Produced by HuffPost's Eyes & Ears Citizen Journalism Unit
Alec Baldwin joined Fordham Law School professor and novelist Thane Rosenbaum for a conversation at The Forum on Law, Culture and Society Wednesday night. He discussed his life-long interest in law, including his portrayals of crusading lawyers in the films Ghosts of Mississippi, Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial, and The Confession. Off-screen, his legal drama with ex-wife, Kim Bassinger, has supplied fodder to tabloids for nearly a decade. Their bitter custody battle inspired his book, A Promise to Ourselves, in which he criticized the treatment of fathers in family court. Accusing the California court system of profiting off drawn-out court proceedings Baldwin said, "The judges are like pit bosses at a Vegas casino whose obligation is to make sure everyone stays at the table and keeps gaming [but] where there was no money to be pumped out, it was over very quickly." Lengthy custody battles essentially, "run out the clock" of a child's life, he said. "You want to show them the world through your eyes, your values. Your window of opportunity to impart what you want to impart to the child is gone." Baldwin also spoke passionately about his work as a renewable energy advocate and the health risks associated with nuclear waste, particularly the contamination of Tom's River in New Jersey, an issue he has blogged about on the Huffington Post. His condemnation of the nuclear power industry and the lack of political leadership in communities at risk drew applause. "Jon Corzine stood me up twice," he said. "He ran chicken shit from this issue." Asked if he'd considered running for office, Baldwin said, "Yeah, maybe." Though he conceded that actors do not always make good political advocates.
"It's hard to change public perception of actors as drug addled, fornicating maniacs." Baldwin said referring to media portrayals.