Ten months after filming ‘Rust’, Alec Baldwin says he thinks about it every day


Prosecutors, awaiting an investigative report from the Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office, weigh evidence to decide whether to pursue charges on Oct. 21, 2021, on the film’s Old West set outside Santa Fe, New Mexico. Baldwin and crew members were rehearsing a scene in a country church when a prop gun in the actor’s hand discharged, injuring cinematographer Halina Hutchins and director Joel Souza.

Investigations into the disaster are focused on how live rounds of ammunition ended up on the film set.

In an interview with CNN, Baldwin blamed the disaster on Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who served as an armor and props assistant on the film, and assistant director Dave Halls, who handed her the gun. Through their respective attorneys, both Gutierrez Reed and Halls accused Baldwin of shifting the blame onto others.

“Someone put a live bullet in a gun, they should have known better,” Baldwin said. “That’s it [Gutierrez Reed’s] work Her job was to look at the ammunition and put in a dummy round or blank round and there should be no live rounds in the set.

“There are two people who didn’t do what they were supposed to do,” he said. “I’m not sitting there saying I want them, you know, to go to jail or make their lives hell. I don’t want that, but I want everybody to know that those two people are responsible for what happened.”

According to an administrative complaint filed this month against the construction company by the New Mexico Department of Environment’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau, Gutierrez told Reid Halls to alert her when Baldwin arrived so she could perform a safety check on his gun. Armor left the church “in anticipation of informing Mr. Halls when Mr. Baldwin arrived,” the complaint states. Instead, Halls handed the revolver directly to Baldwin, the complaint states.

“Why not [Gutierrez Reed] Test that bullet? Why didn’t Halls obey her?” Why didn’t he check? Why did he tell the staff? [it was a cold gun]?”

Baldwin wondered aloud if Seth Kenney, the film’s props supplier, had accidentally provided live bullets to the “Rust” set. According to an FBI report released last week, 150 live rounds of ammunition were found on the set.

In January, Gutierrez Reed filed a lawsuit against the film’s gun and ammunition supplier, PDQ Arm & Prop, LLC. and its founder Seth Kenny for violating trade practices, false and misleading product labels, and false and material misrepresentations. In the suit, Gutierrez Reed alleges that Kenney sold him a stockpile of counterfeit ammunition mixed with live rounds.

Kenny’s lawyers filed a response last month, denying any allegations and asking the court to dismiss the case, but admitting that his company was the sole supplier of ammunition to the set.

“We agree with Mr. Baldwin and believe that Seth Kenney, as the primary ammunition supplier, mixed live rounds with blank rounds in the ammunition provided to Rust,” Gutierrez Reed’s attorney, Jason Bowles, said in a statement to CNN. “We have again asked the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI to test the live rounds for fingerprints and DNA to confirm where the live rounds came from. They have not done so to date. This is an important question that must be answered to reveal the full truth of what happened.”

CNN has reached out to the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office for comment.

“We do not agree with Mr. Baldwin’s attempts to shift the blame onto others. He is not there to decide or apportion the blame,” Bowles added.

In a statement, Halls’ attorney said Baldwin was trying to get away from him.

“Baldwin is pointing fingers at others because the evidence is pointing at him,” Lisa Torraco said. “Halls is not responsible. Everyone needs to stand up. People are pointing the finger at Halls because they don’t want responsibility for being wrong. Halls is the victim. People need to see the evidence.”

Baldwin repeatedly pulled the gun’s hammer back as far as he could, releasing the hammer without cocking the gun — but not pulling the trigger. A newly released FBI forensics report states that during FBI testing the gun could not have been fired during its normal operation without the trigger being pulled. The report noted that the gun eventually malfunctioned during FBI testing after internal parts broke, causing the gun to go off in the cocked position without pulling the trigger.

Luke Nikas, a lawyer for the actor, told CNN on Sunday that the FBI report is being “misconstrued.”

“When Alec Baldwin showed up that tragic day for filming, he didn’t have a single reason in the world to think there was a live bullet in that gun, in that church or on that property,” Nikas later told CNN. Interview on Thursday. “It would be a huge miscarriage of justice [to charge Baldwin].”

‘I don’t want to see anyone suffer’

Over the past 10 months, Baldwin says he has replayed the events leading up to the fatal shooting. While waiting for Santa Fe County prosecutors to announce the results of their investigation, Baldwin says he took matters into his own hands.

“I have hired a private investigator,” he said.

Based on his private investigator’s report back to him, Baldwin said he does not believe he will be criminally charged.

"Rust"

Baldwin said he believes Gutierrez Reed and Halls will not face criminal charges.

“I am confident that neither of them will ever work on a film set again,” he said. “I sincerely believe… [investigators are] They are going to say it was an accident. It’s a tragedy.”

Baldwin said he didn’t want to “condemn” Gutierrez Reed.

“I think that might just be the Catholic in me,” Baldwin said. “I have an urge to say, I don’t want to see anybody suffer. I don’t want to sit there and say you know, go get her and reprimand her.”

“She’s dead, that’s the worst thing ever.”

The shooting of “Rust” was halted after filming. Baldwin says she tried to finish filming the movie in an effort to provide potential income for Hutchins’ husband, Matthew Hutchins, and their son.
The photographer’s widow has filed a lawsuit against the film’s production company, and Baldwin is named as one of the defendants.

“People talk about finishing the movie to honor Halina and I’m all for that, that’s great. But more importantly, we wanted to put money in a kid’s pocket,” Baldwin told CNN, referring to Hutchins’ son.

Baldwin says he lost five jobs since shooting “Rust” and would have quit the movie business if not for the support of his wife, Hilaria Baldwin, who is expecting their seventh child this fall.

“Yesterday I was fired from another job,” he said. “There I was, ready to go to a movie, jump on a plane…I’ve been talking to these guys for months and they told me yesterday that we don’t want to do a movie with you because of this.”

Baldwin says she has feared for her safety ever since former President Donald Trump publicly claimed the actor killed Hutchins on purpose.

That kind of stress “took years off my life,” says Baldwin.

“People who don’t know the facts are attacking me,” he said, crediting his family’s support for keeping him going.

“If I didn’t have my wife, I don’t know where I would be now… If I didn’t have her, I probably would have quit, retired, gone, you know sold everything I had, got a house in the middle of nowhere and looked for something else to do, you know, Sell ​​real estate.”

If he were to return to a movie or TV set, Baldwin says he would no longer work with real guns. These days filmmakers can use digital effects to create realistic guns on screen, he says.

Halina Hutchins in 2019.

Baldwin says not a day goes by that he doesn’t think about Hutchins and what happened that day.

“Everybody adored her as a person,” Baldwin said, praising Hutchins’ talent and character.

“She died, that’s the worst thing of all. Someone died and it was avoidable. It was so unnecessary,” he said. “I think about it every day of my life.”

CNN’s Brandon Griggs, Julia Jones, Josh Campbell and Kevin Flower contributed to this report.



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