Actor Alec Baldwin made his first public comments on-camera about the tragic accidental death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie “Rust.” In doing so he cast doubt on whether the movie would finish shooting.
The events leading to his comments are off-beat. Baldwin and his family have been holed up in Manchester, Vermont with the paparazzi being a constant presence. The video, obtained and distributed by TMZ, shows Baldwin and his wife, Hilaria, pulling off the road to address comments the press would have.
He called Hutchins his friend, stating, “The day I arrived in Santa Fe and started shooting I took her to dinner with Joel [Souza], the director.” Despite on-going reports that the “Rust” set was filled with safety violations Baldwin maintained in the video that “We were a very, very well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened.”
Though the production company has hoped that the film will return to filming after the investigation is concluded Baldwin, when asked if production would restart, stated, “I doubt it.”
Baldwin also took time to address the growing movement to ban live firearms on movie sets. “An ongoing effort to limit the use of firearms on film sets is something I’m extremely interested in,” Baldwin said. “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.”
The tragic circumstances surrounding Hutchins’ death have been part of increased discussion of set safety. In a recent examination on the subject California State Sen. Dave Cortese, a San Jose Democrat who chairs the Senate Labor Committee, said he will introduce a bill in the Legislature early next year that would ban live ammunition on sets, as well as firearms capable of shooting live ammunition.
“It is important that California establish new safety standards and best practices for all those who work in the industry and particularly in our own state,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Those working behind the scenes to entertain and bring joy to millions all over the world shouldn’t go to set worrying if they will return home safely to their family. Our entertainment industry must do a better job of ensuring safe working conditions for our hardworking crews.”