one.

Fundamentally, the reason that Alec Baldwin and  I ended our relationship over the character of the Jack Ryan franchise was an issue of trust. We did not trust one another to continue in the enterprise. The negotiations to continue as Jack Ryan had drawn out for almost a year and he was nervous over controls, as he was the man on camera and he had a right to be;  yet,  I had a responsibility, working for a publicly-traded company to keep the franchise alive.  The greatest myth of the Twenty First century is that people are good. We aren’t. We’re not morally neutral. I know that’s a terribly unpopular thing to say in the world today, but it happens to be  true. The fundamental problem with learning how to reason through ethical solutions is that it doesn’t give you a mechanism to override your natural tendency to do what is wrong. This is what C.S. Lewis-whose writings including Mere Christianity,  have had such a profound influence on my life says. It’s not inclusive or popular or in vogue , but the only way to get beyond ourselves is to let God take over. As John the Baptist said,“ He becomes more as I become less” At the center of Christ’s teaching are  only two fundamental laws: love God, love others.

Alec Baldwin withdrew from the project , Patriot Games, over an issue of script approval: I wanted him to approve a script and he refused. We amicably parted ways. But if we could have been in a place of goodness that the Lord resides, we would have gotten beyond our own egos to a place where men of honor stand. At the  end  of the day, the core of meeking is giving your strength and your status and your “stuff” over to higher purpose.

Harrison Ford whom I had worked with  on the Indiana Jones

Harrison in Witness – Shooting in 105 degree weather in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

series and on one of my favorite movies, Witness, was sent the script and said he would do it. We trusted one another because of the trails by fire we had already endured together making movies,  through the bad times and the good times. It’s as simple as that; we have found honor with one another. Arguably,  Harrison Ford was the biggest star in the  earthly world at that time. The casting of Harrison Ford  over  a lesser star Alec Baldwin in the ongoing epoch of Jack Ryan in Patriot Games and Clear And Present Danger was unheard of.

Alec Baldwin is a gifted actor. I have been in awe of his brilliant abilities since the 1986 mini-series, Dress Grey. He has a seering intelligence in his poryrayals and he has developed his skills in comedy with his memorable performances in 30 Rock and It’s Complicated. He would have been a great Jack Ryan if there had only be trust between everyone. However, nothing can survive in a house divided and we have witnessed that time and time again. My love and admiration for Alec Baldwin has grown over the years; and I say that not to be self righteous but to be righteous to my creator.

Life is a miracle. And today, Alex Baldwin is going to be surprised  with his Google alert  tonight when he goes to his bed realizing he is linked not only to  me and Charlie Sheen, but also to C S Lewis, Harrison Ford and Jesus Christ.

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12 responses to Alec Baldwin Calls Me A Throat Slasher In His Rebuke To Charlie Sheen

  1. Robert G. Heinritz, Jr., J.D. (“Bob”) March 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    What makes you think condesending jerks are limited to the entertainment business? Human foolishness, stupidity, and overblown egos date from Genesis in the Old Testament:
    “Only two things are infinite – the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” Albert Einstein
    “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any Town?” Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
    “Most people, sometime in their lives, stumble across the truth. Most jump up, brush themselves off, and hurry about their business as if nothing had happened.” Winston Churchill
    “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress – – – But then I repeat myself.” Mark Twain

  2. Just remember, this is a man who smacked his wife around and cursed out his 11 year old daughter during the ugly divorce! And, remember the hours long delays caused by him during their courtship while shooting that Touchstone movie that went right into the tank? I worked there at the time and the movie is so forgettable that even I can’t remember the title! Just because he is back in favor with the general public because of 30 Rock doesn’t give him the right to slam someone as talented and nice as you are.

  3. David,

    Wow! When I providentially wandered upon your blog I really expected you to be totally different- Self aggrandizing, egotistical and power hungry.

    Wrong! You are one righteous, thoughtful man. A quick backstory on me. After BSing with Alec at in the same dorm at NYU for a NY minute I have tried to sell him my original screenplay “Providence” (we’re NOT talking Rhode Island here : ) for the past 15 years.

    There were sniffs, meetings with assistants but in the end nothing….I eventually wrote a memoir of those years titled “Brotherhood of the Rejected Screenplay” …15 Years Trying to Sell Alec Baldwin “Providence” (which I’m working on sharing with people now…)

    I have recently discovered my journey was much less about selling Baldwin “Providence” & much more about my journey with God. How he talks to me, guides me and watches over me.

    David Kirkpatrick…..you get on with your bad self : )…..Nice blog.

    Chris Braun

  4. I was astounded when I read Baldwin’s post. That so many years later there is still animosity seemed sad, somehow, because it indicated he hasn’t yet forgiven and moved on. I can’t imagine how it would feel to wake up one morning and have someone else’s perception of something I did plastered all over a nationally-read blog. Ick.

    You have frequently, during the several years that I have known you, talked about taking the higher road. You did that here, and good on ya.

  5. Truer words were never spoken than these by David Kirkpatrick. Man is nothing without God. The more we focus on how big God is the smaller the bigger-than-life actors on the screen become. Without God in any person’s life their own selfish needs demand all the attention.

    Charlie Sheen may be right in the sense that the public has chosen to make him one of those bigger-than-life mini-gods, a false idol to worship, but the only reason why is because people no longer look at God. The television and films screens have become their God.

    There are many worthwhile shows to watch but they can never take the place of our creator God. He is sovereign. He alone sits on the throne.

    The roulette wheel of human fortune that lets one man be celebrated and another man starve is actually a testing ground. God is watching to see how both handle their individual circumstances. Those who are more fortunate God watches to see who they praise for their fortune. Those who suffer God watches to see to whom they look for comfort.

    Alec Baldwin’s comments about having the studio cut his throat are untrue. It was well known at the time of his leaving the Jack Ryan series that he himself held up the negotiations. The irony is that a bigger star, Harrison Ford, took over the role. That alone should demonstrate which actor was the more humble of the two.

    Neither Baldwin nor Sheen have any position or authority to give advice or have any attention paid to them except when they are doing their job which is to act. The public is misled by listening to those to whom fortune has given a greater platform from which to share their message.

  6. Anita….you nailed it. We are coming into some interesting times. Faith will be rewarded.

    Chris

  7. I’ve been mulling this over in my head ever since my husband sent me the links… David charitably addressed the issue from a Christian perspective in light of the double-edged sword that is the gift of talent. Being particularly bereft of that particular gift, I can’t really speak to it. But from an Old Testament perspective, this is an excellent example to which to apply the “sin-judgment-repentance-restoration” model.
    “Sin” comes into an equation when we act exclusively in our own self-interest for our own self-gratification. Sin got us kicked out of Paradise, where God had intended humankind to dwell for eternity. It will also, apparently, get you kicked off of a sitcom. Along with sin, death also came into the world at the same time, because mercifully God didn’t want his beloved creatures to live in misery for eternity. Unfortunately you can’t expect studio executives to kill you to put you out of your misery.
    “Judgment” happens as a result of our actions. What small children (and a lot of adults) have trouble grasping is that every action has a consequence. Judgment almost always results in separation/isolation/alienation… from God, and often from others as well. So now not only are you miserable, but you’re alone and miserable. We often make justifications and blame our misfortune on anyone and everyone around us so we don’t have to acknowledge to ourselves that it was our own actions that made us suffer. And once you’ve attacked somebody, it’s a pretty sure bet that they won’t want to hang around you anymore.
    Luckily for us, there are “repentance” and “restoration.” This is the way back into the grace of God (or the good graces of the employers.) In the book of Judges, the Israelites turned away from their relationship with God time and time again. They just didn’t get it. Guess what? Neither do we. But just like the Israelites, whenever we turn back to God and say, “I want to be in a right relationship with You again,” God says “Welcome home.” The catch is we have to mean it. So you can make a huge donation to B’nai Brith, and apologize on national TV, but you have to make it stick. They say our God is the God of second chances. God’ll keep letting you screw up and still let you come back. In society, you’re lucky if you get three strikes. You may not get your job back.
    As David put it, you have to “meeken” yourself (if such a tense exists in Aramaic or English) and ask God to take over. In the Christian church in the Sacrament of Baptism we are asked in a variety of ways if we intend to live a Christian life, and we respond, “I will, with God’s help.” The key is that you don’t have to do it alone; you really can’t do it alone.
    Our responsibility as creatures of God living in a right relationship with our Creator is to try to alleviate the effect of suffering in God’s world. Nobody wants you to be miserable. So put your self-interest aside for a while and see if that doesn’t benefit you a whole lot more than the self-interest ever did.

  8. go to http://www.buffaloboysproductions.com GO TO the blog and check out “Brotherhood of the Rejected Screenplay” 15 CRAZED Years Trying to Sell Alec Baldwin Providence….It’s all good : )

  9. DPKirkpatrick July 29, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Checking to see if the new Disqus comment system is working…

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