George Clooney: ‘Rust’ shooting ‘infuriating’
George Clooney is calling the fatal shooting on the “Rust” set “infuriating,” saying a series of “stupid mistakes” led to the death of the Alec Baldwin film’s cinematographer.
“I want to say I don’t believe there’s any intent by anybody to do anything wrong. It’s a terrible accident,” Clooney said on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast, released Monday. “But a 24-year-old person shouldn’t probably — with that little experience — shouldn’t be heading up a department with guns and bullets,” the “Midnight Sky” star continued, referring to “Rust’s” armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
Police say the Western movie’s cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was killed on “Rust’s” New Mexico set last month after a gun that Baldwin was holding while working on a scene fired a live round. Director Joel Souza was also injured in the shooting.
“I’ve been on sets for 40 years, and the person that hands you the gun, the person that is responsible for the gun, is either the prop person or the armorer. Period,” Clooney, 60, said.
“Every single time I’m handed a gun on the set, every time, they hand me a gun, I look at. I open it. I show it to the person I pointed to. We show it to the crew. Every single take, you hand it back to the armorer when you’re done,” the Academy Award winner said.
Clooney said many of the protocols surrounding firearms on productions were developed after the 1993 shooting of Brandon Lee while filming “The Crow.” Clooney described Lee as a friend.
No one has been charged in the shooting, but Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said earlier this month, “All options are on the table at this point.” Authorities have said that they recovered additional live rounds on the “Rust” set.
“They had live ammo with dummies in her pack — and that is insane,” Clooney said.
“It’s infuriating,” the actor added, saying productions need to make sure that the heads of various departments “have experience and know what they’re doing.”
Clooney, a vocal Democratic supporter and critic of former President Trump, also opened up about his political activism and humanitarian work, saying he was raised to speak out.
“I’d be so embarrassed if my kids in 20 years, who are 4 now, look back at this moment in time and said, ‘You were OK with this and you didn’t stand up and say something?’ I’d be humiliated by that.”
“My father’s one mantra,” Clooney told Maron, was “to always challenge anyone in power and always defend anyone without power. And if you do that in life, you win.”
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