Alec Baldwin has broken down in tears as he told in his first TV interview about the fatal shooting of Halyna Hutchins on set.
Baldwin, 63, produced the film Rust as well as starred in it, and was full of praise for Hutchins, who he shot and killed on October 21.
‘Halyna and I had something profound in common: we both presumed the gun was empty,’ he told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos.
Baldwin said he was unaware of Hutchins’s work until he was introduced to her by the film’s director, Joel Souza.
‘I knew nothing about her til Joel said ‘I got her’,’ Baldwin said.
‘She was fantastic.’
Alec Baldwin spoke to George Stephanopoulos for an interview that aired on Thursday night
Halyna Hutchins was described by Baldwin as ‘fantastic’, as he paid tribute to her vision and professionalism
Halyna Hutchins is seen with head electrician on the Rust movie set, Serge Svetnoy
Hutchins’ October 19, 2021 Instagram post showed cast members and staffers, including Baldwin alongside Hutchins herself and armorer Gutierrez-Reed (circled left to right) on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico
‘Her work was beautiful. She was someone who was loved by everyone who worked with her, and liked by everyone who worked with her, and was admired.’
He then broke down into sobs.
Detectives had approved a search warrant to probe Seth Kenney, a 51-year-old Hollywood veteran who was supposed to provide the film with dummy rounds. Kenney also mentored the film’s rookie armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, pictured above
Baldwin composed himself, and discussed concerns about the budget, and union complaints.
But he then broke down again talking about the film.
He said he rarely made films any more, as it would entail long periods of time away from his wife Hilaria and their six children. But he agreed to Rust because he loved the script, and was excited about the New Mexico filming.
‘This movie made me love making movies again,’ he said. ‘I really thought we were onto something.’
Baldwin discussed the moments leading up to the shooting.
‘It was a marking rehearsal,’ he said.
‘She’s getting me to position the gun – everything is at her direction. I draw the gun, to her marker.
‘I’m not shooting to the camera lens, I’m shooting just off. In her direction.
‘This was a completely incidental shot, that may not have ended up in the film.’
The set of Rust, at the Bonanza Creek Ranch outside of Santa Fe
‘What the f**k just happened?’ Baldwin reportedly asked cast and crew members after the shot went off, and Hutchins suddenly stumbled back into head electrician Serge Svetnoy’s arms
Baldwin says he cocked the gun.
‘I say can you see that, can you see that? Then I let go of the hammer and the gun goes off.
‘I never pulled the trigger. No, no, no. You would never do that.’
Dave Halls, the assistant director who was watching, confirmed Baldwin’s account, through his lawyer.
‘I let go of the hammer and bang, the gun goes off,’ Baldwin said.
‘The gun was supposed to be empty. She goes down. I thought to myself, did she faint.
‘The notion that there was a live round in the gun did not dawn on my until 45 mins later. I thought, was there wadding in there?
‘Did she have a heart attack? The idea that anyone had a live gun did not even occur to me.’
He said he stood over her for ‘about 60 seconds’ and was then ushered out.
Was she conscious, Stephanopoulous asked.
‘My recollection is yes,’ said Baldwin.
He said ‘no one had any idea’ until a police officer showed a photo of the ammunition removed from Souza’s arm.
He said then began ‘the agony, insanity, that someone put a live bullet in the gun.’
Stephanopoulos asked about the photo of Baldwin with his head in his hands.
The live round that Alec Baldwin fired and accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust may have been a homemade bullet, according to court documents
‘She was laying there and she was there for a while I was amazed at how long they didn’t get her in a car or get her out, but they waited until a helicopter came,’ he said.
‘And by the time the helicopter took off with her we were literally all glutted to that process outside.
‘When she finally left, I don’t know how long she was there for. She kept saying, she’s stable, just as you disbelieve there was a live round in the gun, you disbelieve its going to be a fatal accident.
‘At the end of my interview with the sheriff’s department, they told me ‘we regret to inform you she didn’t make it,’ they told me then and there.’
He added: ‘That’s when I went outside and called my wife.’
Baldwin then met Hutchins’s husband.
‘He hugged me and said: ‘I guess we’re going to go through this together.”
He said that Hutchins’s husband and son were incredibly kind.
‘This boy doesn’t have a mother any more,’ Baldwin said.
‘And there is nothing we can do to bring her back.
‘I said: I don’t know what to say.’
Earlier, Baldwin said he wanted to stress from the beginning that his thoughts were with the family of Hutchins and Souza, who was also shot in the disaster.
‘I want to make sure that I don’t come across as a victim, as there are two victims here,’ he said.
The fatal gunshot may have been a homemade bullet that a New Mexico armorer supplied from a previous film where the makeshift ammunition was used to train actors at a firing range, according to court documents.
Detectives are investigating whether Seth Kenney, a 51-year-old Hollywood veteran who was supposed to provide the film with dummy rounds and blanks, may have sent recycled bullets from a previous set, according to an affidavit filed by the Sante Fe County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators continue to probe Hutchins’ death, and have yet to file any criminal charges.
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