Actor Alec Baldwin is speaking out following a tragic film set incident in Santa Fe, New Mexico in which the actor reportedly discharged a prop weapon he was told was safe to use, fatally wounding cinematographer Halyna Hutcins on the set of the western Rust.
“There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time. But nothing like this. This is a one in a trillion episode,” he said.
ABC Columbia reports that the comments come from the actor answering questions from the paparazzi in Vermont. In his remarks, Baldwin mourned the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died after investigators said Baldwin fired a prop gun on set. The incident, in which Baldwin was reportedly handed the gun by Assistant Director David Halls and told the actor it was safe to use, also injured director Joel Souza.
“She was my friend. The day I arrived in Santa Fe and started shooting [the film], I took her to dinner, with Joel the director…We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened.”
Baldwin added he’s been in constant contact with Hutchins’ husband. “The guy is overwhelmed with grief,” he said.
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The actor also repeatedly declined to comment on the investigation, saying he’s been ordered by authorities not to speak on it. “I’ve been ordered by the sheriff’s department in Santa Fe: I can’t answer any questions about the investigation, I can’t.”
A warrant has been obtained by investigators to search the “prop truck” that contained the weapons on set. They said many weapons were recovered, including 12 revolvers and four boxes in a black bag with ammo.
The film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez has also recently released a statement, saying she has no idea where the live ammo came from.
Baldwin said he’s supportive of not using real guns on movie sets anymore and instead opting for rubber or plastic guns.
“I’m not an expert in this field. So 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 it in any way that I can.”
Production for Rust has been halted indefinitely.