Alec Baldwin puts politics on hold for "Lymelife"

Tue Sep 9, 2008 5:31pm EDT
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By Ka Yan Ng

TORONTO (Reuters) - If actor Alec Baldwin ever ran for public office, he says he might have to think about changing his name to something more ethnic.

"I'm going to change my name into a Muslim-sounding name," he jokes.

More seriously, Baldwin, in Toronto this week for his new movie "Lymelife," said the U.S. government has long been run by men with an Anglo-Saxon heritage and to prove his point, he rattled the names of off recent U.S. presidents such as Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

The actor, who in the past has talked openly about his political aspirations, said U.S. voters seem ready for fresh ideas this election year, but he's not sure how he fits in.

"I hope (Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama) wins or it's close because if it's close, that says something. A growing number of Americans are ready for the nontraditional. Where I would fit into that, I don't know," Baldwin said.

Baldwin, 50, is outspoken on issues such as the environment, gun control and campaign finance reform, and he fueled speculation about a political career earlier this year when he told a "60 Minutes" interviewer that holding public office is "something I might do one day."

Still, Baldwin said that to run a serious campaign, he'd need the backing of a major political party or movement.

"I think there are many that would support that idea -- that would believe in whatever principles you espouse -- but just as often they would mock that idea until a nominating committee of a major party backs you," he said.   Continued...

<p>Actor Alec Baldwin of the film "LymeLife" poses during the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival September 8, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>