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Alec Baldwin gives first formal interview since ‘Rust’ shooting

The actor has discussed the death of Halyna Hutchins with ABC's George Stephanopoulos

By Joe Goggins

Alec Baldwin in a black tuxedo with a white shirt at the New York Philharmonic Gala
Baldwin was set to play the lead in the low-budget western, as well as produce. (Photo: Nadja Sayej/ Alamy)

Alec Baldwin has given his first formal media interview since the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his western, ‘Rust’.

Hutchins died in October when an apparent live round was discharged from a revolver that Baldwin was handling on the film set near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The bullet also hit and wounded the movie’s director, Joel Souza.

Baldwin, who was set to star in ‘Rust’, was also attached as a producer. Since Hutchins’ death, specific focus has been on assistant director Dave Halls, who is believed to told Baldwin the gun was unloaded, and on-set armourer Hannah Gutierrez-Reid. The Santa Fe Sheriff’s Office is investigating.

Now, Baldwin has spoken in-depth on the incident for the first time. He recorded a broadcast interview with George Stephanopoulos for ABC yesterday (November 30). The piece will air in the US on the network at 8pm eastern time tomorrow (December 2), and will stream on Hulu immediately afterward.

“I’ve done thousands of interviews in the last twenty years at ABC,’ said Stephanopoulos during an appearance on Good Morning America this morning (December 1). “This was the most intense I’ve ever experienced. So raw. As you can imagine he’s devastated, but he was also very candid, he was very forthcoming.”

“He answered every question,” Stephanopoulos continued. “He talked about Halyna Hutchins, talked about meeting with her family as well. [He] went through in detail what happened on the set that day, and I have to tell you, I was surprised in many places over the course of that hour and twenty minutes we sat down yesterday.”

Baldwin has kept a low profile since Hutchins’ death, but held an impromptu question-and-answer session with paparazzi photographers in late October. As reported by TMZ, he told them that the movie is unlikely to resume production. He called Hutchins his “friend”, saying that he took her and Souza to dinner upon arrival in New Mexico, and added that the crew was “well-oiled”. Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, with whom she had a son, is “overwhelmed with grief,” Baldwin added.

The interview comes as new details emerged about the possible source of the bullets found on the ‘Rust’ set, which appeared to include a mixture of dummy rounds, blanks and live rounds. Yesterday (November 30), a judge signed off on a search warrant for PDQ Arm & Prop, which provided ammunition for the film, as per USA Today

The firm’s owner, Seth Kenney, told investigators on October 29 that the bulleet that killed Hutchins may have been “reloaded ammunition” from Starline Brass, a manufacturer of dummy rounds. The investigation continues.