By Bennett Marcus, Vanity Fair
Alec Baldwin thinks that if Justin Timberlake stuck to only acting, he'd be one of the biggest movie stars in the business. "I just think that Justin is one of those rare birds where it's, like, what a shame that he's such a musical superstar, because he really could have a great career as a movie star," Baldwin told VF Daily at the Roundabout Theatre Company gala on Monday. "He could be doing Hangover movies and crazy rom-coms to his heart's content. I mean, he can do anything," added Baldwin, who appeared on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, when Timberlake hosted for the fifth time. "But you always see those musicians, it's like they have that little side job that they've got to go do."
He says that Timberlake is a lovely guy. "I loved seeing him. He's a sweetie."
Baldwin's wife, Hilaria, seconded that. "I've met him a couple of times, and he's lovely. He's funny!" she said. "And talented. Did you see him dressed up like the tofu? I was hysterical; I was crying, it was so funny." She spent the evening on the S.N.L. set, but, since she's pregnant, they coddled her. "Because I fall asleep at, like, 8, usually--they put me in a room where I'm, like, all curled up with a blanket, and I watched it on the TV in there," Hilaria said.
Baldwin has done two shows with the Roundabout, and spoke highly of artistic director Todd Haimes. "Todd is so gracious, and he's so open-minded, because it's not-for-profit, he genuinely opens the discussion with, 'What do you want to do?'" Baldwin explained. "And if you have any kind of cost-consciousness, where you don't want a cast of 30 people and big, biblical sets and everything, they're game."
The evening's host, Alan Cumming, agreed. "The thing about the Roundabout is it's so fun, nobody gets paid any money, and it's kind of this nice, leveling thing, where you're all doing it because you really want to be there," he said.
Cumming has physical reminders of his work with the company. "I've got the boots I wore in Cabaret. I've got the cane I had as Mack the Knife, when a dagger comes out of it," he told VF Daily. He also had the dress he wore in Cabaret, but later donated it for a charity auction. "I wore it to Halloween, and then I gave it to an auction. I went as a dead flapper to Halloween."
This reverence for the Roundabout drew a slew of high-profile actors and directors, like Carla Gugino, Maggie Grace, Dylan Baker, Alex Timbers and Walter Bobbie, to the gala at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan. Performers included Laura Osnes, currently starring in Cinderella on Broadway, Jane Krakowski, Laura Benanti and Stephanie J. Black.
Victor Garber is still basking in the glow of Argo's award-season success. "We were at the Vanity Fair dinner, it was the most thrilling night," Garber said before we could ask. "It was, like, a once-in-a-lifetime, extraordinary event for us. We loved it."
Denis O'Hare was in the Cabaret production with Cumming, and recalled moving the show to Studio 54 after a building collapsed on the original venue. "We got to sort of creep around those hallways and look for, you know, Liza's other hip, and other detritus and things like that,"he said. "And there was this safe, the famous safe, which is still in Studio 54. It was in Blair Brown's dressing room, and we couldn't get into it. No one's gotten into it to this day--we don't know what's in there. Who knows? It's probably condoms, nothing good."
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