Alec Baldwin has spoken out amid the ongoing “Rust” investigation, fielding questions on camera for the first time since the fatal on-set shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
“I’m not allowed to make any comments because it’s an ongoing case,” said Baldwin in a video obtained by TMZ on Saturday. “I’ve been ordered by the sheriff’s department in Santa Fe. I can’t answer any questions about the investigation. I can’t. It’s an active investigation in terms of a woman dying.”
In the video Baldwin and his wife, Hilaria, are seen on the side of the road addressing photographers who had been following him and his family in Vermont. Although unable to comment on the ongoing investigation, Baldwin said he is cooperating with authorities and that he “talks to the cops every day.” This is the first time Baldwin has publicly addressed the shooting since posting a statement about the incident on social media last week.
Baldwin described the “Rust” team as “a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together” in New Mexico before “this horrible event happened.” And he “sincerely doubt[s]” that production on the film will resume.
“She was my friend,” Baldwin said of Hutchins, who died from a bullet that discharged from the Colt .45 revolver he was using on set. “The day I arrived in Santa Fe and so I took her to dinner with Joel [Souza], the director.”
Souza, who was standing behind Hutchins, was injured by the same bullet. Baldwin had been told the gun was safe to use; at the time of the incident, he and “Rust” crew members believed it was loaded with dummy rounds.
Baldwin also confirmed that he has met with Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, as well as her son.
“They’re besides themselves with grief,” said Baldwin. “The guy is overwhelmed with grief. There are incidental accidents on film sets from time-to-time, but nothing like this. This is a one-in-a-trillion episode. And so he is in shock. He has a 9-year-old son. We are in constant contact with him because we are very worried about his family and his kid.”
He added: “We’re eagerly awaiting for the sheriff’s department to tell us what their investigation has yielded.”
When asked whether he would work on another film involving firearms, Baldwin said he couldn’t answer the question. But he did indicate he would support whatever measures experts find necessary to ensure people’s safety on film sets.
“I do know that an ongoing effort to limit the use of firearms on film sets is something I’m extremely interested in,” said Baldwin. “But remember, something I think is important: How many bullets have been fired on films and TV shows in the last 75 years? This is America. How many bullets have gone off on movies and on TV sets. I don’t know, billions? In the last 75 years? Nearly all of them without incident.”
“So what has to happen now,” he continued, “is we have to realize that when it does go wrong and it’s this horrible, catastrophic thing, some new measures have to take place. Rubber guns, plastic guns, no live — no real armor that’s on the set. That’s not for me to decide. It’s urgent, it’s urgent for you to understand that 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 that in any way that I can.”
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