Alec Baldwin Says 'Rust' Shooting Is Worst Thing That's Happened To Him

Dec 03, 2021 by apost team

Movies use prop weapons and ammunition to make movies more realistic while also ensuring that actors and the film crew are safe. However, even prop weapons can lead to tragedy, and this was exactly the case for Alec Baldwin, whose prop gun was discharged on a New Mexico film set on Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021, at around 1:50 p.m. local time, as reported by the BBC. As a result, the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was fatally wounded while working as the director of photography on the set of the 19th century western "Rust.” The 42-year-old cinematographer was flown to the hospital via helicopter but ultimately died of her injuries. The film’s 48-year-old director, Joel Souza, was also injured and transported to the hospital from the scene at the Bonanza Creek Ranch.

Alec Baldwin, a co-producer of the film "Rust," plays the main character: an outlaw with a 13-year-old grandson who was convicted of manslaughter. However, Baldwin has starred in a variety of TV shows and films since the 1980s. "Better Call Saul," "Mission Impossible" and "The Getaway" are just some of the actor's most memorable roles.

Hutchins was from Ukraine, and according to her personal website, she grew up on a Soviet military base in the Arctic Circle. Hutchins studied journalism in Kyiv and eventually went on to study film in Los Angeles. The American Cinematographer magazine named her a "rising star" in 2019. She was also the director of photography for the 2020 action film titled "Archenemy," which was directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer.

In his first official interview since the tragedy, Baldwin spoke to ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, fighting back tears as he remembered Hutchins and speaking to the details of the fatal incident.

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video 

Rust movie set (2021), (Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

When Stephanopoulos asked Baldwin on Thursday whether the Oct. 21 incident was the worst thing that’s ever happened to him, the actor didn’t hesitate to answer.

"Yes. Yeah. Yeah. Because I think back and I think of what could I have done,” Baldwin replied, according to E! News.

"I would go to any lengths to undo what happened. I would go to any lengths to undo what happened,” he added.

According to CNN’s legal analyst Paul Callan, Baldwin was told that the prop gun was safe — the assistant director David Halls yelled "cold gun” on set — but, in reality, it was loaded with live ammunition.

“There’s only one question to be resolved, and that’s where did the live round come from?” Baldwin said during his conversation with Stephanopoulos.

Beyond speaking to the details of the case, Baldwin also paid tribute to Hutchins.

"(Hutchins) was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with (her) and liked by everyone who worked with (her), and admired," Baldwin said, adding that her death “doesn’t feel real to me.”

When Stephanopoulos asked whether he was at fault for her death and Souza’s injury, Baldwin said that while he wants to make sure that he doesn’t come across as a “victim,” he ultimately does not feel responsible.

“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but it’s not me,” Baldwin told Stephanopoulos. “Honest to god, if I felt I was responsible, I might have killed myself.”

Baldwin also said that he didn't pull the trigger on set.

According to the BBC, police were dispatched to Bonanza Creek Ranch after receiving an emergency call about the shooting.

The Santa Fe location is a popular choice for movies, especially westerns. As reported by the BBC, Baldwin spoke to detectives. A spokesman told AFP news agency:

"He came in voluntarily and he left the building after he finished his interviews." 

According to the NY Post, the International Cinematographers Guild Local 600 released a statement confirming Hutchins's death.

"Rust's" director, Joel Souza, was treated for his injuries at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, as reported by the NY Post. The Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe County also said in a statement:

"Detectives are investigating how and what type of projectile was discharged."

On Oct. 28, investigators said that there was “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on set, AP reports. Adan Mendoza, Santa Fe County Sheriff, said that authorities recovered 500 rounds of ammunition on set: a mix of blanks, dummy rounds and suspected live rounds.

“Obviously I think the industry has had a record recently of being safe. I think there was some complacency on this set, and I think there are some safety issues that need to be addressed by the industry and possibly by the state of New Mexico,” Mendoza said at a news conference.

The investigation is ongoing, but it’s too soon to determine whether anyone will be charged with criminal negligence. The AP adds that it’s unlikely that Baldwin will be held criminally or civilly liable as an actor, though he could be liable for his role as one of “Rust’s” producers.

“It will take many more facts, corroborated facts, before we can get to that criminal negligence standard,” said New Mexico District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies.

Our hearts go out to the victims and families touched by this tragic incident. Be sure to let us know your thoughts, and pass this news on to other Alec Baldwin fans you know.

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