Alec Baldwin suggests some 'Rust' litigants are motivated by money
Alec Baldwin, at a Colorado film festival Saturday, spoke about the multiple lawsuits filed after an accidental shooting death on the set of his film "Rust," and suggested without specification that some litigants are concerned primarily with financial gain.
In a moderated talk at the 18th Annual Boulder International Film Festival, caught in part in a video at the CNN website, the Long Island native, 63, said he had "worked in this business for over 40 years, and there never have been any safety issues in my life." The shooting occurred Oct. 21 in New Mexico while "Rust" producer-star Baldwin handled an antique Colt .45 revolver after being assured it was a "cold gun" containing no live rounds. Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was killed and director Joel Souza wounded.
Without singling out any of the at least four lawsuits filed over the shooting, Baldwin said, "What you have is a certain group of people — litigants on whatever side — [whose] attitude is, 'Well, the people who likely seem negligent have no money. And the people who have money are not negligent, but we're not going let that stop us from doing what we need to do in terms of litigation.' So we have people that are suing people that they think are deep-pocket litigants," and speculated their thinking is, " 'Why sue people if you're not going to get money?,' if that's what you're doing it for."
Calling Hutchins "a lovely woman, and she was talented," the Massapequa-raised Baldwin said of the film's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, and assistant director, Dave Halls, that, "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 and … declare that that weapon is safe. That's how I've done it my whole life. 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."
During his talk with festival special event producer Ron Bostwick, in a portion not in the video, Baldwin said, "I am very hopeful that when the facts come out, we will not be held criminally responsible," according The Denver Gazette. Baldwin has been cooperating with law enforcement, including turning over his cellphone.
In another portion not on video, said the Gazette, Baldwin asked the audience to note "that guns are fired in films because that's what audiences want. … They view this as drama. So there are two separate issues here — the place that guns themselves have in our society, and then the place that modified safety regulations [will have on sets], and I am very much looking forward to contributing whatever I can to that conversation."