Kim Basinger: Kim Confidential

Kim Basinger’s Oscar win for L.A. Confidential is easily the high point of her career.  But the years leading up to that victory were extremely difficult.  Basinger was involved in a costly law suit after backing out of the box office bomb, Boxing Helena.  She was also caught up in a whirlwind of bad press after declaing bankruptcy when her investment in the town of Braselton, GA didn’t work out.  Following those set-backs, Basinger took some time off to have a baby.  At the time of this interview from the April 1997 issue of Movieline magazine, Basinger was just coming back into the spotlight to promote L.A. Confidential.

We haven’t heard from Kim Basinger for some time because she’s avoided the media while: fighting a lawsuit regarding her not appearing in the film Boxing Helena that wound up costing her over $3 million; giving up on the town called Braselton in Georgia, which she had hoped to make into a creative arts center; having a baby; making Robert Altman’s Ready to Wear, which left her in tears each night because she had no idea what she was doing (and yet played a TV fashion industry reporter hilariously); and making Curtis Hanson’s adaptation of James Ellroy’s L.A. Confidential, in which she plays a mysterious party girl in ’50s noir Los Angeles.

Now that she’s agreed to come up for some public air, we can reassure ourselves that she still retains her sense of humor, her belief in the vegetable as the only proper food to ingest, her ability to turn a phrase and speak her mind, her wackiness, her beauty, and her determination not to let the bastards get her down.

LAWRENCE GROBEL: You’ve had an addition to your family since we last talked. She’s now a year-and-a-half old. How did your pregnancy go?

KIM BASINGER: The first six months of my pregnancy I was really, really seasick–everybody calls it morning sickness, I call it 24-hours-a-day sickness!

Q: Was Alec much help during the seasickness?

A: Alec was in New York making The Juror. I have a wonderful supportive group of women who work in my house with me, but while rocking and rolling in bed late at night, you just say to God, “Help me, this is horrible!”

Q: Did you know it was a girl?

A: No, we didn’t want to know. Subliminally Alec and I both thought it was a boy. When the baby came, my doctor said, “Well, this one ain’t got any balls.”  I thought our child might be missing part of his anatomy. Alec was totally ashen. Then he realized and said, “It’s a girl!” I was basically in shock.

Q: Was it a natural birth?

A: No, I had to have a C-section. My baby had been in the vaginal canal with her head down for four months. But three weeks before my due date, she had completely turned. My doctor suggested a procedure where they try to turn the baby [the right way]. Without being dramatic, it was the most painful procedure I’ve ever dealt with in my life. Alec was holding my feet, two nurses were holding my hands. They moved the baby three-quarters down, but they had to stop to give me a rest. Before they got out the door the baby turned all the way back. I just burst into tears. I said, “I am not going home without this baby today! So schedule whatever you have to and get it out!” Two hours later I was in the operating room.

Q: Did you breast-feed?

A: Yes, but I didn’t have milk like these Elsie the Cow women who walk around–I’m sorry! I don’t know what that is about. To me it’s like a fairy tale, these women who talk about having so much milk that they pump it out into bottles. I never had that. I breast-fed for four months and always had to supplement the baby.

Q: Who does she look like, you or Alec?

A: Let me put it this way: how many times a week does Alec come to me and say, “Are you sure she’s mine?”?[Laughs] Does that answer your question? I said to one of my ladies in the house, “How do you think it would feel to be able to kiss yourself on the mouth at the age of 14 months? What is it like to watch you bring up you?”

Q: Whose temperament does she have?

A: I have a temper, but I do not have a temper like Alec. I don’t think two people [like that] could live in the same house, OK? But with these two temperaments, Ireland has started something that every mother has told me happens: tantrums.

Q: Will she ever taste meat?

A: Ah, no. She’s so healthy, and she eats every kind of vegetable on the planet. She eats rutabaga and lentils and black-eyed peas and turnip greens and beets.

Q: So her teenage rebellion will be eating a Big Mac?

A: You know what? I can’t say what my reaction will be at the time, but I hope I will remember myself when I went through these things, when I wanted to wear short skirts up to my you-know-what. Children need to grow up and make their own decisions–how they want to pierce their bodies or do whatever they need to do.

Q: Are you working on another child?

A: I’d love to have another baby. We’ve also thought about adopting.

Q: Any doubt if you adopted it would be a boy?

A: [Laughs] Most of our dogs are females and Alec is always saying he’s surrounded by bitches.

Q: Have you allowed pictures of Ireland to appear in the press?

A: It’s not really about allowing them. They’ve been everywhere. I kept her in the house for the first three months, away from people. Then I took her to New York and I remember a barrage of paparazzi everywhere we went. It was really frightening for her, very upsetting. And I said, “That’s it.”

Q: Alec got into trouble with a photographer–how crazy did that make him?

A: That was in our neighborhood. It’s all in litigation now so I can’t really talk about it. It was right after her birth. I was very vulnerable. I’ve been stalked before. The last thing I heard was Alec saying, “Stay in the car.”

Q: When were you stalked? Before Alec?

A: Yeah. I don’t like to go back there. It lasted a while, and then creepy things would happen when I’d go on location.

Q: Given the problems you’ve had with Disney, does Ireland have any Disney animals?

A: If she’s drawn to Mickey, so be it. But her favorite is Tweety.

Q: Has Alec changed since her birth?

A: I don’t think the reality hits men as quickly as women. Men have to grow into this maturity. They see their wives slipping away from them and they resent it. And they have a harder time with giving up what they were so accustomed to. I’ve been in awe of Alec’s verbal ability–he’s a very articulate, intellectual guy. I’ve never seen him have any adversarial situations he could not deal with. But there’s one little creature he just can’t seem to master. She has him completely intimidated, baffled. He calls from New York and says, “What’s she doing? Let me talk to her.” So I put him on the speakerphone and she hears, “Is that my little so-and-so?” And she’s on top of the washing machine taking her ride, watching the lights go on. And he says, “She’s just having less and less to do with me.” I know the way he feels, but I say, “Alec, she loves the washing machine this morning, get over it. I can’t get a kiss out of her either.”

Q: You told me your first marriage [to makeup artist Ron Britton] was about protection and your marriage to Alec was about clarity. That still hold?

A: I do believe that.

Q: Is Alec still your life’s focus?

A: Did I say that? [Laughs] My family is the most important thing to me, hands down. It’s a whole new ball game for me now.

Q: Is the passion between you as intense–or have you settled into a more married-life routine?

A: Alec truly thinks the focus is always with the baby. He went on the Rosie O’Donnell Show and said, “My wife and I are separating; she’s fallen in love with another woman–a 14-month-old, bald-headed girl.” The audience was so dumbstruck by his statement that we were splitting they didn’t get the joke. The passion goes through different stages after you have a child. You have some great moments, you have some disagreements. We’ve been together seven years now and have gone through a great deal of ups and downs, which have made me a stronger and better person. We have the real foundation a partnership needs. We’re very different in a lot of ways, but very much alike in the key ways. We’re just normal people like everybody else.

Q: This is what Alec said about you: “There’s a naivete about her. She just doesn’t get it. And that’s what I love about her.” Are you as naive as Alec thinks?

A: I feel the same way about him. Our personalities manifest themselves so differently. Alec is gregarious, vocal, outspoken, and he sees my quiet shyness … maybe I am very naive.

Q: What made you decide to do L.A. Confidential as your reentry to movies after taking time off to have your baby?

A: When I first read the script I said, “No, I don’t want to do this.” I just didn’t see it. I wanted something like Jane Eyre. I’m my own worst enemy sometimes when I pick projects. God knows I’ve made some horrible choices in my life, and I’ve passed up really good offers that other people have become huge stars from. [Laughs] I read L.A. Confidential again at my then-agent’s advice, and I saw what he was talking about. I was nervous meeting with the director, Curtis Hanson, because I had some questions about stuff in The River Wild and The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. But he had it in his mind who he wanted as the Veronica Lake character. It’s a wonderful part for me because until now, dramatic, serious pieces have eluded me.

Q: Body Heat-type films?

A: Oh no, I did my 9 1/2 Weeks. I’m talking about what I call “Yea, My Lord” pieces that a lot of women are doing–which are very beautiful. All women want to dress up and do what Nicole Kidman did in The Portrait of a Lady.

Q: So in L.A. Confidential you get to play a serious party girl in a cast that includes Kevin Spacey and Danny DeVito.

A: It’s an amazing cast–those two, plus Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, David Strathairn, James Cromwell. Russell Crowe’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever worked with. James Cromwell plays the bad guy–and I just loved him so much as the farmer in Babe that I hated to see him be bad.

Q: You had a major catastrophe when it came to making you into a Veronica Lake look-alike, didn’t you?

A: Today you put highlights in your hair, but women in the ’40s used to dye their hair solid. Veronica Lake, Grace Kelly, all those girls had really beautiful blonde silk angel-looking hair, but oh, what you had to do to get that! I’ve never dyed my hair, just put highlights in it, but I volunteered to let it be dyed. My hair rebelled. I was there in the sink with this wet hair and my head was burning. I asked if that was normal and they said yes, it’s supposed to tingle. So I lay there for another four minutes and then asked them to rinse it out because it was burning so badly. It continued to burn. By the next morning I had blisters on my head and down my neck. I had to have wigs because my hair started falling off. Not out, thank God. There was no damage to the root. My hair was just breaking off in big pieces. In the last two scenes of the movie we cut my hair short. And at the end of the movie, I told the hair stylist to just cut my hair all off. I was kind of happy with the idea of just getting rid of that hair for a while. And oh boy, did I get my wish. I was almost bald.

Q: You said playing TV reporter Kitty Potter in Altman’s Ready to Wear was the most terrifying thing you’d ever done. Why?

A: No script, no nothing. Fool for Love, which I did with Altman, had a script, and it was a wonderful part for me–it made a difference. [But on Ready to Wear] Altman took us all together and said, “We’re going to go into these fashion shows in Paris and you are going to be in character and not come out of character even if you see somebody you know.” I came from the fashion world and had people coming up to me and I had to be rude to them because the camera was on me the whole time. I felt so horrible. I was doing everything but slapping these people in the face. Plus it was on-the-spot acting. Altman would see someone and tell me to go interview her, and it would turn into these catty conversations as he would stand behind us roaring with laughter. Now we know how it all turned out–the film was just mashed into the wall.

Q: Did you ever know what the film was about?

A: No, I never knew what he was doing.

Q: How disappointed were you with The Getaway?

A: Truly disappointed, but what could we do when God chose to snow the whole nation in the weekend it opened–and it was the same weekend Ace Ventura, Pet Detective opened. We’ve been offered The Getaway 2. The Getaway where? God knows.

Q: For Alec it might be to get away into politics, though hasn’t his liberal bent irritated an East Hampton newspaper, which wrote that he should get out of town?

A: He’s so into politics, with his TCC [The Creative Coalition] organization, which he’s president of in New York. The relationship he has with that paper puzzles me a little bit. They banter back and forth. I think Alec has just worn out his welcome with the column he keeps writing.

Q: Would Alec make a better congressman, governor or senator?

A: I don’t really know, because he changes so quickly. As a kid he wanted to be president. He loves to write columns and sometimes I think he would be best doing that. Or maybe a radio talk show. He would love that, and he’d be great. I don’t know where he might end up, but I wouldn’t be surprised wherever it is.

Q: How might you feel about being a politician’s wife?

A: I knew you weren’t going to let me end it there. Oh God, I just plead the Fifth on that. Alec is always saying, “I can’t do it alone.” I go in my bathroom and lock the door and turn on my stereo real high. [Laughs]

Page 2


Posted on April 4, 2017, in Movieline Articles, Movies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. The first thing that really takes me aback so to speak about this interview the part where Kim says “I don’t have a temper like Alec.” Knowing what we all know about Alec Baldwin today and his quite frankly, long history of bullying, jerkish, a-hole behavior, this is extremely chilling and alarming. Heck, Baldwin was already displaying frightening temper tantrums when he and Kim first hooked up on the set of “The Marrying Man”.

    I don’t know how this exactly reflects on Kim herself as a person. Maybe Alec did have a point when he pointed out how naive Kim could sometimes be. I remember hearing about an incident in which Alec got into a fight w/ the paparazzi when he and Kim were taking their newborn daughter home. It seems like the way that Kim was phrasing it, it sounded as if she was trying to say that Alec was protecting her. Kim more recently said that she when she was younger, had a thing for bad boys so maybe her relationship w/ Alec Baldwin was a weird case of “opposites attract”.

    At least Kim seems to be somewhat self-reflective in that regard. Kim also saying that she’s sometimes her own worst enemy in regards to her choice of projects is another very telling sign. In the case of “LA Confidential” it appears like Kim was too worried about the possibility of being type-cast as a femme fatale w/o looking at things outside of sheer face value.

    I really think that’s part of the reason why her career has in essence, been so erratic (especially coming off of the heels of her two big high points, “Batman” and “LA Confidential”). Kim sometimes wants to tackle projects that theoretically, aren’t really appropriate or suitable for her. So her saying that she wanted to do something like “Jane Erye” is really “pie in the sky” type of imagining.

    I’m also kind of taken aback by Kim’s comments about her daughter going through a teenage rebellion. Knowing what I’ve heard and read about Ireland today (with her tattoos, stints in rehab, lesbian trysts, and sleazy, naked photo spreads), I’m not entirely comfortable w/ Kim’s remarks about children needing to grow up and make their own decisions. Just because Kim herself wanted to do things that her parents didn’t want her to do like wear short-skirts, doesn’t necessarily mean that now that she’s a parent, it’s perfectly fine for her own child to do that. Not to use Kim’s own words, but when you become a parent yourself, you have to “grow up” and not try to create an idealized version of your own childhood through them.

    I said in the comment section previously for Kim’s WTHHT article, that I doubt that Kim Basigner is all that good at ab-libbing (hence why she’s a difficult if not down right lousy interview subject). This suspicion has pretty much been confirmed w/ her comments about. Robert Altman’s “Ready to Wear”. Kim Basinger in this regard, doesn’t strike me as an ideal method actress because she’s too self-conscientious.

    Kim on the subject of “The Getaway” quite frankly, appears to be making petty excuses for why that particular movie w/ herself and Alec Baldwin tanked. I think that Kim’s ego couldn’t reconcile the notion that audiences in general weren’t interested in seeing her and her then-real life husband have sex on screen and what not. I read that Kim before she accepted the role at Alec Baldwin’s behest, had her views being incorporated into rewrites of the script by Amy Jones.

    It’s really sad that Kim’s falling out w/ her brother Mick involved something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place. Kim should’ve known right from the jump that purchasing a town wasn’t exactly the best idea. It also quite frankly, reflected poorly on her. And if you read between the lines, Kim doesn’t seem want to accept any sort of responsibility or accountability in regards to that particular failure. It sounds like Kim is saying that she had a perfectly fine plan and idea but it’s all the fault of the people who were suppose to do most of the legwork. I wonder if Kim blamed Mick for why the Braselton purchase didn’t work out. Maybe Kim didn’t want to go further out of fear that it would alienate the rest of her immediate family.

    Kim’s comments on the Paula Jones matter just reeks of slut shaming. It’s as if because personally admires Bill Clinton not just as a president, but as a person, it’s perfectly fine to glance over any sort of possibly misdirections in his personal life. This is especially hilarious in hindsight after reading a recent interview w/ Kim in which she proclaims that in contrast to Donald Trump, she’s among other things, a champion of women’s rights. Kim pretty much took the “well, Bill Clinton was personally alright with me, so why should Paula Jones have a right to complain or question his character!?”.


    • Also while reading this, I get the feeling that Kim Basinger is a woman who can be very insecure and downright with all do respect, a bit infantile. She’s insecure in the sense that she would bother to try to tolerate a loud-mouth, narcissistic, often ill-tempered douchebag like Alec Baldwin in the first place. It kind of makes sense because Jon Peters said that when Kim was in England working on “Batman”, he saw her first husband being abusive towards her. And Kim started to gravitate towards Peters because he “defended her honor”. Maybe Kim felt that when Baldwin fought with the paparazzi in their neighborhood shortly after their daughter was born, in her mind, he was defending her honor too.

      Kim is infantile with how she equates raising a human child to raising animals. I’m not saying that it’s easy to take care of a pet and to a degree, you have to learn how to be responsible for somebody else’s livelihood. But with a human, it’s way more complex since a human being develops much differently than say a dog or cat. While I think that Kim and her animal activism shows that her heart is in the right place, she none the less reminds me of what Catherine Denueve said about Brigitte Bardot:

      [on Brigitte Bardot] I saw extracts of her book: they were the most horrible things you can possibly read. Imagine writing that you wanted to get rid of your baby son, as she did. Not being a good mother is her problem, but making it public like that… It could have been a very human piece of writing, but in her case it was just harsh and inhuman. I know her a little and she’s a strange human being. She’s very childish. She loves animals, because loving animals is very easy, but emotionally, I think she has a big problem. She’s like someone who never grew up. I don’t consider myself to be a grown-up person but I’m more interested in people than in animals. And I think that if you are involved as much as she is with animals, then there is something strange about your dealings with the human race. She’s like a sauce which has curdled. There is nothing you can do. There is no hope.’

      Kim also based on reading this, appears to have a lax, “live and let live” perspective towards parenting. I honestly don’t think that Kim was too interested in being much of a disciplinarian or setting strict boundaries or rules. In effect, she seemingly wanted to provide her daughter some sort of false reality (especially after she and Alec Baldwin split up).

      And no, I don’t agree with the notion that Kim Basigner could’ve been a good producer. Kim herself in this same interview admitted that she’s sometimes her own worst enemy in regards to selecting projects. The fact that she had to be talked into/convinced to do “LA Confidential” tells you all that you need to now. And lets not get into some of the movies that she’s done in which she had considerable sway in the script like “Cool World” (which she convinced the producers to tone things down so that she could have the sick kids that she visited in hospitals something with her in to watch). Kim Basinger is the same woman whom on the set of “The Marrying Man” unbeknownst to herself, told Neil Simon, that “who ever wrote this doesn’t understand comedy”.


      • I’m not trying to be funny here, but it really seems like you know Kim Basinger better than she knows herself. What really stacks the deck is that I’ve always gotten the impression that Kim Basinger doesn’t know herself all that well, unlike, say, Rebecca De Mornay, who from what I’ve read seems to know who she is. A sweeping lack of self-awareness, I know a few people like that.


        • I believe that I’ve said on this site that when reading/researching about Kim Basinger I get to notion that she to a fault, doesn’t seem to have much of a natural sense of humor about anything much less herself. In some respects she takes herself way too seriously (or comes across as overly earnest) and goes about certain things without seemingly the slightest hint of irony. It’s like Kim half of the time has a “the whole world is against me” sort of complex.

          For example on here, when Kim said that she wanted something like “Jane Erye”, it’s easy to believe that she was being deadly serious and sincere. Or when Kim talks about how disappointed she was that “The Getaway” had the “misfortune” if you will of going against snow and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”, I truly think that Kim was seriously upset and not trying to be sardonic.


        • I also find it intriguing that Kim seemingly blames everybody else (including her brother) but herself over the Georgia town buyout debacle when supposedly, at the time she had to file for bankruptcy, her personal expenses were at $43,100 per month! I don’t think that most average people make that kind of month for an entire year let alone a month.


        • I’m of course not an expert by any means, but I want to believe that Kim Basinger besides having avoidant personality disorder may also like Alec Baldwin (for whom in his case, always seems to have to use his anger and temper as a means controlling those around him), some form of narcissistic personality disorder.

          I’m guessing that Kim in her case, would be a compensatory narcissist since being avoidant is described as one of the features. And in regards to her and Alec Baldwin’s daughter Ireland (and the nasty custody battle over her), you can argue that shut-ins and narcissists are absolutely ruthless about roping their children into their disease, using them as caretakers and whipping boys/girls, and never ever paying any attention to the child’s needs.


        • I can’t argue with shut-ins & narcissists transferring onto their child or children, as I’ve seen that firsthand; it’s pretty sad and unfortunate.


    • Bill Maher 10/16

      I remember once that Kim Basinger said, Alec Baldwin’s temper is extremely scary. She said the man could scare the crap out of you. She put all her jewels that he give her up for auction and all proceeds went to charity to help animals in need. Apparently she was so disgusted with him that she didn’t want anything to do with what he gave her. I can’t stand Alec Baldwin. The man has real bitter issues and he needs therapy because I think he is just nuts.


      reply 27 10/18/2009

      Kim Basinger is borderline retarded. Ask anyone who had to deal with her in the Hamptons when she lived there. You would scream too if you spent 24 hours a day with her.


      reply 28 10/19/2009

      Alec Baldwin paid off all of Kim Basinger’s debts. She is a bonehead who got sued for massive bucks (in those days) for backing out of “Boxing Helena.” She also bought her hometown and then didn’t know what to do with it. There were all kinds of legal/bankruptcy issues with that purchase. Bottom line, she owed millions and Baldwin worked his ass off to pay her debts for her. And what did she do after that? Continued making boneheaded decisions until Baldwin lost it and divorced her.

      Notice he works constantly, she doesn’t work at all. She made a comeback in LA Confidential which could have been followed up by a brilliant late career success story. She disappeared. She is a dope who is not easy to work with. Baldwin is a professional.


      reply 30 10/19/2009



        I have no idea about Alec Baldwin’s sexuality. But I can tell you this: Over 10 years ago, my mom and dad were stuck in an Atlanta traffic jam. My mom was in the passenger seat. She turned to the right and saw Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger in the back of a car. He was beating the sh** out of her, and she was taking it like she was used to it. No, my mom didn’t tell anyone besides me, because she didn’t think anyone would believe her. But I have no doubt that Alec Baldwin is a piece of shit.

        —The Guy Is An A$$hole

        reply 94 07/06/2010

        She’s not a very good actress or presence, but she seems nice, unpretentious, and likable in her roles and in the media, which you can’t say about many celebs.


        reply 103 07/19/2010

        I live in the Hamptons. Kim Basinger is one step up from retarded. She was successfully sued twice for millions of dollars. Baldwin worked his ass off paying off her debts. He totally rescued her from financial ruin.%0D %0D Everyone out here likes him except for freepers.


        reply 110 07/19/2010

        If you lived in the Hamptons, you would be well acquainted with the numerous stories of Alec’s drunken tantrums at restaurants, belittling and humiliating Kim in front of total strangers.%0D %0D Politics doesn’t rise above being an a**hole. %0D %0D


        reply 111 07/19/2010



      Onscreen sexual chemistry can often be purely superficial, and sometimes actors who are in love IRL have no chemistry at all. Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger were madly in love when they made a couple of movies where they had almost no onscreen chemistry. In “An Officer and a Gentleman” Richard Gere and Debra Winger despised each other, but the onscreen chemistry was thermonuclear.

      I’m disappointed that Jon would be with January, who seems bitchy and boring, but it’s probably because he’s lazy.


      reply 18 02/07/2016


  2. Q: For Alec it might be to get away into politics, though hasn’t his liberal bent irritated an East Hampton newspaper, which wrote that he should get out of town?

    A: He’s so into politics, with his TCC [The Creative Coalition] organization, which he’s president of in New York. The relationship he has with that paper puzzles me a little bit. They banter back and forth. I think Alec has just worn out his welcome with the column he keeps writing.

    Q: Would Alec make a better congressman, governor or senator?

    A: I don’t really know, because he changes so quickly. As a kid he wanted to be president. He loves to write columns and sometimes I think he would be best doing that. Or maybe a radio talk show. He would love that, and he’d be great. I don’t know where he might end up, but I wouldn’t be surprised wherever it is.

    Q: How might you feel about being a politician’s wife?

    A: I knew you weren’t going to let me end it there. Oh God, I just plead the Fifth on that. Alec is always saying, “I can’t do it alone.” I go in my bathroom and lock the door and turn on my stereo real high. [Laughs]

    One former Paramount employee (in regards to the nature of which Alec Baldwin lost the Jack Ryan role to Harrison Ford after “The Hunt for Red October) said of Baldwin “He’s very impatient. “It’s his big foible, and it’s gonna dog him. I always wonder how someone so political couldn’t see the damage he does.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: