Alec Baldwin said he believes certain lawsuits filed in the wake of the fatal shooting on the “Rust” film set have been directed toward people who are considered “deep-pocket litigants,” not necessarily those who were potentially negligent in the incident.
“What you have is a certain group of people, litigants and whatever, on whatever side, who their attitude is, ‘well the people who likely seem negligent have no money and the people who have money are not negligent,’ ” Baldwin said during a moderated event at the Boulder International Film Festival on Saturday.
Baldwin, billed as a “special guest programmer” for the film festival, did not specify to which of the multiple lawsuits filed after the shooting he was referring.
Baldwin was handling a prop gun on the set last fall when it fired, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding the film’s director Joel Souza.
“All my career, without incident, I’ve relied on the safety experts there to declare the gun safe and never had a problem, and this happened,” the actor said.
“Of course, this is to me sometimes it’s, it’s so surreal, I don’t even know what to say,” Baldwin told Ron Bostwick, the event moderator, during a live onstage interview Saturday.
The family of Hutchins has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Baldwin, the film’s production companies, its producers, and other key members of the crew, and at least two of the film’s crew members have also filed lawsuits against Baldwin and other production figures.
Aaron Dyer, attorney for Baldwin and other producers of “Rust,” said in a statement to CNN at the time the Hutchins family lawsuit was filed that they “continue to cooperate with the authorities to determine how live ammunition arrived on the ‘Rust’ set in the first place. Any claim that Alec was reckless is entirely false. He, Halyna and the rest of the crew relied on the statement by the two professionals responsible for checking the gun that it was a ‘cold gun’ – meaning there is no possibility of a discharge, blank or otherwise.”
Baldwin said Saturday actors are “not allowed” to declare weapons safe.
“When someone, whose job is to ensure the safety of a weapon, hands someone else, whose job is to be the secondary layer of protection for safety of a weapon, and they hand you that weapon, you declare that that weapon is safe,” said Baldwin.
“That’s how I’ve done it my whole life because you’re not allowed as an actor to declare the weapon … I mean, the joke is, you don’t want the actors doing the safety check. They can’t even make coffee, they’re so stupid,” said the actor.
“This woman was a lovely woman, she was a lovely woman, and she was talented,” Baldwin said of Hutchins.