Alec Baldwin Explains Why He's Speaking Out After The Rust Tragedy

Alec Baldwin as Robert Henderson on Dr. Death
(Image credit: Universal Content Productions)

Last night Alec Baldwin gave his first major interview following the tragic events on the set of the movie Rust, events that led to the death of the film’s cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. The actor has made few public statements since the event, but says he wanted to give an interview to correct misconceptions in the media regarding what happened. 

Alec Baldwin sat down with George Stephanoupolous on ABC  to discuss the events on the set of Rust, when a prop gun that he was holding went off while it was filled with a live round. The bullet hit both Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza, killing Hutchins. When asked why he agreed to give a public interview like this, Baldwin explained that he felt he needed to speak out because too much was being said in the media, and it would be some time before the official investigation was complete. Baldwin said... 

Well, I think that there’s a criminal investigation. That could be a while. There’s all kinds of civil litigation, and I felt that there were a number of misconceptions, most of it from sources I wouldn’t really concern myself about. But a couple that I did concern myself about, where there were these authoritative statements about ‘this is what happened.’ The Sheriff’s Department hasn’t even released a report to the DA yet. The reason I wanted to sit down with you was because I really feel like I can’t wait for that process. In February? March? I mean I’m not asking them to speed it up for my benefit, that’s ridiculous.

The major point that Alec Baldwin described, which certainly is somewhat different than the way it had been reported previously, is that Baldwin never actually pulled the trigger on the gun when it fired. Baldwin was working with Halyna Hutchins on how he needed to move and hold the gun for a scene they were about to shoot. She was instructing him on what to do in order to get the shots they needed. He only pulled the hammer back on the firearm, in order to show Hutchins what she would see on camera, and when he let go, the gun went off. 

Investigators are still working to figure out how the live round ended up in the box of what were supposed to be dummy rounds. While Baldwin felt he needed to speak out now, he was not critical of the investigation, and he noted he was only sorry that this accident occurred. Baldwin continued... 

I am saying that they’re going to do what they need to do and I wanted to come talk to you to say that I would go to any lengths to undue what happened.

The gun was declared a “cold gun” on set, which meant that the gun was empty of any rounds that would even cause a flash, nothing with any charge whatever. Instead it contained a live round and the cinematographer was shot. Check out the first part of Alec Baldwin’s ABC interview below. 

As Alec Baldwin said, it will probably be several months before the investigation into what transpired on that set is complete, and several more months before the various litigation is settled. This was clearly a tragic accident. Whether the circumstances that led to the accident rise to the level of criminal charges, we’ll have to wait and see.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.