Actor Alec Baldwin has given his first interview about the fatal shooting on the set of the film Rust that claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
The actor sat down with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos to detail the moments leading up to the tragedy – and spoke of its aftermath.
Hutchins died after a gun being held by Baldwin went off during a rehearsal for a scene.
But during the ABC interview Baldwin said he “never pulled the trigger”.
Moments before the shooting, Baldwin recalled being told that the “gun is empty”.
The actor said he recalled being told by Hutchins, to hold the gun out in her direction, “right below her armpit.”
“I said to her, ‘in this scene, I’m going to cock the gun, do you want to see that?’” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said Hutchins told him to cock the gun, he said.
“I let go of the hammer and the gun goes off,” Baldwin said. “I never pulled the trigger.”
An attorney for Dave Halls, the assistant director, corroborated Baldwin’s claim that he never pulled the trigger, telling ABC on Thursday that her client has said “the entire time Baldwin had his finger outside the trigger guard, parallel to the barrel.”
Baldwin sat down with ABC to clear up what he said was “a number of misconceptions”.
A live round isn’t supposed to be anywhere near the set
He said he wanted to address them while the investigation into the shooting continues.
“I really feel like I can’t wait for that process to end in February or March,” he said.
The actor also provided some insights into how the gun was handled on the film set by himself and the armourer Hannah Gutierrez Reed.
“In the protocols of the business, Hannah would hand me the gun 99 per cent of the time, whatever, the preponderance of the time,” Baldwin said.
“But when we would say cut, if Hannah was away from the set, I would hand [assistant director David] Halls the gun.”
Baldwin also addressed whether Reed was overworked on the set.
“No, I assume that everyone that is shooting a lower budget film is stretched, myself included,” Baldwin said. “I got no complaints from her or the prop department.”
Following the shooting, Baldwin said it didn’t even dawn on him that there was a live round in the gun until about 45 minutes after the tragedy.
“She’s laying there and I go, ‘did she get hit by wadding? Was there a blank?” Baldwin said of Hutchins.
“Sometime those blank rounds have a wadding inside that packs, it’s like a cloth that packs the gunpowder in. Sometimes wadding comes out, it can hit people, and it could feel like a bit of a poke.”
He said he had no idea how a live round made its way on to the set.
“A live round isn’t supposed to be anywhere near the set,” Baldwin said. “I don’t have anything to hide.”
Paying tribute to Hutchins as a “fantastic” woman whose work was “beautiful”, Baldwin also spoke of meeting her husband for the first time after her death.
“I didn’t know what to say,” Baldwin recalled of seeing Matthew Hutchins. “He hugged me and he goes, ‘I suppose we’re going to go through this together.’”
Baldwin added, “I think to myself, this little boy doesn’t have a mother anymore … and there’s nothing we can do to bring her back.
“I told him, ‘I don’t know what to say, I don’t know how to convey to you how sorry I am and willing to do anything I can to cooperate.’
“She [Hutchins] was the loveliest woman, one of the loveliest women I’ve ever worked with and one of the most professional in terms of her demeanour.”
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