Alec Baldwin has made up his mind to make a new start -- and he may be going to California.
In a 5,263-word piece titled "Alec Baldwin: Good-bye, Public Life," published in New York Magazine (Warning: Article contains expletives) on Monday, Feb. 24, the 55-year-old "30 Rock" alum talks about the "predatory" paparazzi, the backlash after uttered at one what many believed was an anti-gay slur (which he denies) in November 2013, the subsequent cancellation of his MSNBC show and "friction" with Broadway co-star Shia LaBeouf, who also declared he was "retiring from all public life" amid a plagiarism controversy.
"I've read where a number of people have felt that 2013 was a [expletive] year," Baldwin said. "For me, it was actually a great year, because my wife and I had a baby. But, yeah, everything else was pretty awful. And I find myself bitter, defensive, and more misanthropic than I care to admit. And I'm trying to understand what happened, how an altercation on the street, in which I was accused -- wrongly -- of using a gay slur, could have cascaded like this. There's been a shift in my life. And it's caused me to step back and say, 'This is happening for a reason.'"
Baldwin, a native New Yorker, says he wants to leave his home state -- where he has lived for about 35 years -- and possibly move with his wife and daughter to Los Angeles and return to acting, saying: "It's good-bye to public life in the way that you try to communicate with an audience playfully like we're friends, beyond the work you are actually paid for. 'Letterman.' Saturday Night Live.' That kind of thing. I want to go make a movie and be very present for that and give it everything I have, and after we're done, then the rest of the time is mine."
Check out 5 highlights from Alec Baldwin's New York Magazine piece.
1. Alec Baldwin vs. the paparazzi
The actor said in response to accusations of being homophobic, following his November outburst: "I'm not a homophobic person at all. But this is how the world now sees me. I haven't changed, but public life has."
Baldwin called the paparazzi "predatory photographers and predatory videographers," saying they bait him by getting in his way, adding: "I'm self-aware enough to know that I am to blame for some of this. I definitely should not have reacted the way I did in some of these situations." The actor was famously photographed during a scuffle with a paparazzo in August 2013 (see PHOTOS).
2. On Shia LaBeouf ...
Baldwin recalled plans to star in the Broadway play "Orphans" with LaBeouf, who later left due to "creative differences" and had published email exchanges with the director and co-stars, including Baldwin.
Baldwin said there was "friction" between himself and LaBeouf from the beginning. He said he told the director that one of them had to go and that he offered to quit. LaBeouf later exited the production.
3. On his short-lived MSNBC talk show ... and Capital One commercial deal ending
Baldwin recalls in his New York Magazine piece how he was initially suspended from his MSNBC show, "Up Late With Alec Baldwin following news about his verbal confrontaton with the paparazzo and was later fired. The cable network called it a "mutual parting." He cited a dispute over his contract and said he received the "Conan O'Brien treatment," referring to the "Tonight Show" shakeup of 2010.
Baldwin also says that following the November outburst, Capital One, which had featured him as a spokesmodel in its commercials, did not renew his contract, although he was told the two incidents were unrelated. The actor also says AT&T canceled a speaking engagement for him. Spokespeople for the companies had no immediate comment.
4. On his relationship with the media ...
"Now I loathe and despise the media in a way I did not think possible," Baldwin said in his New York Magazine piece, adding: " I'm aware that it's ironic that I'm making this case in the media -- but this is the last time I'm going to talk about my personal life in an American publication ever again," he added.
5. Why he wants to leave New York ...
Baldwin said in his New York Magazine piece that America is "so preposterously judgmental" and "more [expletive] up now than it's ever been," citing the economic crisis and politics. He said he had "dreams of running for office at some point in the next five years" and that if he were elected to public office, one of the things he would try to do is change laws regarding the paparazzi.
"Everyone's got a camera," he said. When they're done, they tweet it. It's ... unnatural."
Baldwin said that he "just can't live in New York" anymore, adding: "Everything I hated about L.A. I'm beginning to crave." He added that he wants his daughter to "have as normal and decent a life as I can provide" and that he thinks he wants to "go back to being an actor now."
(Pictured above: Alec Baldwin is pictured with wife Hilaria and their daughter, Carmen, near the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Madrid, Spain on Feb. 6, 2014. Credit: Dyd Fotografos / Startraksphoto.com)