Eventually, everyone famous writes a memoir, in part because famous people do tend to lead interesting lives, and in part because publishers know those memoirs will sell because readers want the inside scoop on being famous. The entertainment value of these memoirs varies widely, of course, from rote tellings to revealing journeys into the lives and minds of flat-out hilarious, fascinating people.
Alec Baldwin’s forthcoming memoir, Nevertheless, promises to be among the latter. In fact, it has been climbing up our “Can’t Wait to Read” lists for months now. With its April 4 release just around the corner, here’s why we’re counting down the days till we can get the book in our hands.
Baldwin has been part of the entertainment landscape for decades now—he’s one of the most recognizable actors in the world, with of the most recognizable voices in the world, alongside an acting resume a mile long. From a humble childhood on Long Island he went on to soap operas, was at one time one of the hottest leading men in movies, and then became a surprise candidate for Funniest Man Alive. He resurfaced as one of pop culture’s most visible figures with his slaying impersonation of President Trump on Saturday Night Live, which just reminds us how funny the man is—a brand of funny we expect will be all over his memoir.
The thing about Alec Baldwin? He has worked with everybody. His IMDB page looks like a Who’s Who of Hollywood, which means he has got a treasure trove of gossip and tales of adventure to share. Even the title of his memoir, Nevertheless, stems from a joke Michael Gambon (whom you might know as the second Dumbledore from the Harry Potter films, among many other roles) told Baldwin when they were working on the TV movie Path to War together. Considering Baldwin is one of the best talk-show guests of all time, owing in part to his endless font of intimate insider trivia, we fully expect to read some great tales out of school.
The Many Facets of Baldwin
Put bluntly, Alec Baldwin is fascinating. When he first became a star it was easy to dismiss him as a very pretty man with a great voice, but over time it has become clear what a layered performer he is. He initially intended to go into politics, and still occasionally hints at a political run (which seems more viable than ever these days). He has had struggles with drugs and alcohol and has admitted that sobriety is challenging to him. He’s outspoken and has had plenty of public embarrassments stemming from his temper and the occasional ill-advised public comment. Nevertheless promises to dig into his family dramas—and considering his brothers are also actors, that ought to be really, really interesting.
He’s Surprising—and a Surprisingly Good Writer
Nevertheless isn’t Baldwin’s first book—that would be 2008’s A Promise to Ourselves, which topped the bestseller lists. That book was a surprise: instead of a wide-ranging memoir or something light and designed to move units, it focused on Baldwin’s experiences in his bitter divorce, and his thoughts on how the process could be improved. He admitted to many mistakes during the process, and shared the moments in which he chose to retreat instead of fight because he thought it best for his kids. The book proved Baldwin isn’t predictable, so who knows what he’s going to reveal or what surprisingly deep point he’s going to make?
Actors often seem wittier and smarter than they are because they’re always reading someone else’s dialogue—but Baldwin’s the real deal, hilarious and smart. He’s lived a lot in his 58 years, and he seems to be self-aware about it, the two main requirements for an excellent memoir—in fact, the only requirements. We’re adding this one to the top of our April reading list.