Baldwin recently stated he was offered a part in "Grand Theft Auto 2" as a cop-killing mobster. He turned it down for fear of "ending his career."
For most actors, there isn't a stigma around voice acting in video games. They just make so much money now. The irony is that voice acting in GTA may have been the biggest role in Baldwin's recent career. "30 Rock" was a critical darling, but often low rated. Not to mention his appearance in films like "The Cat in the Hat" and that "It’s Complicated." Beyond Baldwin, appearing in video games hasn't hurt the careers of Bruce Willis or Burt Reynolds. The GTA series counts among its acting alums Joe Pantoliano, Ray Liotta, Fred Armisen, Jason Sudekis, Dennis Hopper, and the aforementioned Burt Reynolds. Their careers all arguably climbed or at least maintained their momentum after their roles as gangsters, corrupt real estate tycoons, and insane B-movie directors. Samuel L. Jackson turned in a Training Day worthy performance as the corrupt Officer Tenpenny in San Andreas, and he went on to star in "The Avengers." He played a cop-killer and did fine.
Baldwin went on to start in “The Departed” in 2006. A Martin Scorsese crime flick where he was one of the few honest cops among a cast of cop-killers, it was a critical and commercial hit, earning Scorsese his first Best Director Oscar. Playing a cop-killer in that movie didn’t hurt Mark Wahlberg or Matt Damon.
The thing here most likely is that Baldwin didn’t grow up with video games, the way the people playing and producing them today did. The Supreme Court recently ruled that video games are protected as free speech, but there’s still a stigma about the content in most games, especially going back to the 90’s, the heady days of Doom and Mortal Kombat. The actor (who lent his voice to 2007’s “World in Conflict”) probably thought he was being offered the equivalent of joining Ice-T’s hardcore band Body Count (known for the song “Cop Killer”) in 1992.
So then, maybe Alec Baldwin will make an appearance in a different video game. It probably still won’t be an installment of “Grand Theft Auto,” but maybe Tina Fey will make that “Dong Slayer” game from 30 Rock into a real thing.
After all, video games are like a thing now. They have actors from movies and everything.