Stephen Baldwin Talks Oil Spill, Palin and Obama
By Mike Ryan Posted Jun 8th 2010 03:32PM
What is Kevin Costner's current involvement with the oil clean up? His name seems to go in and out of the news.
I had a conversation with Kevin about four days ago. Kevin's situation now is that Kevin, as an individual, is, to quote him, "a solve kind of guy." Right now, he's got his head down and he's very focused on getting through the process of getting this technology that was developed by he and his brother over the last ten years -- motivated by Kevin's desire to be a part of the solution in regard to the environment. He developed this company called Cinc. And, basically, when he heard about a certain type of centrifuge technology that was being used in the pharmaceutical industry, he developed it to potentially be utilized for an oil spill cleanup type of situation. And this was just one of those things, where, sometimes, these solutions come from the darnedest places.
It's been reported that his solution has something to do with his movie, 'Waterworld.' If this technology was developed just over the last ten years, is that not the case?
Listen, you've seen a lot of different comments on the Internet -- some serious, some not so serious -- about Costner and the process he's going through now and 'Waterworld.' I don't factually have any knowledge that his experience with 'Waterworld' has led to this process. I would guess, on a common-sense level, when he made that movie he was out on the water a lot, so, sure, maybe there was more of a motivation based on that experience. Again, it's nothing more than simply each and every one of us, as individuals ... as we go through life, we have different passions, and Costner's passion is cleaning the oceans of the planet. Now, he has something that actually works, that is part of that solution, now we just have to wait and see if he's allowed to put it into use.
You align yourself as a conservative, though you've not always followed the party line on every topic. Are you surprised that other people are surprised that you're involved with this documentary?
Yes. Even I was surprised that people were as positive as they have been in launching 'The Will to Drill' documentary. Certainly there's been all kinds of fantastic things written about me on the Internet lately, but I appreciate what you're saying because I'm not the kind of guy that really sweats when I take a couple of hits. It kind of goes with the person I claim to be here, now, today. I'm a pretty outspoken born-again Christian conservative in Hollywood and, gosh, if that's not putting a couple of targets on your own back, then I don't know what is. But for me, it's not about any of the worry that comes potentially with all of that on a common-sense level.
Your question is an interesting one for this reason: Your question lends to, very interestingly, opening the door to verifying exactly why this is kind of a cool situation. Meaning: I went down to New Orleans to meet investors on a screenplay that I had written that I was going to direct; just trying to do the normal, business as usual, Stephen Baldwin in his life. Interestingly enough, those individuals, who are from Louisiana, as that conversation went on, quite organically the subject of the oil spill came in and out of the conversation. Somebody came up with the idea, "Hey, does it make any sense to consider doing a documentary on the situation because we have the funds to do so?" Me being an individual who doesn't take into consideration the political ramifications or outcome of whatever decision I make, obviously, I turned around and agreed to sign up to do 'The Will to Drill.' But it wasn't until I got into a car and drove the two hours down to Plaquemine Parish -- which was the ground zero of this situation -- and met the people in the process of considering all of this. This is a situation that is far worse than anybody is expressing at this point. Each and every day, as the situation gets worse and worse, it becomes more of a motivation for me to want to have the documentary be potentially as impactful as I believe it can.
And people may listen to you. You're kind of like Nixon going to China. No one is going to accuse you of being someone with a far-left agenda.
Right, exactly. And right along with what you just said, even the vision of 'The Will to Drill' is a non-partisan vision. Am I a conservative? Yes. Can I say this and that that can sound an awful lot like right-wing leanings and opinions? Sure. But my producing and directing 'The Will to Drill' isn't an agenda I have personally; the only personal aspect of my agenda to create this piece of content is my concern for the future in how we should be responsible, individually, and be prepared to have a solution when these things happen in the future. It doesn't matter who you are, how much money you make or your political perspective -- this oil spill is affecting all of us. My question, going forward, is: What are we going to do about it?
Okay, based on what you just said about it not mattering what your political perspective is ... it is being politicized on both sides. You supported McCain and Palin during the 2008 election. On Twitter, Sarah Palin accused "Extreme Greenies" for being the fault of the oil spill. What could writing that possibly accomplish?
I think an interesting sound bite from this interview is going to be my next statement. I'm not Sarah Palin, personally ... I think she's terrific, and I won't shy away from that opinion. She's a super smart lady, and I think politically, going back and forth and making statements on "how dumb Bush was" and "how dumb Palin is," you can say that about any human being that tries to ascend to whatever political office. If they were smart enough to get to a certain position, you can't take that away from them. So I guess the same could be said about Obama. So my point is: I'm not surprised that Sarah Palin makes a statement like that. Until you've walked in Sarah Palin's shoes and you've been bashed and hammered and smashed and stabbed by the media for the last two years, I can understand when she's going to maybe have a knee-jerk reaction and say certain things to the opposition. It's not surprising. But your observation is absolutely what I'm in agreement with. What I'm trying to drum up here is that conversation. The conversation I'm motivated to have is, "Guys, it doesn't matter who you are or what you believe, the reality is that Florida's tourism is about to be destroyed for the next five years and that is going to cost all of us in our taxes going forward.
Before this situation happened, Obama had just approved more offshore drilling -- which is suspended as of now. He could use this spill as the start of a serious movement to make real change. If you were Obama, what would you do going forward as a result of this catastrophe?
Unfortunately, I can't even for a nano-second place myself in that idea of "What do I do if I were him?" because the "him" part of it kind of creeps me out a little bit -- and you can quote me on that. (Laughs) Now, you have to say, "Baldwin said, laughingly." The point is, I'm going to contradict the very statement I just made. I believe, going forward, if I were him, we have to open a dialogue between the green movement and the oil movement. Does it make good common sense that we move in a direction that makes us less oil dependent? Yes. Does that mean opening up drilling in the United States? Maybe. Let's have the conversation. We're not having the conversation. But the one fact that cannot be denied is that no one is excused from the use of crude oil. Oil touches everyone. It is so much a part of our human infrastructure that in several lifetimes we will not be off its dependency. Now, if that's true, what is the conversation we need to have now, putting down our personal opinions and political opinions to look to the future and look toward the ideas that will be the damage control and the solutions to these problems? Not "if" they happen, "when" they happen.
Stephen Baldwin Snapshots
©BAUER-GRIFFIN.COM Stephen Baldwin walks around Cannes in shades and bright blue t-shirt. NON-EXCLUSIVE May 17, 2010 Job: 100517Z11 Cannes, France www.bauergriffin.com www.bauergriffinonline.com
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