October 16, 2020
The Hollywood actor jumped at the chance to play a gun-running, gangster man of the cloth in the Tarantino-esque comedy-drama set in the west of Ireland. The cast and crew explain how it came to be
It is an autumn morning in pre-pandemic Belfast. Nuns stroll around a disused church brandishing shotguns while the priests are packing pistols. In front of the altar, standing beneath a sack of drugs that hangs from the rafters like a pendulum, is a thick-necked, blue-eyed bruiser in a cassock and dog collar. He starts to speak, trips over his words, then roars a string of expletives (“Fuckfuckfuck!”) before quickly righting himself: “I’m good, I’m good, let’s keep going.” The spectacle of Alec Baldwin fluffing his lines is truly something to behold.
This is the final week of shooting on the British comic-thriller-cum-road-movie Pixie, and the second of Baldwin’s days on set as the gun-running, drug-dealing priest, Father Hector. “Aside from being a man of the cloth and being involved in some pretty lurid dealings, he is a businessman,” Baldwin tells me later by email. “He has a job to do and sometimes people get in the way. Even when things turn ugly or violent, I try to be merciful.”