Actor Alec Baldwin, whom some have vilified online after an October movie-set tragedy in which he accidentally shot and killed a crew member with an inexplicably loaded prop gun, reflected on the experience in an Instagram video posted New Year's Day.
"I was in a coffee shop here on Long Island, and having lunch with a friend of mine," the Massapequa-raised Baldwin, who has a home in Amagansett, said, later identifying the locale as East Hampton's John Pappas Cafe. A young woman on her way out, he said, handed him a packet of Splenda with a note reassuring him that, " 'So many people care about you.' … It was really very, very kind and very thoughtful and just really so amazing."
Baldwin, 63, thanked her, but later discovered he had lost the note, which he had wanted to photograph as a keepsake. "If you are the young woman that gave me the Splenda packet … then send me a message here because I'm very grateful," he said. "It was so lovely and that meant so much to me."
The actor-producer was filming the Western "Rust" in New Mexico on Oct. 21 when a Colt .45 prop gun he was holding discharged, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza. Police continue to investigate he shooting, which assistant director David Halls has said through his attorney appeared to be a misfire and that Baldwin's finger had not been on the trigger. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the low-budget movie's young armorer, also is under investigation.
"I've had more people who have been kind and thoughtful and generous of spirit than I've had people who are malignant about the death of Halyna Hutchins," said Baldwin, who has repeatedly expressed shock and remorse and reached out to Hutchins' family. He added, "I've gotten so much, I mean so much, goodwill from people. It's just incredible," he said. "And a kind of alarming amount of the other stuff."
Saying, "I'm very hopeful that the people in charge with investigating this whole thing get to the truth as soon as possible," the three-time Emmy Award winner observed, "We live in a world where there's just oceans of negativity online … and one must find a way to manage that." He thanked those who have offered him support, adding, "Those people who offered me the opposite of support … I understand where you're coming from. ... [It's a] tough world and a lot of people are traumatized out there and they want to pass that on to other people."
Near the end of the almost 13-minute video, Baldwin said he hoped for a new year of "less negativity. Is it possible? I think it is." Or at least, he added, speaking of himself, "Less of it affecting you."