A handful of the minds behind the hit NBC sitcom “30 Rock” are recalling the difficulty they had working with Alec Baldwin, including an occasion in which he allegedly threatened to assault a director.
The Emmy-winning “30 Rock” followed the lives of the writers and actors behind an NBC sketch show inspired by “Saturday Night Live.” Baldwin appeared on the show for seven seasons as Jack Donaghy, Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming for General Electric. However, according to a new book by Mike Roe titled “The 30 Rock Book: Inside the Iconic Show, from Blerg to EGOT,” it seems Baldwin was not as fun off-camera as he was on it.
According to excerpts obtained by The New York Post, Baldwin allegedly threatened to assault director Adam Bernstein during the first season of the show. The story reportedly goes that the director held up two thumbs to frame a shot, which set the actor off for some reason.
Alec Baldwin was reportedly difficult to work with on the set of ‘30 Rock.’ (Barbara Nitke/Peacock/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
“According to [editor Doug] Abel, Alec turned to [Bernstein] and said that if he did that one more time, he was going to assault him. And he didn’t say it with a smile on his face,” Roe writes.
Neither representatives for Baldwin nor Bernstein immediately responded to Fox News’ request for comment.
However, the outlet reports that Bernstein, who went on to have a lucrative career on shows like “Breaking Bad” and “Fargo,” left the show after six episodes, which many speculate had to do with the animosity between him and Baldwin.
Fellow “30 Rock” director Paul Feig admitted that, of everyone on the show, Baldwin was the most difficult to work with. However, he explained that had a lot to do with the fact that the actor, who was mostly a film and theater star to that point, was considered a big get for the show.
Because he was unsure if his risk on a TV sitcom would pay off, Baldwin reportedly wanted to spend as little time on set as possible. Feig noted that Baldwin wasn’t a fan of doing multiple takes or letting a scene run long.
Alec Baldwin reportedly threatened to assault someone on the set of ‘30 Rock’ during Season 1. (Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
“Alec is so brilliant that in two takes, you get something great. It’s just that as a director, then you go, ‘Ooh, try this,’ because I could maybe even make it ten percent greater, and he’s just like, ‘No, we got it.’”
Although he reportedly complained the whole time, Baldwin agreed to do six episodes per season, and would eventually agree to more each year as the network bought more episodes. However, he reportedly only filmed three days per week from Tuesday to Thursday. He didn’t fully get on board with the show until its final season when he realized what a good gig it was. He agreed to take a 20% pay cut and was fully on board with the 13-episode order for the first time in the show’s run.
’30 Rock’ starred Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer. (Mary Ellen Mathew/NBCU Photo Bank)
In fact, he reportedly would have done an eighth season had creator and star Tina Fey not decided to end the show at seven.
Excerpts from the book about Baldwin’s behavior come at a difficult time for the actor, who is currently the subject of an ongoing police investigation and multiple lawsuits stemming from the accidental shooting incident that took place on the indie-western film “Rust.” Baldwin was rehearsing a scene for the movie when a gun he was holding fired, somehow discharging a live round that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza.