Kim Basinger and Ireland Baldwin Open Up About Alec Baldwin’s Parenting on ‘Red Table Talk’

On Wednesday, actress Kim Basinger made a rare broadcast appearance on Meta’s Red Table Talk, along with her 26-year-old daughter, Ireland Baldwin, for an intimate discussion about mental health, something the Oscar winner hasn’t discussed publicly in 14 years.

Before Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris (aka Gammy), and Willow Smith sat down with the famous mother and daughter at the table, the episode kicked off with a one-on-one interview between Smith and Baldwin where the two discussed growing up in the spotlight and dealing with anxiety.

Baldwin was notably at the center of a contentious custody battle between Basinger and her father, Alec Baldwin, during their highly publicized divorce in 2002. And in 2007, the model and actress re-entered the spotlight after an angry voicemail from Baldwin, in which he infamously called her a “rude, thoughtless little pig,” went public. The 15-year-old incident was seemingly off-limits throughout the episode, as it’s only briefly mentioned in a voiceover by Pinkett Smith.

Likewise, Baldwin spends most of her chat with Smith discussing the pressure she felt to “individualize” as a child of celebrity parents. The conversation becomes slightly irksome when Baldwin claims that children of famous people have to “prove themselves” more than children without access to certain high-paying jobs and trust funds, supposedly. She also talks about being diagnosed with cardiophobia, the fear of having a heart attack, and abusing drugs and alcohol. She makes a point to say that, while her cousin Hailey Bieber is like a “sister” to her, Bieber’s older sister Alaia was crucial to her recovery.

Baldwin also discloses that it was a physically abusive relationship that led her to go to a treatment center in 2015. She adds that she was previously an “abuser” to certain people as well. It’s an interesting topic for Baldwin to speak about publicly this week following a recently (now deleted) post on Instagram where she called Amber Heard a “terrible person” amid an ongoing defamation trial with her ex-husband Johnny Depp regarding domestic abuse claims.

Afterwards, the daughters joined their mothers (and Gammy) at the Red Table where Basinger primarily shares her struggles with anxiety that began in her childhood. The conversation wasn’t particularly revelatory, considering the LA Confidential star’s openness about her panic attacks and agoraphobia previously in the press. We also don’t get any insight into Basinger’s career and experiences in Hollywood that caused her to step away (or be pushed out) from the spotlight after a successful run of high-grossing films in the ’80s and ’90s that would probably make for a more riveting interview.

However, Pinkett Smith commits to her journalistic duties by bringing up Alec Baldwin, inquiring about Basinger’s experience co-parenting with the notably testy film star. When asked whether she and Baldwin “saw eye-to-eye on how to handle” their daughter’s mental health issues, Basinger quickly replied, “Eye-to-eye? No.”

“Alec’s a funny one,” she said in a light-hearted tone. We’re all fine. We all get along—whatever. But he’s a challenge. I mean, come on. We’ve had our challenges. I don’t think Alec was mentally or emotionally available for that talk.”

I don’t think Alec was mentally or emotionally available for that talk.

“There’s things I would go to my father for,” Baldwin chimed in. “But I never even tried to have this conversation in any way with him. I don’t think he would be able to really absorb any of it or understand any of it.”

“He can’t really sympathize as much with it,” she continued. “And it’s not his fault. And he’s gotten way better. I think he really suppressed his anxiety up until pretty recently. He’s really been dealing with things that have been thrown at him. He’s kind of been forced to finally deal with these things.”

While it is not specified when the episode was taped, it’s fair to assume Baldwin is referring to the Rust shooting incident last October where her father fired a prop gun containing a live round, accidentally killing the movie’s cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring the director Joel Souza. Baldwin, who’s currently under investigation by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, has been surprisingly eager to speak to the press following the incident, including in an emotional one-on-one for ABC News last December.

As per usual, the episode ends on a positive note, with everyone commending the “power of sharing.” By far, the best part of the entire half hour is witnessing Basinger’s characteristic Southern charm, particularly when she delivers her mantra during panic attacks—“shut up to your own self”—in her famous drawl. If anything, this interview might have social media petition for Basinger to get her own comeback series on HBO Max.

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