Despite his past comments that he was done impersonating Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, Alec Baldwin returned to the show for its 45th season premiere. The actor spoke about his decision to reprise the role when he stopped by The Tonight Show on Sunday.
“I said to them — and it was not with any malice or any lack of affection for them — I said, ‘I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want to do the Trump thing again. I’m gonna stop,'” he told host Jimmy Fallon.
He added that he was convinced to return for the current season by the “Lorne Michaels Jedi mind trick thing.” Baldwin explained, “He called me the Friday before the show — the day before the show — and he’s like, ‘I don’t think you understand.’ And I go, ‘What don’t I understand? I’ve been thinking about it all summer. Every day, it’s all I think about.'”
The actor continued his impression of Michaels and recalled that the SNL boss said, “I don’t think you understand how important this is.”
“Lorne starts with one very powerful premise, which is, ‘I hired you, didn’t I? So my judgment is flawless, right? I gave you your biggest job, didn’t I?’ And you’re like, ‘Yeah, you got a point. You hired me, so I really shouldn’t doubt you,'” he said.
“So he said to me, ‘You should come do it. Your audience demands it,’ or something like that,” he continued. “So I came and I did it, and I’m going to do it a few times.”
Baldwin added that he has received mixed messages about his impression of Trump. While some people stop him on the street and share their own impressions, others are much more critical about his performance. “It’s like a bunch of construction workers and they’re like, ‘There he is. That asshole Alec Baldwin,'” he said.
While promoting the hybrid documentary Framing John DeLorean in May, Baldwin shared his plans to stop playing Trump on the NBC series with The Hollywood Reporter. “The Trump thing is going to end very soon. I can’t do it any longer, I’m right there,” he said. “You know what it is. In the last year, everything in my life is governed by one thing, which is my wife and my children. I’m 61 years old and I have four kids, five and under. So that has a profound effect on my life. During the past year, I worked a little bit, things here and there, but nothing major. And I could afford on those Saturdays to do the show here and there. This season, I probably will have done eight of them. Now I’m going to go back to work a lot in the fall, and therefore the weekends will be much more precious to me with my wife and kids.”
The actor added, “Plus, there’s a lot of people out there who can play Trump.”
Watch Baldwin’s appearance on The Tonight Show below.