The Icon: Alec Baldwin
It’s easy to forget what a slick bastard Alec Baldwin was in his prime.
It’s not that he’s fallen off; just the opposite. He’s aged so gracefully, it’s hard to remember he wasn’t always the jolly playboy uncle he is now. But over the years, he’s passed through a wide range of styles, from “young hunk” to “slicked-back corporate raider” to “mountain man,” and he’s never seemed like anyone other than himself.
So we thought we’d take a minute to celebrate the evolution of Mr. Baldwin, in five easy pieces…
When you’ve got that stubble, you can wear whatever shirt you damn please.
This one’s from the often-overlooked Miami Blues, where he played a guayabera-sporting psychopath tearing his way through Crockett-and-Tubbs-era Miami like a better dressed, less ambitious Scarface. A forgotten classic, and the peak of his young buck phase.
Two years later, he popped up with one of the best cameos in movie history in Glengarry Glen Ross. Now the look was Gordon Gekko squared, all hair gel and macho animus, and a holy touchstone for anyone who’s ever worked in sales. If you’ve got a spare seven minutes, it’s right here.
The stubble’s come in and out over the years, but as he rounded 30, it took on a reassuring, Santa-like quality. He was turning away from the baby face, and at just the right moment.
And finally, the present day. This pic comes from the SAG Awards just a few weeks ago, and it’s a reminder: he can still wear a tuxedo. He’s aged into one of the most consistent presences on the red carpets of the world, right down to the unfussy quiff of his hair.
Shine on, Mr. Donaghy.
- — Russell Brandom