Alec Baldwin’s extensive career has carried him from film sets to game shows; among it all, his exploits away from work often overshadow his extensive filmography. Now, it’s time to take a look at why Baldwin is the go-to actor for so many directors. These 10 film shows not only what the actor can do, but the skills that have made him an entertainment mainstay for decades.
1988 saw the actor try his hand at the afterlife in Tim Burton’s dark comedy classic. In the film, he plays one half of a couple that dies in a freak accident and must learn the rules as another family comes to claim their dream home. Baldwin wasn’t so confident in the film’s success, even saying, “I thought my, all of our, careers are going to end with the release of this film. Maybe we’re all going to be dead.”
2. The Hunt for Red October
In this adventure, he has the added benefit of acting with the legendary Sean Connery. While many consider Harrison Ford the quintessential Jack Ryan, Baldwin holds the distinction of playing the iconic character first. According to Baldwin, the choice to leave the franchise was never his. Instead, he claims on a Huffington Post article the studio “cut my throat.”
3. Glengarry Glen Ross
4. Still Alice
In 2014, Baldwin showed he could still make it among drama’s most difficult topics with this heartbreaking film. His performance as a husband dealing with his wife’s medical condition provided to be the right choice for the subject matter. Julianne Moore would go on to win an Academy Award for her performance.
5. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
The Tom Cruise headed franchise was well underway when Baldwin first appeared in a Mission Impossible film. While the role of Alan Hunley may not have been at the top of the credits, it was hard not to notice the actor when he was on screen. Cinema Blend mentioned his performance in their review and cited the star as, “playing the perfect shade of frustrated in his too-brief role.”
6. The Departed
Among a list of industry heavyweights, Baldwin more than holds his own. In a character analysis of his role, one reviewer wrote, “Captain Ellerby is mostly just comic relief for most of this movie. But with the great comedic timing of Alec Baldwin, this character makes the most of his time in the sun, delivering classic lines like this one.”
7. Talk Radio
The Chicago Tribune described Baldwin’s character as “a nervous boss.” That’s a pretty accurate summary of his place in this dark story about one radio DJ’s increasingly flawed life. While not a big role for Baldwin, it was well worth it for the actor to work with director Oliver Stone.
8. Working Girl
Once again, it was the actor’s chance to work with an A-List director; this time, the director was none other than Mike Nichols. In an interesting look back at its creation, Melaine Griffith admitted to a failed attempt at romance with her co-star. “But he wouldn’t go there with me. I was like, “Oh come on, have a romance with me!” But no, Alec said, ‘I can’t do this with people I work with.’ He’s a sweetheart,” Griffith said.
9. The Royal Tenenbaums
Don’t expect to see Alec Baldwin in this Wes Anderson film. Instead, his unmistakable voice acts as the narrator for this story of a quirky family. Critics took notice as well with the Film Experience saying, “Alec Baldwin’s vocal performance as the Narrator in Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums is one of those things that makes a film lover like myself shake his head and smile, it is just so damned perfect.
10. The Getaway
Remakes rarely go well, especially when the team being replicated is Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw. Alec Baldwin and then-wife Kim Basinger may not have replicated the classic film, but it is an interesting glimpse at the former couple in action.