The actor says he was misled by ‘Fifty Shades’ producer Dana Brunetti and Kevin Spacey about how old his co-star and onscreen lover was on the 2006 film ‘Mini’s First Time,’ prompting Brunetti to say: “He’s been method acting Trump too much and he doesn’t know the difference between fake news anymore.”
Fifty Shades of Grey producer Dana Brunetti is calling foul on claims made by Alec Baldwin in his new memoir, Nevertheless.
In the book, published Tuesday, Baldwin claims that when he shot the 2006 indie Mini’s First Time, he was misled by the producers about the age of his co-star Nikki Reed, with whom he engages in sex scenes.
“I was forty-seven, and it never occurred to me to ask how old Nikki Reed was. When I found out, just as we finished, that she was seventeen, I flipped out on the producers, who had told me something different,” Baldwin writes.
Brunetti, who produced the film along with Kevin Spacey and Evan Astrowsky, says that not only was Baldwin aware of Reed’s age (the Twilight star was, in fact, 16 at the time), but also that nothing was ever hidden from him and there was never any incident where the actor later berated the producers over her age.
“It’s a lie,” Brunetti tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I read it and was like, ‘What the f—. Of course he totally knew how old she was. That’s why there’s no nudity in the movie. He knew before we even cast the movie. I think he’s been method acting Trump too much and he doesn’t know the difference between fake news anymore.”
Though nudity under 18 is potentially allowable under California law, it would need to be approved by the Child Labor Board. At the age of 17, Thora Birch briefly appeared topless in American Beauty, but it was not in a sex scene. But because Mini’s First Time involved sex scenes between Baldwin and Reed, nudity would not have been approved.
Astrowsky also backed up Brunetti’s version.
“What Alec says happened is not accurate. I completely corroborate that,” Astrowsky tells THR. “We were on set every day. The thing that Alec must remember is that Mini, played by Nikki, is a sophomore in high school. I don’t know what else to say, except Alec, watch the movie. As for yelling at us after the movie, it absolutely never happened.”
And the film’s writer and director Nick Guthe also threw water on Baldwin’s version of events.
“We all knew she was 16. When we discussed it at first, it was a question of meeting with her and making sure she was mature enough to handle the role,” Guthe tells THR. “On the set, Nikki, being 16, would often speak quickly the way teenagers do, and Alec asked me about that at times because he had trouble understanding her, and I would remind him, ‘She’s 16.’”
Guthe says he is surprised that Baldwin’s story wasn’t fact-checked by publisher Harper (Even Baldwin’s age is incorrectly stated. He was 46 when the film shot in October 2004 in Los Angeles)
Brunetti, who shares the same CAA agent as Baldwin and Spacey, recalls that during casting, it came down to four actresses, and the actor handpicked Reed, who also was repped by CAA at the time. Also undercutting Baldwin’s claim is the fact that Reed’s biggest role at that point was the 2003 breakout Thirteen, the title of which references Reed’s character’s (and the actress’) age.
What has Brunetti fuming is that Baldwin would malign the producers’ reputations.
“If he had just said, ‘I didn’t know her age,’ I would have thought, ‘He’s a liar,’ and let it go,” says Brunetti. “But when he blamed the producers, I couldn’t let it go. It [makes us look like] we did something unethical or shady or hid something. It makes me look bad. It makes Evan look bad. Does he realize Kevin was a producer?”
Baldwin declined to comment, while Spacey hasn’t responded to THR‘s request for a response.
As for Astrowsky’s reaction to being thrown under the bus by Baldwin, he says. “And here I was gonna vote for him for president in 2020. He just lost my vote.”