Billy Baldwin: William Tells
Billy Baldwin describes the high points of shooting sex scenes with Cindy Crawford, reveals how he proposed to Chynna Phillips and confesses that he knocked out his mother's teeth.
"You can't give away what happens in this love scene because it's really amazing." On a boiling hot airstrip outside Miami, William Baldwin is explaining, in sweat-soaked detail, a sex scene his homicide detective character has with supermodel and film newcomer Cindy Crawford in producer Joel Silver's upcoming chase movie Fair Game. "The love scene takes place," Baldwin continues, "on the hood of an automobile in the autoloader car of a freight train." Usually actors turn coy when they talk about fornicating on film, but Baldwin--whose previous movies include Sliver, Three of Hearts, Backdraft, Flatliners and Internal Affairs, and whom my hairdresser lovingly refers to as "Sex on a stick"--lakes to the task eagerly. His hangdog features contort with erotic relish as he turns phrases like, "It melts into this kind of devouring kiss," "When I put the handcuffs on her," and "She undid my pants and pulled," After he's finished this engaging performance, we're both a bit breathless, and Baldwin offers me a Marlboro Light.
DENNIS HENSLEY: What was it like to shoot a sex scene that hot?
BILLY BALDWIN: Not bad, actually. A lot of times when you're doing a love scene you get caught up in technical shit, like you're blocking her light and all that staff. What was really nice about this sex scene with Cindy was they let us take our time with foreplay--they let us do whatever we wanted. It's no! the stuff in everyday movies that even I've done--you know, like the Sliver stuff which was like, slam her against the pole, and was about fucking. This is more, you know, when you're on your knees in front of a woman and you pull her jeans down and expose her hip bone and you start kissing her there or you press your face into her stomach. I think that is so fucking sexy.
Q: Do you get naked?
A: Yeah, but if you're on a train you wouldn't totally undress.
Q: You wouldn't want to leave your pants at the last junction.
A: Cindy undoes my pants and they're kind of pulled down and then she pulls my shirt off.
Q: What about Cindy, is she nude?
A: She is nude in this scene, yeah.
Q: And how are you getting along with Fair Game's notorious producer, Joel Silver?
A: Believe it or not, I fuckin' adore the guy. He's got a rep for being a monster and he's so fuckin' great. I have seen the sides of him that people talk about, and we do get in each other's faces every once in a while, but he's fighting to make the best picture and I'm fighting to make the best picture and sometimes you're not always in sync. He's from Jersey, he's got that New York edge. Joel's completely out of his mind, but listen, I mean that in the best possible way.
Q: Did you know Cindy before filming began? You worked as a model before movies came along, right?
A: I could count my modeling jobs on my hands and toes. When I graduated from college, I moved to New York specifically to study acting and I needed to pay the bills and it's better to make a couple thousand dollars in one day [by modeling] than to wait tables six days a week. I did a catalog for some department store with Cindy, so I knew her before.
Q: Have you seen that male model that looks like you?
A: An article was sent to me about how advertisers are hiring models who look like actors and there was some guy that kind of looked like me. He had a rubbery face and a goofy, crooked smile, which is more like my brother Stephen than me.
Q: When I interviewed Stephen, I almost had him convinced to go into the infomercial business with me, selling the proven Baldwin DNA in the form of sperm samples.
A: You'd have to, like, cross-pollinate the chromosomes in the genes because we'd want to get the best of all the brothers and weed out the bad parts, man--'cause there's plenty of fuckin' mutations in those genes.
Q: What would we have to weed out of yours?
A: My conscience.
Q: Wouldn't we want the offspring to have a conscience?
A: Not until they're about 25. I was crippled with a conscience.
Q: More so than your brothers?
A: Yeah. No, my brother Xander [Alec] has a conscience. It just depends on where everybody draws the line. With me, I just would prefer to not really give a fuck about things a little more. I've gotten a lot better about [not] caring what people think of me. I don't have time for that.
Q: What are the good parts of your personality that we'd have to include in our Wonder Sperm?
A: Probably my instincts. They're pretty good.
Q: What are your favorite films that your brothers have made?
A: I like Daniel's TV series "Homicide" a lot. Stephen has had quite a few films I really liked: Crossing the Bridge, Seconds, Last Exit to Brooklyn. With Alec, I like the character stuff where he gets a chance to really explore his talents, like in Married to the Mob, Great Balls of Fire!, Miami Blues. I loved Glengarry Glen Ross.
Q: Have you ever based a character on one of your brothers? Like your character in Flatliners, who video-tapes himself having sex--was that anyone we know?
A: That one, no. Sometimes when the writing isn't enough and you have to substitute, I might think about a circumstance as it relates to one of my brothers. For example, if the screen-play says you have to cry, and if the circumstances in the scene don't move you enough, then I'll think about, like, my father passing away.
Q: How old were you when he died?
Q: Was it sudden?
A: My father was a teacher for 32 years who had never had a sick day and the first time he went to a doctor, they told him he was going to die. He was 55 and he kind of died suddenly.
Q: Did you have him for a teacher?
A: No. My father was the coach across town at the other high school. He'd come home and tell me that he had dressed up the tackling dummies--for his defensive backs to hit-- in my jersey. He'd say, "You should know that when the number five is embedded in the back of your head, his name was Kevin LaFlare, the hardest hitting motherfucker that ever played football at Massapequa High, because LaFlare has been given one assignment: to render you unconscious." He was just trying to psyche me out.
Q: Did the Baldwin boys ever render each other unconscious?
A: Are you kidding? By the time I was 12, my brother Xander gave me a fractured skull and my brother Daniel gave me four concussions. I got, like, another 10, but I just stopped going to the doctor after I'd get concussions. There was one brother that always beat me up, my older brother Daniel. He made me tough. I got battle scars all over my body from all the roughhousing. It was a rowdy, rambunctious, Irish-Catholic New York suburban upbringing.