After declaring himself “so done” with playing Saturday Night Live‘s Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin is leaving open the possibility of extending his ersatz presidency.
In a recent USA Today profile, Baldwin said of playing Trump, “I’m so done with that. I can’t imagine I would do it again.” As he explained, “My wife [Hilaria] and I had a son a year ago, and since he was born, I’ve worked minimally because I wanted to be there for my wife and kids…. SNL just crushes my weekends, and now weekends are going to become much more precious to me because that’s time with my kids.”
But in speaking to TVLine on Monday afternoon, Baldwin put his future as FauxTUS in SNL boss Lorne Michaels’ hands. “Lorne is my dear friend, and if he wants me to continue, I probably will,” he said.
“I get sick of [appearing as Trump] and I’ve whined about it regularly, because in the zeitgeist I’m a pretty political person and where I would normally put that energy is in voter registration, to work with MoveOn.org, to get involved in an actual candidacy and get more into that,” he went on to explain. “But Lorne is my dear friend and [SNL] is like another home to me, so if they want me to do it, I probably will.”
That is, if his ever-busy schedule allows. In addition to swinging by ABC’s New York studios now and again to bang out fresh batches of Match Game episodes (Season 4 resumes this Wednesday at 10/9c), Baldwin steadily banks film roles. In the past year alone, he appeared in A Star Is Born, Mission: Impossible — Fallout and BlackKklansman, while in the newly released documentary Framing John DeLorean he fills the title role (via reenactments).
“I’m just afraid that come fall, I’m going to be very busy,” he says.
TVLine very recently opined that SNL would be wise to give Baldwin’s Trump a rest or turn the role over to someone else, seeing as the sketch comedy series has had little fresh to say about the controversial commander-in-chief. Responding to that op-ed, Baldwin at first offered, “I do believe that the cold opens that don’t include Trump have been some of the best cold opens of the year.”
That said, “Everywhere I go, people thank me,” he relates. “People say, ‘It’s such a great thing to do, to make fun of this.’ There are a lot of people out there who are deeply disturbed by where we are [as a country], so I think maybe there’s a ‘right amount’ of it [to do on SNL], regardless of who’s playing Trump.”
Could SNL perhaps use less soft of a touch when it comes to spoofing the president? Politico, for one, recently suggested that Baldwin’s take on Trump is practically a favor to POTUS, seeing as it suggests he has little sense of the damage he is arguably doing.
“I’m not in the business of trying to leverage impeachment and so forth, though I have my own opinions on that…,” Baldwin said. “But people keep reminding me that Saturday Night Live is a comedy show, an entertainment show. And Lorne has been political, Lorne has been acerbic, Lorne has buffed off the edges as it suits his purpose. He kind of feels what the public at large wants. He doesn’t want to appeal to just one half of the country, and I trust his judgement.”