“People often ask me why I never continued in the role of Jack Ryan in the movies based on Tom Clancy’s great novels. Usually, I have given a half truth as an answer, something about scheduling conflicts and so forth. But the truth is the studio cut my throat.”
I’ve always wondered why they dumped Baldwin in those sequels. He was very good, I thought, as a somewhat naive young Jack Ryan being thrust into a fighting situation in Red October.
That’s a terrific scene where he briefs the government bigwigs and says “Gee, somebody needs to go out there” and they tell him “You’re going out there.” A great dramatic movie set-up.
Harrison Ford brought an unfortunate martyr-like quality to Ryan in the sequels. (I truly regret to say it.) Except for The Fugitive, it marked the end of the “wow, Harrison Ford is always swell” phase and the start of his “I have the swagger of a major movie star in major star vehicles” phase.
Hard not to notice that Ford goes unnamed in Baldwin’s little story.
[Added note: David Kirkpatrick, the villainous studio head in Baldwin’s tale, later became a born-again Christian.]
[Update: Kirkpatrick responds!]
See more photos of Alec Baldwin »
(Hat tip: Mr. Duffy)