At HIFF: Alec Baldwin and Matthew Broderick Chat Nearly Derailed by Raving Fan

"Matthew, could you please let us know how you went about meeting your wife?"

"Sure," said Matthew Broderick. "Right after I'm assassinated."

Such was the mood late this afternoon at Guild Hall, where, at arguably the Hamptons Film Festival's most anticipated event, Broderick sat for a conversation with his old friend and peer Alec Baldwin. Or mostly conversation, anyway, until the wild interruption from the balcony that nearly derailed a perfectly delightful chat about humble beginnings, John Hughes. Marlon Brando, Producers-mania, botched films and so much more.

I'll have full details about all of that tomorrow, but it's worth noting the really good times the veteran actors and their guests enjoyed late in the Q&A portion of the show. That's when a woman identifying herself as Deborah Connelly shouted down at the stage from upstairs, praising both as kind, good-hearted men before getting to her real point.

"I'm a very good, honest, Irish Catholic woman who stands before you now, who is truly telling you the truth," she said. "The Patriot Act is being abused my vicious cousin who works for the Terrorist Task Force at the FBI, and in an old romance with an obsessed fireman."

The audience's WTF's rumbling shifted to the event's more customary laughter as Baldwin began singing the chorus of "Brotherhood of Man," the showstopper from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying -- the exact inverse of which Ms. Connelly was accomplishing there at Guild Hall.

"I nearly lost my life over this," she continued. "And when I turned to the FBI two weeks ago, I was told to 'fuck off you psycho.' Because I'm a Scarlett O'Hara Fighting Irish. I stood up to the Catholic Church. I stood up to city groups--"

More discord roiled through the crowd. "Hold on, now," Baldwin said, smiling to the room. "This is getting good!"

"Please," she said. "If you or Mr. Broderick or any lawyers in the audience... I'm in a desperate measure to have to come here today."

Doing the absolute best he could to sustain spirits without totally ceding the floor to a raving lunatic, Baldwin referred the woman to the usher behind her to provide her contact details. (Likely prompting every aspiring actor and screenwriter in the room to seethe to themselves, "That's all it would take?") Carrying on the audience portion of the Q&A as Ms. Connelly was escorted away, Baldwin signaled to the slightly less aggrieved young woman with her question about Sarah Jessica Parker. To which Broderick replied with customary quick wit and aplomb.

Exciting! As noted, there is much, much, much more where this came from. I'll have a full recap from today's event Sunday at Movieline; check out the rest of our HIFF coverage here.


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