Baldwin dismisses George Clooney’s ‘Rust’ shooting response: ‘I had a protocol and it never let me down’

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During Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin’s first post-shooting interview Thursday, he responded dismissively to fellow actor George Clooney’s complaints about him not having checked the gun that wound up killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Hutchins died when a so-called “prop gun” containing live ammunition was somehow triggered as Baldwin was holding it during the Oct. 21st recording of the since-suspended Western film “Rust.”

During a podcast interview about two weeks later, Clooney slammed Baldwin, saying that every time he’s ever been handed a gun on set, he’s personally checked it for safety purposes.

“Every single time I’m handed 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’m pointing it to, I show it to the crew. Every single take, you hand it back to the armorer when you’re done,” he said.


Baldwin did not care for this criticism.

“Well, there were a lot of people who felt it necessary to contribute some comment to the situation, which really didn’t help the situation, at all,” he said when asked by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos about Clooney’s remarks.

“If your protocol is you checked the gun every time, well, good for you. Good for you. I probably handled weapons as much as any other actor in films with an average career. Again, shooting or being shot by someone, and in that time, I had a protocol and it never let me down,” the actor added.

Stephanopoulos tried pushing back by asking why his protocol hasn’t included checking the gun for himself.

Baldwin replied by bizarrely claiming that he was taught from day one not to check it because it was best if only the gun experts on set tinkered with it.

“What I was taught by someone years ago was as I said, if I took a gun and I popped a clip out of a gun, or I manipulated the chamber of a gun, they would take the gun away from me and redo it. The prop person said, ‘Don’t do that,’ when I was young,” he alleged.

“And they’d say, ‘One thing you would need to understand is we don’t want the actor to be the last line or defense against a catastrophic breach of safety with the gun. My job,’ they told me, man or woman, ‘My job is to make sure the gun is safe, and then I hand you the gun and I declare the gun safe,'” Baldwin continued.

“The crew’s not relying on you to say that it’s safe. They’re relying on me to say that it’s safe. When that person who was charged with that job handed me the weapon, I trusted them, and I never had a problem,” he continued.

“From day one. There’s one person that’s supposed to make sure that what is in the gun is right, and that what’s wrong is not in the gun. One person has that responsibility to maintain the gun.”

This prompted Stephanopoulos to ask, if the “prop” guy or girl is responsible for the gun, then what’s “the actor’s responsibility.”

Baldwin replied by basically saying the actor bears no responsibility.

“The actor’s responsibility is to do what the prop armorer tells them to do. And we did not have a problem. I understand there was an accidental discharge at one point on the set of a blank round, but we did not have a problem for me until that day,” he said.

He added that moving forward, there’s only “one question to be resolved,” and that’s “where did the live round come from.”

That’s certainly not the “one question” on the public’s mind …

During the same interview, Baldwin also claimed that he never pulled the trigger. These bizarre claims have not helped to reduce the cloud of criticism currently engulfing him.


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