Billy Baldwin's next project: Iran

Actor fired up about Obamacare, presidential politics, and Iran


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 29th, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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LAURA INGRAHAM, HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, acting and activism. For the movie star Billy Baldwin, they go hand in hand, and at the moment he's using his latest project to bring attention to an international threat halfway around the world. We're talking about Iran. Billy Baldwin joins us now.

Hey, Billy. Long time no see.

BILLY BALDWIN, ACTOR: Hi, Laura. Good to see you. It's been eight years. Thank you for having me.

INGRAHAM: Absolutely. Let's talk about "A Time to Betray." You bought the rights to this huge international best seller. Tell us about it and when can we expect to see it.

BALDWIN: My father was a political science teacher, and I studied political science. And I attended university from '81 to '85. So the latter years of my high-school years and all of my college years were the end of Carter and the Iranian hostage crisis. Reagan takes over, the hostages are released. I'm studying political science with an emphasis -- they have an emphasis in political science -- on the Arab-Israeli conflicts. So every speakeasy, every beer that I had, every dormitory, every lecture hall I was in, this is what we were talking about.

INGRAHAM: We were just playing Frisbee in my school.

BALDWIN: And what else. You went to UVA?

INGRAHAM: No, Dartmouth. That was law. Yes. OK, so you did that.

BALDWIN: My friend Reza Karida (ph), which is not his real name. I don't know his real name. So he is growing up in Tehran. He attends university in the '70s and comes to the United States like many others. He comes back during college several times. More democracy and more openness and more freedom, more art, more culture. Universities popping up all over the place. Then there's a sweeping tide to remove the Shaw, because he's a despicable corrupt leader. He's gone. Dies of cancer.

And in comes the ayatollah at a very interesting time for my friend, Reza. He becomes a member of the elite Republican Guard in their intelligence division. Has to come back to the United States because his aunt is ill and makes contact with the CIA. And it becomes a deep-cover agent inside the CIA, providing the best and most interesting and most valuable intelligence to the CIA and Reagan for about a ten-year period.

INGRAHAM: And you're playing?

BALDWIN: I'm not playing -- no, no, no. I will not be playing an Iranian intelligence officer. I'm producing this. I may play a CIA agent who was his contact in the CIA who he was reporting to.

INGRAHAM: And what about -- you've been tracking the debate in Washington on the health-care issue, the Supreme Court. I don't even know what your political background is. You kind of -- you kind of keep it, seemingly, keep it under wraps.

BALDWIN: Yes. I used to work on the Hill for Tom Downey (ph). You remember?

INGRAHAM: Oh, yes.

BALDWIN: He was a congressman from Long Island.

INGRAHAM: Democrat.

BALDWIN: Yes. And, you know, it was interesting TO BE here yesterday when I was doing "FOX & Friends" and everybody was saying this is it for Obama care. This is it for Obama care. It's over.

INGRAHAM: Yes. I was one of those people.

BALDWIN: Everybody got caught with their pants down.


BALDWIN: I don't think it's fair. I think it's a little bit disingenuous. Because for example, you buy a pack of cigarettes in New York. In California it costs $6. You buy a pack of cigarettes in California. Here, it costs $15. You're being paid for the sin tax.

I have no problem with there being a tax for people. I don't want people to be forced to opt into this insurance, but if they don't want it and they come crawling into the emergency room and they ant healthcare or one of their kids is sick, I don't want you to pay for it. I don't want to pay for it. I think they should pay for it. So if they opt out, they don't want insurance and they're forced to pay a penalty for that, going to pay a tax for that, I don't have a problem with that.

INGRAHAM: Yes. You're going to a wedding this weekend.


INGRAHAM: Your brother is tying the knot.

BALDWIN: Is tying the knot. Yes.

INGRAHAM: At family dinners do you win the family dinner arguments? Do they get loud at Thanksgiving?

BALDWIN: They get a little Geraldo-ish.

INGRAHAM: You saw that, right? I won't guess. I know three of your brothers. I'm not going to suggest which one would be loudest but I don't think it's you. That's my sense.

Billy, it's great to see you. Can't wait to see the film.


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