In his first sit-down interview since the tragic shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of his film Rust, Alec Baldwin has revealed he “didn’t pull the trigger” on the gun in the moments before Hutchins’ death.
The actor, who was practising for a scene on set of the film in New Mexico on October 21st, was holding the weapon when a live-round went off, hitting and killing Hutchins as well as injuring the film’s director, Joel Souza.
The tragedy sent shockwaves around the world, especially to those in the film industry, and prompted many conversations about safety on set, as well as questions as to how the prop gun ended up with a live round of ammunition in it in the first place—let alone in the hands of the lead actor, after supposed routine safety checks.
Now, in a preview of an interview set to air on Thursday night, Baldwin is set to answer what really happened from his perspective in an hour-long conversation with ABC News‘ George Stephanopoulos. This marks the first interview the actor has given since the incident occurred.
When asked if he pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Hutchins, Baldwin said, “The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger on them, never.” Baldwin added he had “no idea” how a bullet made its way into a gun that was intended to be a prop. “Someone put a live bullet in a gun,” he said. “A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”
Asked by @GStephanopoulos how a real bullet got on the "Rust" set, Alec Baldwin says: “I have no idea. Someone put a live bullet in a gun. A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”
— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2021
“Even now, I find it hard to believe that [the incident occurred],” he continued. “It doesn’t seem real to me.”
Through tears, Baldwin also recalled Hutchins as “someone who was loved by everyone who worked with [her], liked by everyone who worked with and admired.”
In the interview, Baldwin, who was both the lead actor and a producer on the movie, will cover how he believes the shooting occurred, how he’s come to terms with the fatal accident and how he responds to actors like George Clooney, who say they always check guns on set before filming.
On Good Morning America on Wednesday, Stephanopoulos said the interview is the “most intense” he has done in his career. “It is so raw. I mean, as you can imagine he’s devastated. But he was also very candid, he was very forthcoming, he answered every question. He talked about Halyna Hutchins, talked about meeting with her family as well,” he said. “He went through, in detail, what happened on set that day. I have to tell you I was surprised in many places over the course of that hour and 20 minutes that we sat down yesterday.”
The same day Hutchins tragically died, multiple crew members walked out of the Rust set in a protest, saying the conditions were unsafe.