Monday, March 14, 2011

Alec Baldwin, Jack Ryan, and Jesus

When I was ten years old, I watched The Hunt for Red October. It was my favorite movie of my youth. I've probably seen it a dozen times or more. In fact, it might be argued that this movie alone is responsible for my love of reading. At 13 years old, I read through Tom Clancy's original novel of the film, and became addicted to reading novels too mature for my age. Eventually, this led to reading Tolkien, Lewis, and my eventually meeting Jesus.

But in the back of my mind, I always sort of wondered why it is that Alec Baldwin only played Jack Ryan once. After all, Harrison Ford is a cool guy, but Alec Baldwin was the original Jack Ryan, after all. Well, our questions are answered in a way, because Baldwin has written a blog at Huffpo where he gives his version of things. He appears to pin most of the fault for the fiasco on a producer named David Kirkpatrick.

Here's where it gets interesting: evidently, Kirkpatrick quickly posted a reply on his own blog, and guess what... Kirkpatrick is a Christian now and appears to have been quite humbled by his prideful existence for years as a producer.
In those days, both of us were unbridaled; we were big personalities. We were not under God. And we were not exactly meek. In fact, we believed we were golden, immortal and incapable of death; albeit he was the tall and good-looking god and I was the balding, beady-eyed one...

Fundamentally, the reason that Alec Baldwin and I ended our relationship over the character of the Jack Ryan franchise was an issue of trust. We did not trust one another to continue in the enterprise. The negotiations to continue as Jack Ryan had drawn out for almost a year and he was nervous over controls, as he was the man on camera and he had a right to be; yet, I had a responsibility, working for a publicly-traded company to keep the franchise alive.
Then Kirkpatrick gets very unpopular:
The greatest myth of the Twenty First century is that people are good. We aren’t. We’re not morally neutral. I know that’s a terribly unpopular thing to say in the world today, but it happens to be true. The fundamental problem with learning how to reason through ethical solutions is that it doesn’t give you a mechanism to override your natural tendency to do what is wrong. This is what C.S. Lewis-whose writings including Mere Christianity, have had such a profound influence on my life says. It’s not inclusive or popular or in vogue , but the only way to get beyond ourselves is to let God take over. As John the Baptist said,“ He becomes more as I become less” At the center of Christ’s teaching are only two fundamental laws: love God, love others.
He concludes:
Life is a miracle. And today, Alex Baldwin is going to be surprised with his Google alert tonight when he goes to his bed realizing he is linked not only to me and Charlie Sheen, but also to C S Lewis, Harrison Ford and Jesus Christ.
These are the sorts of surprises that I really enjoy when I get Google news alerts on celebrities. I also love reading the comments on Alec Baldwin's blog page seeing how uncomfortable people get when they see that Kirkpatrick quotes Bible verses in his very humble response.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Adam -
    Enjoyed reading your blog. I am still astonished by the prominence of the internet and the power of celebrity. Thank you for putting my awkward stumblings into a Christian worldview context. Keep up the good work!
    David Kirkpatrick


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