WATCH | Alec Baldwin recalls Rust shooting, says he doesn't feel 'guilty' in first major interview

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Alec Baldwin.
Alec Baldwin.
Photo: Twitter/Screengrab
  • Alec Baldwin has given his first major interview since the fatal shooting on the set of his film Rust.
  • He tells ABC television's George Stephanopoulos he doesn't feel guilty for the shooting and doesn't believe it was his fault.
  • "I feel someone is responsible for what happened, but I know it isn't me. I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible," he says during the emotional interview.

Alec Baldwin said he does not feel guilty for the death of Halyna Hutchins on the set of Rust, and denied responsibility for the fatal shooting, as he explained that he started cocking the gun that killed the cinematographer but did not pull the trigger.

"I feel someone is responsible for what happened, but I know it isn't me.

"I might have killed myself if I thought I was responsible, and I don't say that lightly," Baldwin told ABC television's George Stephanopoulos in his first public comments about the 21 October shooting on the set near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Baldwin was rehearsing a scene on the low-budget Western when the Colt .45 he was brandishing discharged a live round that struck Hutchins and director Joel Souza, who survived.

The former 30 Rock star said the criminal investigation should focus on discovering who had brought live rounds onto the set of Rust.

"I don't have anything to hide," he said.

Describing the incident in detail, Baldwin said he had been told the gun was "cold" - industry lingo for a firearm containing no live ammunition - and had been instructed by Hutchins to point the gun in her direction as she prepared to film the scene.

In his first public description of what happened, he said the Colt revolver went off when he was cocking the gun and rehearsing camera angles with Hutchins.

"In this scene, I am going to cock the gun. I said, 'Do you want to see that?' And she said yes. So I take the gun and I start to cock the gun. I'm not going to pull the trigger. I said, 'Did you see that?' She said, 'Well just cheat it down and tilt it down a little bit like that.' And I cocked the gun and go, 'Can you see that? Can you see that?'

"I let go of the hammer. Bang. The gun goes off," he said.

"Everyone is horrified. They're shocked. It's loud. They don't have their earplugs in... the gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun."

Baldwin said he initially thought Hutchins may have fainted or had a heart attack, and was only told she had been killed with a live round hours later following a lengthy police interview.

He dismissed suggestions that live rounds may have been introduced on set as an act of sabotage, saying it was "overwhelmingly likely that it was an accident".

Baldwin, along with other people working on Rust, is facing two civil lawsuits, while prosecutors have refused to rule out criminal charges. Though he doesn't believe he will be criminally charged.

"I've been told by people in the know... that it is highly unlikely I would be charged with anything criminally," the actor commented.

He said he would be "stunned" if Hutchins' husband did not also file a lawsuit against producers, including himself.

"When that person who was charged with that job, handed me the weapon, I trusted them... In the 40 years I've been in this business all the way up until that day, I've never had a problem."
- Alec Baldwin, who has been widely criticised for not checking the gun thoroughly himself, says

The tragedy has sent shockwaves through Hollywood, and led to calls for guns to be permanently banned from sets.

Baldwin said he had been called a "murderer" since the incident, but disputed claims from some critics that it was an actor's responsibility to check weapons.

But, he said, the tragedy had changed things for him.

"I can't imagine I'd ever do a movie that had a gun in it again," said Baldwin.

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