It’s All Blue Skies For Grey Gardens Actor Daniel Baldwin

Daniel Baldwin is one of the great American actors of our time. With a career spanning over two decades, Daniel recently received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Julius “Cap” Krug in the film, Grey Gardens. His latest project? Daniel and his wife, Joanne Smith-Baldwin, are expecting their second child (a girl!) together. Daniel also is the dad to Kahlea, 25, Alexandra, 18, Atticus, 12, and Avis Ann, 15 months. Fresh off the success of Grey Gardens, Daniel spoke exclusively with Celebrity Parents Magazine about his family, his career, and why this is the best time in his life.

How did you become involved in Grey Gardens?

It was the usual standard way; I had to audition! I got great feedback, but it wasn’t until four weeks later that I found out that I got the job. I guess whoever they wanted before me wasn’t available!

What attracted you to the script?

As an actor, there are two types of roles that excite me. One is when the role is far from your own personality — such as playing a serial killer — and you have to do research. It’s exciting when you get to make up the character. The other challenge is the role when you’re playing the historic person. It offers its own set of challenges. You have to study different aspects of their personality, such as their gait and the tone in their voice.

How would you describe Julius “Cap” Krug?

He had a strong work ethic and he was a straight shooter. He was an old school politician; he walked into the room and his personality preceded him. He was articulate, well-educated, blue-collar and bigger than life. He liked women and he liked to drink, so obviously it was a huge stretch of the imagination for me to play him!

(laughs) It seems like you had a great time portraying him.

I did. I think everyone in my family, on one level or another, is a wannabe politician. So getting to play a Secretary of the Interior under the Truman administration was pretty cool. I’m pretty sure that I won’t be a Cabinet member as I close in on 50 years-old, but you never know when I’ll launch my political career later in life!

What do you want people to take away from the film?

I want them to get lost in the story. I loved movies as a child, and I lusted for a long time to be an actor. The one thing that being an actor has done is that it’s taken away my enjoyment of going to the movies. I don’t go anymore because I no longer look at them in the same way. I look at things from a technical standpoint, and unless the story and performances are captivating, I won’t go. I can count the number of movies I’ve seen in the past ten years on my fingers. It’s always a disappointment to me.

That’s why I’m so proud of Grey Gardens. This is a movie that you can get swept away in. Drew’s performance is great, but Jessica Lange is such an amazing actress. I really wanted to work with Jessica. Being able to share the stage with her is an honor. All the elements of her performance are amazing.

Let’s talk about another amazing woman, your wife, Joanne.

The last two years of my life have been so wonderful, and that’s in great part to Jo. She’s one of those no-nonsense women. She’s incredibly beautiful, as a former model, but she’s tough as nails. She keeps me in check. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a relationship where someone has looked me in the eyes and said, “That’s such bullshit!” Her level of honesty has changed how I look at marriage and all relationships. I know I can tell her anything and know we’ll figure it out.

I think her shooting straight from the hip shows how much she loves you.

Yeah, and that she’s also a bruiser!

(laughs) And now “The Bruiser” is expecting baby #2!

Yes, we’re having a girl. I have a name that I’m set on, but if I tell you, I’m a dead man! I’m waiting for Jo to give me the green light on the name. We named our first daughter, Avis, and there’s a great story on how we chose the name.

Tell, tell!

We were in Park City, Utah, and Jo spotted a falcon on one of the chair lifts. Now, Jo is from the south coast of England, and she sometimes has a heavy English accent. She spots the bird, and she said, “Look, buhd!” and I said, “What?” and she repeated it. I looked over and said, “Oh, you mean, bird!” We laughed about it, and “Bird” became her nickname.

When we were picking out a name for Avis, we looked up the meanings of different names. We saw that Avis means “little bird” in Latin. I said, “We have to name her Avis.” And we did.

When is Jo due?

She’s due August 12th. We haven’t ruled out the possibility of adopting a boy in the future. I’m surrounded by girls now!

Apart from the huge success of Grey Gardens, what else do you have coming up?

I have two movies coming out, The Adventures of Belvis Bash and Chicago Blues. I also filmed a double episode of “Cold Case”. It’s the first time they’re doing a tandem ending, and I get to play a cool military character. I’m going to film a movie in England for a couple of months after the baby is born. We’re all going to go together, and we’ll see Jo’s family as well.

It sounds like everything is going really great.

It is. I’m sober, and I’m taking my sobriety seriously. It’s been a long road for me; I’ve seen how much damage it’s done not only to me psychologically, but to my career and my family. I’m finally on the upswing again. I’m doing great work and I’m proud of what I’m doing. It’s not a fool who makes mistakes; it’s a fool who doesn’t learn from them. I have a chance to redefine my legacy now and I’m very excited about it.

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