The Boss Baby's Trump link
Alec Baldwin says the animated character he voices reminds him of US President
A poster of the new animated movie The Boss Baby was displayed in the interview room at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills.
It showed a grumpy infant with a pouty mouth, blond hair slicked forward on a huge head, wearing a black suit with his arms outstretched.
It was not too much of a stretch to compare it to a real-life man-baby, especially since Alec Baldwin is voicing this character.
I asked the 58-year-old US actor if he saw the resemblance to US President Donald Trump.
"I can't argue with you there," he said with a laugh.
"There are some similarities, especially the lack of happiness in that picture."
Baldwin famously impersonates and parodies Trump on the US comedy skit show Saturday Night Live (SNL), much to the chagrin of the US President, who has made his displeasure known via Twitter.
But Baldwin does have another career as an actor, and The Boss Baby - which opens here tomorrow - is his latest project.
Seven-year-old Tim narrates the story as an adult (voiced by Tobey Maguire) of the sibling rivalry that ensues with the arrival of his new baby brother (Baldwin), causing him to be subsequently cast aside by his parents.
The boy later discovers that the titular tyke is actually a spy on a secret mission and requires his help to thwart a dastardly plot involving puppies.
Baldwin has voiced characters in animated movies before in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Rise Of The Guardians, but this is the first time he is playing the lead, which required "many sessions over the course of a couple of years".
What was the hardest part about working alone in the booth?
Said the 30 Rock star: "You have to find a way to vary the tone of it over the arc of the film, so you are not the same, and you are not always just yelling and banging and screaming, because people will get sick of that pretty quickly in the theatre."
Baldwin said in his own family, he was a combination of the Boss Baby and the Tim character.
He said: "My parents and grandparents especially always treated me differently, because I was the oldest son.
"I said to my grandfather once when I was six years old, 'Grandpa, why do you and I get along so well?'
"And he said completely blithely, 'We have a common enemy.' Meaning my father, obviously," he said with a laugh.
One of six children, whose three younger brothers Daniel, Stephen and William are all actors as well, Baldwin has four of his own.
With first wife, actress Kim Basinger, he has daughter Ireland, now 22 and a model-actress. He and second wife, yoga instructor Hilaria, are parents to Carmen, four, Rafael, two, and six-month-old Leonardo.
Now he hosts TV game show Match Game, which some would consider a step down, but he doesn't see it that way.
He said: "I don't care any more about what people think of me. We have fun, they pay me a lot of money, and more importantly, I stay home with my wife and kids. All my jobs and everything that I do is built around (that)."
But perhaps the role that he has received worldwide attention and acclaim for of late is his portrayal of Mr Trump on SNL.
He almost didn't take up the gig as he was scheduled to do a movie in Louisiana.
Even though he was offered film studio Universal's corporate jet to fly him to New York on weekends for the SNL taping, he asked his agent to get him out of the commitment.
Then the movie fell apart, and the rest is history.
He watched tapes of Mr Trump as part of the preparation but didn't do much else.
Said Balwin: "You don't need to do him that well. If you have an approximation, the wig takes care of the physical. And the rest of it is the writing.
"Others have made him kind of playful or silly. I didn't see any of that. I wanted to present him, without going too far, that he was kind of malicious.
"Trump is really somebody who, even when he wins, he Is not happy.
"He won, and he was as bitter and miserable after he won as he was before he won, which was just completely a mystery to me. So I try to play a guy who is miserable no matter what happens," Baldwin said with a laugh.
Both being New Yorkers, he said he has run into Mr Trump once or twice and had quick exchanges with him, but doesn't know him personally at all.
"I can't imagine that I am going to do this (SNL) much longer," he added.
"If things continue along the path they are on now, we are literally going to find ourselves in a place which is beyond satire... and people are going to start to get really, really worried about what is going to happen."