Skip to main content

Peter Dinklage, Andrew Garfield, And More Respond To Rust Tragedy And Calls For Guns To Be Removed From Sets

Peter Dinlage as Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones
(Image credit: HBO)

While making movies seems like a glamorous and exciting profession, film sets can come with a certain level of danger. The industry is still reeling from the fatal accident that happened on the set of Alec Baldwin’s Rust, which resulted in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. And now respected actors like Peter Dinklage, Andrew Garfield, and more have responded to the tragedy, and calls for guns to be removed from sets.

Halyna Hutchins died in October of 2021, after a prop gun held by Alec Baldwin accidentally went off on the set of Rust. As the investigation continues, producers like Dwayne Johnson have committed to no longer using real guns on set in order to make sure this type of tragedy doesn’t happen again. An actor’s roundtable by THR was recently asked their opinion on this, where Peter Dinklage and Andrew Garfield both expressed support for the initiative. As they put it,

"Dinklage: That should never happen again. So anything we can do to move away from that then that’s our responsibility. 

Garfield: It’s kind of a no-brainer. If it can be avoided. 

Dinklage: And it can be avoided, what you can do with movies. That also calls into question: are there too many guns in movies? We’ve all held guns in movies probably. I always think about that, being anti-gun myself when a character isn’t. But that made it very clear that there has to be change, now 100 percent."

There you have it. Both Andrew Garfield and Peter Dinklage have been involved in projects that used prop guns, and it seems they both would rather see functioning weapons removed from sets. Considering how much money goes into visual effects in major blockbusters, it certainly seems like there’s a safe way to bring guns to life on the screen without endangering any cast or crew members.

Aside from those two acclaimed actors, the always delightful Nicolas Cage was also involved in the same round table, as a result of his performance in Pig. The 57 year-old actor joined the conversation about gun safety on set, and gave his perspective about what it’s like having such a uniquely dangerous career. As he put it,

I don’t want to cast blame anywhere, and I’m not talking about anybody, people don’t like the word ‘movie star’, we want to be humble actors. But a movie star is a bit of a different kind of presentation. Because you need to know how to ride a horse, you need to know how to fight- you’re gonna do fight scenes. You need to know how to ride a motorcycle, you need to know how to use a stick shift and drive sports cars. And you do need to know how to use a gun. You do. You need to take the time to know what the procedure is. Those are part of the job profiles.

Another solid point. While film acting is about emoting and becoming a character on camera, it often requires certain real-life skills. On top of driving various vehicles and picking up fight choreography, many roles require actors to learn how to use a gun. And as such, Nicolas Cage seems to think it's up to movie stars to learn proper gun safety.

The investigation and conversations about Rust’s accident and the death of Halyna Hutchins will likely continue for some time. We’ll just have to see which steps are made in order to make sets a safer place, and if more producers commit to not using real guns. 

Be sure to check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.