Alec Baldwin said he cocked the gun but “didn’t pull the trigger” in his first interview since the fatal shooting on the set of the movie “Rust” which killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
“I’m holding the gun where she (Hutchins) told me to hold it,” Baldwin, 63, told George Stephanopoulos on an ABC special that aired Thursday night and then airs on Hulu. “In the scene (being rehearsed), I would have cocked the gun, and I said, ‘Do you want to see this? And she said yes. So I take the gun and I arrange it. sort of the gun, I’m not going to pull the trigger. “
Hutchins told him to “tip it a bit,” he said. “I cock the gun and I’m like, ‘Can you see this? Can you see this Can you see this “And I let go of the hammer of the pistol and the pistol goes off.”
Among the main topics of the hour-long emotional discussion was the trigger and where the live ammunition came from.
“I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger. Never,” Baldwin said after Stephanopoulos noted that “the gun is in your hand.”
“Someone put a live bullet into a gun – a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property,” the actor said.
Baldwin made a moving Instagram post the night the interview aired with a photo of him hugging one of his children on the beach and thanked his wife Hilaria Baldwin for giving him joy and love.
“These are tough times. The world is suffocated by the vapors of hate. But you have given me a reason to live. Our life with our family is all that matters to me,” he wrote.
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Alec Baldwin tells about his shoot
Baldwin accompanied Stephanopoulos through the scoring rehearsal which ended with Hutchins and Souza being shot.
“The scene is about two guys cornering me, and they think I was shot pretty badly… and I pull out the gun,” Baldwin explained.
According to Baldwin, assistant director Dave Halls handed him the gun and said it was a “cold weapon,” meaning it did not contain live ammunition.
“When he says that… he’s saying everyone can relax,” Baldwin added.
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During rehearsal, Hutchins instructed Baldwin where to point the gun, the actor said, and guided him to aim it “right under his armpit.” Then “the gun goes”.
“Everyone is horrified,” he said. “They are shocked. It’s loud. The gun was supposed to be empty. I was told that I was handed an empty gun.”
When Hutchins hit the ground, Baldwin initially thought she had passed out or had a heart attack. “The idea that there was a live bullet in this gun only came to me 45 minutes to an hour later,” he said.
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Baldwin recalled standing over Hutchins for a minute as she lay on the ground.
“Was she conscious? »Asked Stephanopoulos. “My recollection is yes,” replied Baldwin.
After the shooting, a helicopter transported Hutchins, 42, to the University of New Mexico hospital, where she was pronounced dead by medics, according to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office. Souza said was taken by ambulance to Christus St. Vincent Hospital and subsequently released.
Baldwin said he found out that Hutchins died at the end of his interview with the sheriff’s department.
“They said to me, ‘We regret to tell you that (Hutchins) didn’t make it,” Baldwin said. “They told me right there and there.”
Baldwin mourns Halyna Hutchins and looks at Hannah Gutierrez-Reed as gunsmith
Breaking down in tears, Baldwin said Hutchins was “loved and admired by all who worked with her.”
“She had this intensity every day you went to work,” he said. “She (still says) ‘Hello. How are you?’ “
Baldwin, also a producer of the film, was asked by Stephanopoulos if he thought Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was suitable for the position of set gunsmith. Because “she was there, because she was hired,” Baldwin said he assumed she “was ready for the job.”
Baldwin also said he was a “pure creative producer” and had “not hired anyone on the team,” not even the cinematographer.
“There are two types of producers who are really in charge of production: the people who collect the money and the people who spend the money,” he said.
Baldwin also weighed in on reports of crew members leaving the set of “Rust” hours before the shooting to protest the working conditions: “No, I never heard a single word about it.” he said, noting that he had been asked for a better hotel for the crew members.
Baldwin describes the emotional toll of the shooting: “Someone is responsible”
The tragedy came with immense personal toll, said Baldwin, who agreed with Stephanopoulos’ labeling of the incident as the worst thing that has ever happened to him.
“I dream about it all the time now,” Baldwin said. “I spend my day, and I make it through the day. Then I collapse at the end of the day. Emotionally, I collapse.
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Baldwin also said he “couldn’t imagine” making a movie with guns again and was not sure he wanted to continue making movies.
“Is (your career) over? »Asked Stephanopoulos. “Well, it could be,” Baldwin said.
But despite the trauma, Baldwin said he didn’t feel any guilt.
“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t tell who it is, but I know it’s not me,” he said. “Honestly to God, if I felt responsible, I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible. And I don’t say this lightly.
Baldwin dismisses reactions from George Clooney, other stars
Baldwin also reacted to comments made by celebrities in the wake of the shooting, including George Clooney, who said he always checked the guns himself on set.
“A lot of people felt it necessary to comment on the situation, which didn’t really help the situation,” Baldwin said, adding that if it was other stars’ protocols then “good for you.” but ultimately it is not an actor’s responsibility to verify guns.
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Hilaria Baldwin supports her husband Alec through an “unthinkable nightmare”
The actor’s wife, Hilaria Baldwin, took to Instagram on Friday to express her support for her husband the day after his interview aired on ABC News.
In a long caption, Hilaria described how she reacted to the tragic news of the shooting.
“I am here, I love you and I will take care of you. “Those are the only words that came to me when we learned that Halyna had passed,” she wrote, accompanied by a photo of her and Baldwin sharing a passionate kiss. “The horrific loss, the torture of his family, and you, my husband, have somehow put in this unthinkable nightmare. “
Hilaria wrote that while being in the public eye brought the couple “great joy in connecting with amazing people,” it also came with “tremendous trauma when it’s dark.”
“I was afraid that you would open up (about the shooting) because I saw your broken spirit, your broken sanity, your soul in unimaginable pain,” she continued. “Sometimes I wonder how much a body, a spirit can take. I don’t want to lose you.”
But Hilaria added that she was “proud” of her husband for giving the interview, even though she “stopped talking (about the shooting) out of fear.”
“You always encourage me to speak up, to use my voice, to stay true,” she wrote. “You were right and continue to inspire me.”
Hilaria closed her post by noting that she and Baldwin “honor Halyna and her family”.
“My Alec, I am here to heal all your pain that I can,” she wrote. “I’m not going anywhere. Forward to be Alec and Hilaria, messy, strong emotions, but a lot, a lot of love, until the very end”
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The legal fallout from “rust” continues
It is not known when the ABC interview was conducted as new information continues to surface regarding the fatal incident. On Tuesday, an affidavit issued by authorities with a search warrant revealed new details of how live bullets may have ended up with dummy bullets.
A previous affidavit released by investigators dated Oct. 27 contradicted Baldwin’s claim that he had not pulled the trigger, stating that “the propeller pistol was fired by actor Alec Baldwin” during rehearsal, hitting Hutchins and Souza.
Baldwin has been named in several lawsuits for his involvement in the tragedy. A complaint filed on November 17 alleges that Baldwin recklessly fired a gun when not requested in the script.
“There was nothing in the script that the gun was unloaded by DEFENDANT BALDWIN or anyone else,” said a lawsuit filed by script supervisor, Mamie Mitchell.
Another lawsuit filed on November 10 in Los Angeles on behalf of Serge Svetnoy alleges general negligence against Baldwin, Halls, Gutierrez-Reed, Rust Movie Productions and other companies and individuals involved in the film. Svetnoy is described as a chief lighting designer on the film and a close friend of Hutchins.
According to the complaint, Svetnoy was present during the incident, which according to the complaint “will haunt (Svetnoy) forever”.
Hutchins’ husband Matthew Hutchins has retained legal counsel from Los Angeles-based Panish Shea Boyle Raripudi LLP, law firm representative Jaclyn Vazquez has confirmed to USA TODAY.
Hutchins was named a ‘Rising Star’ by the American filmmaker in 2019. Born in Ukraine, she previously served as cinematographer for the 2020 action film ‘Archenemy’, with Joe Manganiello honoring the ‘talent absolutely incredible ”. She and Matthew Hutchins shared a son.
ABC will also air a two-hour “20/20” special next week examining the shooting investigation.
Contributing: Amy Haneline, Hannah Yasharoff, Jenna Ryu and Cydney Henderson, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press