Director James Cullen Bressack reflects on ‘Rust’ shooting, Halyna Hutchins friendship [Exclusive]

Halyna Hutchins

Director James Cullen Bressack has opened up about his thoughts surrounding the shooting on the set of the Alec Baldwin film Rust. Though Bressack wasn’t involved in the production of Rust, he was friends with cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, the woman who was tragically killed in the incident.

In an exclusive interview with We Got This Covered, Bressack explained he thinks “it’s horrible what happened.”

What’s more, the director said he even remembers how much Hutchins had been anticipating being involved with the film just prior to going to the New Mexico set.

“I remember, you know, she was hanging out with me and a couple of my friends before going out there to film Rust. And, you know, she was really excited about shooting that movie,” Bressack said. “My heart goes out to her family.”

The director went on to say he thinks the incident “should never have happened” and that “it’s awful.”

When asked whether the event made him rethink how he handles prop guns in his own movies, Bressack said: “I use blanks in a lot of my movies, but I don’t see the point in using blanks anymore.”

“We should just use CG, it’s not worth the risk,” he continued. “I definitely will be using airsoft with visual effects for the foreseeable future.”

In a tweet Bressack authored when the tragic news broke, the director described Hutchins as “a gem” and added that using rubber guns, as well as airsoft, would be his sole approach to scenes involving firearms when it comes to movie sets he oversees from now on.

“It’s just … horrible in general, all of it. The more information that comes out about it, the more horrible it is,” Bressack added.

Hutchins was killed on the set of Rust during an incident, which also injured director Joel Souza after a prop weapon was apparently discharged with live ammo by Baldwin. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Note: This is the first in a series of stories from our interview with James Cullen Bressack; check back for more installments in the coming days.