Alec Baldwin has addressed the tragic accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of upcoming Western, Rust. The actor appeared on camera in a video initially posted on TMZ, with Baldwin taking the opportunity to speak about Hutchins, the ongoing investigation, and the issue of live firearms being used on movie sets.
Addressing the subject of the investigation, Alec Baldwin says, “I’m not allowed to make any comments because it’s an ongoing investigation. I’ve been ordered by the Sheriff’s Department in Santa Fe. I can’t answer any questions about the investigation. I can’t.” Continuing, Baldwin defended the conditions on the set of Rust, with his comments coming amid a barrage of allegations that filming conditions and the use of firearms had been unsafe throughout. “We were a very very… well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened,” Baldwin said.
The actor then took the opportunity to talk about Halyna Hutchins and his relationship with her saying, “She was my friend. The day I arrived in Santa Fe to start shooting I took her to dinner with Joel the director.” Baldwin went on to state that he had met with Hutchins’ husband and her young son following the tragic incident. He declared that he “wouldn’t know how to categorize” how the meeting went, adding, “The guy is overwhelmed with grief. There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this. This is a one in a trillion episode.” Concluding that he was in “constant contact” with Hutchins’ husband and son, Baldwin described them as being “in shock,” as no doubt is Baldwin himself.
The accidental shooting has led to many in the industry questioning whether now is the time to stop using real firearms on set, with a petition on Change.org having since been launched to ban the use of such firearms on movie and television productions along with “better crew working conditions.” In the interview, Baldwin acknowledged that he did not know whether he would work with real firearms again. “I do know that an ongoing effort to limit the use of firearms on film sets is something I’m extremely interested in but remember, something that I think is important and that is how many bullets have been fired in films and TV shows in the last 75 years? This is America. How many bullets have gone off, nearly all of them without incident.”
Admitting that he was not an expert in this field, Baldwin did state that “whatever other people decide is the best way to go in terms of protecting people’s safety on film sets I’m all in favor of and I will cooperate with that in any way I can.”
Halyna Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust when a gun used as a prop was fired by Baldwin, with director Joel Souza being wounded by the same projectile. While the investigation is ongoing, Sheriff Adan Mendoza said at a joint news conference between the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and district attorney’s office that Baldwin fired a “suspected live round,” and that “The facts are clear: a weapon was handed to Mr. Baldwin. The weapon is functional and fired a live round, killing Ms. Hutchins and injuring Mr. Souza.” This comes to us from Good Morning America.