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How Alec Baldwin Feels About ‘Beetlejuice’ Now

Alec Baldwin in a black jacket and maroon scarf at the Sundance Institute

By Elyse Johnson |

Alec Baldwin in a black jacket and maroon scarf at the Sundance Institute

(Getty Images)

Alec Baldwin is an on-screen legend, beloved for his performances in everything ranging from Beetlejuice to Saturday Night Live. Though he’s now a family man and established actor, Baldwin first began acting in the ’80s with various appearances on television shows and on Broadway productions. He gained further recognition in the years after, particularly for his role in The Hunt for Red October as Jack Ryan.

Baldwin’s range of film roles are very versatile. From comedies, dramas, to even thrillers, Baldwin hasn’t shied away from any character. His first big role, however, was in Beetlejuice, and it was one role that Baldwin almost didn’t take. He’s since opened up about how unique his time on set was.

Alec Baldwin learned a lot from the well-liked project

Baldwin portrayed Adam Maitland, who becomes a trapped ghost with his wife. The two summon a wild poltergeist, Betelgeuse, to help scare the current occupants out of the couple’s former home. The film also starred Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, and Winona Ryder. Beetlejuice was a massive success and also developed a cult following after it was released.

Even though the film was a commercial hit and helped shape the actor’s career, Baldwin was almost not involved in the film. In the book Burton on Burton, the director recalled how difficult it was to find actors willing to sign on. Catherine O’Hara joined the project without hesitation, but everyone else was a harder get as “they didn’t know what to think of the weird script,” Burton explained.

When speaking on his time playing a ghost trapped in his home, Baldwin specifically remembered his fondness for working with his co-star Keaton, who showed the then-novice actor an entirely different style of craft.

“The thing I remember most is Michael. I mean, Keaton came in and he knew the secret, because I would act and then I’d have some doubts. And I said, ‘Well maybe I this, maybe I that…’ I was much more neurotic about what I would do when I was very young starting off in films,” Baldwin recollected during an interview with GQ. “And Keaton just came out and he was like the comedy Annie Oakley.”

Beetlejuice continues to live on, even today

Even though he trusted Burton’s vision and direction with the movie, Alec Baldwin was unsure of the film’s potential and thought that everyone’s career would surely be over.

“When we did Beetlejuice, I had no idea what it was about, I thought maybe all of our careers are going to end with the release of this film and we’re all going to be dead,” Baldwin continued. Luckily, the actor’s fears were put to rest and Beetlejuice is still one of the most-watched films, especially during Halloween season.

Due to the film’s popularity, it spawned not only a cartoon series, but also a Broadway show as well. The Broadway adaptation of the film debuted in April 2019 at the Winter Garden Theater. As for Baldwin, he’s still making audiences laugh during his appearances on Saturday Night Live and will star in the upcoming films Pixie and Lamborghini – The Legend.