George Clooney spoke of the deadly inadvertent shooting on the set of “Rust” and blamed “a lot of stupid mistakes” for the death of film photographer Halyna Hutchins.
Alec Baldwin was presented with a revolver by “Rust” assistant director Dave Halls, which both he and the armored man Hannah Gutierrez Reed reportedly inspected. But while rehearsing a scene for the film, Baldwin fired the gun, which fired a live round that killed Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. Now, investigators are investigating both the people who handled the gun, as well as how live rounds came to set in the first place.
Speaking on the “WTF” podcast with host Marc Maron, Clooney noted that the “Rust” footage is shocking to him after the deaths of actors Brandon Lee in 1993 and Jon-Erik Hexum in 1984, apparently serving as a warning to Hollywood . Both actors were killed as a result of accidents with real firearms on stage. Clooney, who was personal friends with Lee before his death at the age of 28, noted that the incident caused him to take weapons very seriously in his work.
“Every time I get a gun on the set – every time – they hand me a gun, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I point to, I show it to the crew,” he said. Clooney (via Yahoo Entertainment). “Every single take.”
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The actor added that he personally makes sure to take any six-shooter he has delivered on a set like the one Baldwin handled and point it at the ground before firing the trigger six times to make sure it is actually safe to handle. Clooney said he does not know Baldwin very well personally, so he stopped putting any kind of blame on the actor.
“Maybe Alec did it – hopefully he did,” the actor said of the typical on-set protocol. “But the problem is that dummies are difficult because they look real [rounds]. They got a tiny little hole in their back [from which] nogens [removed] the spice. ”
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According to a search warrant previously conducted by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department, both Gutierrez Reed and Halls inspected the gun, believing they saw dummy rounds inside, which are bullets that cannot be fired but are designed to look like live ammunition. Despite a live round of the gun, the arrest warrant reports that Halls declared the firearm a “cold gun” before handing it over to Baldwin, an expression Clooney does not know.
“I’ve never heard the term ‘cold gun,'” Clooney said of his 40 years in film production. “I’ve never heard that phrase. Literally. They’re just talking about things I’ve never heard of. It’s just annoying.”
The actor recalled his friendship with Brandon, son of late martial arts and film icon Bruce Lee, who died on the set of “The Crow” in 1993 in a similar shooting episode. He noted that they played basketball together three times a week at Y in Hollywood, and Clooney’s cousin, Miguel Ferrer, was to be the best man at Lee’s wedding a week after “The Crow” was to be wrapped.
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“After Brandon died, it really became a very clear thing about: Open the gun. Look down the barrel. Look in the cylinder. Make sure,” the actor said of on-set gun safety. “It’s harder with dummy balls, I must say, because if you stuck six dummy balls in your hand, you would think they’re real balls.”
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Clooney concluded: “It’s a series of tragedies, but also a lot of mistakes. A lot of stupid mistakes.”