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.’
A tearful 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.
Hutchins, 42, was pronounced dead in hospital in New Mexico following the October 21 accident
‘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, Matthew.
‘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.’
Baldwin said he ‘would be stunned’ if Matthew Hutchins did not seek some form of civil redress.
Halyna Hutchins is seen with her husband Matthew and their son, in a 2018 photo
He said he accompanied Matthew to Halyna’s memorial, and they had spoken since, but Baldwin believed his lawyers were now advising him to be cautious.
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.
He said that in his 40 years in film, he had never had a problem with the guns.
Asked how many guns he’d fired, he said: ‘I have no idea.’
‘I don’t know how that bullet arrived in that gun,’ he said, adding that he would support anything that made accidents less likely to happen.
George Clooney said that he always checked his own guns, to which Baldwin replied: ‘There were a lot of people who felt it necessary to contribute a comment to the situation which really didn’t help the situation.
‘You checked the gun yourself, well good for you.
‘I probably handled weapons as many as any other actor in film. I had a protocol, and it never let me down, until now.’
He said he trusted others on set to do their job.
‘One person has that responsibility to maintain the gun.’
Dave Halls (pictured) was working on the set of Rust as the assistant director, and handed Alec Baldwin the gun that then killed camerawoman Halyna Hutchins
He said: ‘I can’t imagine ever doing another movie that has a gun in it’.
Baldwin added: ‘There is only one question to be answered, only one.
‘And that is: where did the live round come from?’
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.
‘A live round is not supposed to be anywhere near the set,’ Baldwin said.
Asked if he was worried about being charged, Baldwin said: ‘I don’t have anything to hide.’
Baldwin was asked if he thought there had been sabotage – a prospect floated by the lawyer for the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed.
‘No, because I can’t believe a world in which that could have happened,’ he replied.
‘That’s a big swing. That’s an enormous charge to make. To attack who, to discredit who? Me? The production?’
He said he ‘feels terrible’ for what has happened to Gutierrez Reed and Halls, the assistant director.
Baldwin said he hopes the sheriffs office ‘follow this to the end of the earth.’
He added: ‘At the same time, I don’t want to see Hannah suffer, Halls suffer.’
Baldwin said it had been ‘very tough’.
‘I don’t think anyone has used this as an opportunity, except those you would expect.
‘The former president of the United States said he thinks I did it deliberately. I thought to myself, just as I think it couldn’t get any more surreal.’
Two people have filed suits.
Serge Svetnoy, the lighting director, who was close to Hutchins and cradled her as she lay dying, has filed for emotional distress.
Baldwin emphasized that he found it ‘unsettling’ that Svetnoy’s suit was filed before Matthew Hutchins filed his.
Baldwin said that ‘one of the two’ told him outside the church: ‘What happened is not your fault.’
Svetnoy confirmed through his lawyers that it was he who told Baldwin he was blameless.
‘That person has the right to change their mind, of course,’ Baldwin said.
Baldwin said: ‘To be honest, I couldn’t give a f*** about my career any more.’
He said he was not sure if he would make any more films.
‘Nobody gave a f*** who you are any more until this. You see a lot of people with their phones now, in a coffee shop,’ he said, showing them filming him.
Is this the worst thing that has ever happened to you, Stephanopoulous asked.
‘Yep. Because I think back, what could I have done.
‘Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who it is, but it’s not me.
‘Honest to God, if I thought I was responsible I might have killed myself. And I don’t say that lightly.’
He stressed again: ‘Who bought bullets onto the set?’
‘He’s supposed to check the guns, he’s responsible’: Panicked 911 calls from Alec Baldwin tragedy reveal how script supervisor blamed assistant director for death of cinematographer – but why did ANY of the guns have live ammo?
The audio recordings of 911 calls made by the crew of Alec Baldwin’s film Rust have revealed desperate attempts to save their colleague, and allegations of negligence.
Mamie Mitchell, the script supervisor of the film, made the call after Baldwin accidentally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, and director Joel Souza, 48.
The group were filming the Western film in the desert outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, on Thursday when the tragedy happened.
In her call, Mitchell, a veteran script supervisor with credits dating back to 1974, points the finger at the assistant director, accusing him of negligence.
Mitchell calls 911 and tells the woman answering: ‘We need an ambulance out at Bonanza Creek Ranch right now. We have had two people accidentally shot on a movie set accidentally.’
While she is on the phone, Mitchell is instructing another person to ‘clear the road’ to allow the ambulance easy access to the site.
Mitchell is then transferred to the Santa Fe fire and EMS, and, sounding panicked, urges a swift response.
‘Bonanza Creek ranch. We have had two people accidentally shot on a movie set by a prop gun.
‘We need help immediately. Bonanza Creek ranch. Come on.’
David Halls is the Assistant Director of Rust, the Western movie Baldwin was acting in and producing when he accidentally killed Hutchins on Thursday and wounded director Joel Souza
The 911 operators then asks Mitchell for her details.
Mitchell, who has worked on films including No Country For Old Men, Sicario and 3:10 to Yuma, can be heard saying: ‘It sounds like somebody else is calling for ambulances.
‘Everybody should be. We need some help.
‘Our director and our camerawoman has been shot.’
She then asks someone on set: ‘Are they going to take him to the road?’
The 911 operator asks: ‘So, was it loaded with a real bullet or what?’
Mitchell replies: ‘I don’t, I cannot tell you that. We have two injuries from a movie gunshot.’
While the phone operator is inputting the details, Mitchell can be heard telling someone else: ‘OK, this f****** AD that yelled at me at lunch asking about revisions, this motherf*****.
‘Did you see him lean over my desk and yell at me? He’s supposed to check the guns. He’s responsible for what happened.’
According to a search warrant filed in a Santa Fe court, the gun was one of three that the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez, had set on a cart outside the wooden structure where a scene was being acted.
Assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds, a detective wrote in the search warrant application.
It is not known whether Mitchell was referring Halls in the audio.
It was unclear how many rounds were fired. Gutierrez removed a shell casing from the gun after the shooting, and she turned the weapon over to police when they arrived, the court records say.
On the call, the 911 operator tries to ask Mitchell how many people were injured and, confused, Mitchell replies: ‘No, no, I’m a script supervisor.’
The operator asks again, and Mitchell says: ‘Two that I know of. I was sitting there rehearsing and it went off and I ran out. We all went out there, but doubled over the camerawoman and the director.’
She tells another person: ‘They are clearing the road, can you go back – back in the town, back in the Western camp.’
The operator asks if there is any serious bleeding, and Mitchell, flustered, hands the phone over to a man.
‘Hello?’ the man says.
‘Hi, I have a protocol of questions I need to ask. If you could answer them as best you can,’ the 911 operator says. ‘Are they completely alert?’
The man replies: ‘Yes, they are alert.’
The operator asks if the bleeding is controlled, and the man replies: ‘Let’s see if I’m allowed to get closer… No.’
It is unclear if he is saying that the bleeding is not controlled, or that he is not able to get closer.
‘We’ve got one laying down,’ he tells the operator, adding that they are near gate one and have a van ready to escort the ambulances quickly to the precise spot.
A devastated Baldwin is pictured bent over outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office on Thursday after speaking to investigators
A woman then calls back saying: ‘Hi, I am calling back from Bonanza Creek Ranch. We actually need two ambulances not one.’
The operator replies: ‘OK, so we’re doing a call now for somebody else and we’ll get two up to you.’
The woman, her voice showing the strain, replies: ‘OK. And that’s 10 to 15 minutes?’
‘I don’t know – we’re getting them right now, to you now,’ the operator replies.
‘What? What?’ the woman says, sounding panicked as she speaks to someone else.
‘We have two ambulances heading your way.’
‘What?’ the woman says, then returns speaking to the operator: ‘OK, thank you.’
The operator replies: ‘You’re welcome, bye.’
Mitchell later said she was standing next to Hutchins when she was shot.
‘I ran out and called 911 and said ‘Bring everybody, send everybody,’ Mitchell told The Associated Press.
‘This woman is gone at the beginning of her career. She was an extraordinary, rare, very rare woman.’
Mitchell said she and other crew members were attending a private memorial service Friday night in Santa Fe.
Baldwin described the killing as a ‘tragic accident.’
‘There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation,’ Baldwin wrote on Twitter.
‘My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna.’
No immediate charges were filed, and sheriff’s spokesman Juan Rios said Baldwin was permitted to travel.
‘He’s a free man,’ Rios said.