Skip to main content

Alec Baldwin has long been a Hollywood mainstay, acting in everything from romantic comedies to action flicks. He hit his career peak in the 1990s with roles in movies like Glengarry Glen Ross and Alice. He was able to maintain his box-office clout throughout the early 2000s, branching out into comedies and proving his versatility as a leading man. However, throughout Baldwin’s career, he has been dogged by rumors that he’s a bit of a hothead. Baldwin himself seemed to confirm these rumors by unleashing on Harrison Ford, opening up in his memoir Nevertheless, by calling the Hollywood legend “scrawny” after Ford replaced him as the character Jack Ryan in Patriot Games

Alec Baldwin played Jack Ryan in ‘The Hunt for Red October’

Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin in 'The Hunt for Red October'
Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin in ‘The Hunt for Red October’ | Paramount/Getty Images

Released in 1990, The Hunt for Red October is one of the films that cemented Alec Baldwin’s reputation as a bonafide Hollywood star. The film, based on the bestselling book by Tom Clancy, starred Baldwin as Jack Ryan, a CIA intelligence analyst who gets caught up in a violent confrontation between members of the Soviet and American navies.

According to IMDb, the film became a huge hit, receiving multiple Academy Award nominations and largely positive reviews. For Baldwin, the role of Jack Ryan was a career game-changer, proving to many that he could handle the duties and responsibilities of a leading man. That might have made the studio’s decision to cast Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan in the 1992 sequel, Patriot Games, that much more of a blow to Baldwin. 

What did Baldwin say about Harrison Ford replacing him in ‘Patriot Games’?

When Patriot Games was released in 1992, Harrison Ford had taken over the role of Jack Ryan, and while audiences seemingly accepted the changeup without issue, Baldwin had a lot to say about it. In Alec Baldwin’s book Nevertheless, the actor claimed that he was in the middle of negotiating his role in Patriot Games when Ford expressed interest in playing Ryan. According to BuzzFeed, Baldwin wrote that The Hunt for Red October director John McTiernan asked Ford if he felt bad for taking the role from Baldwin. Baldwin alleged that Ford replied, “F*** him.”

Baldwin described Ford as “a little man, short, scrawny, and wiry, whose soft voice sounds as if it’s coming from behind a door.” Clearly, there’s no love lost between Baldwin and Ford, although the latter never publicly responded to Baldwin’s claims of “stealing” the role of Jack Ryan. As BuzzFeed points out, there could have been an entirely different reason why the studio went with Ford rather than Baldwin. At the time, Baldwin was acting in a Broadway production and allegedly wouldn’t give the studio a timeline for when he could be free to film Patriot Games. This could have given studio bosses the impetus to sign with Ford, an established movie star, over the newly-minted Hollywood leading man. 

Alec Baldwin has made headlines due to his behavior


Why ‘Parks and Recreation’ Star Nick Offerman Wanted Alec Baldwin to ‘Get off Twitter’ For a Totally Relatable Reason

In recent years, Alec Baldwin’s propensity for anger has made headlines on numerous occasions. According to In Touch Weekly, Baldwin was removed from an American Airlines flight in 2011 after allegedly refusing to stop playing games on his phone. While Baldwin disputed the specifics of the incident, the company later claimed that Baldwin called passengers rude names.

In 2013, Baldwin had a confrontation with a photographer, allegedly using a homophobic slur. In the wake of the incident, Baldwin’s MSNBC talk show was halted and eventually shut down altogether. He has also received backlash on numerous occasions for his behavior on social media, including verbally sparring with followers. For Baldwin, fame is truly a complicated beast, one that has caused him considerable frustration from time to time.