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Alec Baldwin has mellowed out a little bit in recent years. Now married to yoga instructor Hilaria Thomas, the 30 Rock actor has given up drinking, sugar, (in a recent developement) Twitter, and many of his grudges. But Baldwin's famous temper still returns to him sometimes -- like when he remembers what a certain gossip site once did to him.
In his new Vanity Fair cover story, Baldwin, 54, recalls his reaction when TMZ producer Harvey Levin posted one of his private voicemails to the website. The message, from Alec to his daughter Ireland, was posted in violation of a court order during his custody battle with Kim Basinger.
"I wanted to stick a knife in him and gut him and kill him," Baldwin told Vanity Fair of the TMZ editor, "and I wanted him to die breathing his last breath looking into my eyes."
Yes, Alec, but how did you really feel?
In the voicemail from 2007, Baldwin could be heard berating his ex-wife and swearing at his daughter, whom he called a "thoughtless little pig." (Ireland was 11 years old at the time.) The actor immediately released a statement apologizing for the outburst, which he chalked up to his frustration with Basinger. But the damage had been done to Baldwin's reputation, and more recent incidents (a paparazzi scuffle in June, being kicked off a flight in December) have only cemented Baldwin as a man who can't control his temper.
In Vanity Fair, however, the actor says he's been able to release a lot of that pent-up anger.
"You have to let that go," says Baldwin. "Enough time -- I mean, it does heal wounds."
He also believes that his career enabled him, at times, to act "unreasonably" and "childishly."
"You know, Hollywood does draw some very strange characters, and then the power of Hollywood and what they can do with it becomes like a blood sport to them," the Emmy winner muses.
Perhaps because of his own relationship with the press, Baldwin feels compassion towards Mel Gibson, whom he recently asked to appear on his radio podcast.
"I said, 'Mel, this isn't about regurgitating [gossip],'" Baldwin recalls. "'You're one of the greatest movie stars of your generation and you were one of the most successful directors in this business and you won the Academy Award. And the only thing I want to ask you about the travails in your life is: What did you learn?'"
As for Baldwin, he's still trying to work out what life after 30 Rock will look like. (The NBC comedy's upcoming season will be its last.) Though he hasn't yet run for mayor of New York City, Baldwin is still contemplating politics. He just wants to be sure about it.
"If I want to run, run for what?" he ponders. "You have to stop and ask a lot of whys. Run for the glory? Run to complete some missing piece of myself? I can keep doing what I'm doing for a living now and be perfectly happy."
Seeing as he's not threatening anybody with certain death, we'd say he's in a good place right now!