Crime 'Rust' Actor Jensen Ackles Spoke of Gun Safety on Set Days Before Shooting
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Rust actor Jensen Ackles spoke candidly about gun safety training on the film's set just days before the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Alec Baldwin, the movie's lead star and producer, on Thursday discharged a prop gun on the New Mexico set of the Western,.
'Rust' Crew Walked Off Set Prior to Fatal Shooting in Protest of 'Poor On-Set Safety': Reports
Members of the film's crew reportedly walked off set in protest of on-set safety prior to the fatal shooting.Multiple reports noted that prior to the fatal shooting, many union crew members walked off set in protest of "poor" working conditions. There had also been at least one incident of a prop gun misfiring on the Rust set prior to the fatal accident and director Joel Souza being shot, Deadline reports.
It has since been reported that Baldwin was told by the assistant director, David Halls, that the weapon was a "cold gun"—meaning it was supposedly not loaded with live rounds—after it had been prepared by the film set's armorer, Hannah Gutierrez.
According to an affidavit, Halls didn't know that the prop gun contained live rounds when it was handed to Baldwin.
Baldwin took toon Friday to , and he revealed that he is "fully cooperating" with the police investigation" and had been in contact with the late cinematographer's family.
"My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna," Baldwin added.
Halyna Hutchins Stayed on Rust Set After Walkout Because She Felt a 'Responsibility' for Everyone Else's Job
"She put her heart and soul into everything she did," Jonathan McAbee, an actor who knew Hutchins, told PEOPLE during a candlelight vigil held for the late cinematographer While attending a candlelight vigil for the late filmmaker on Saturday evening, McAbee spoke with PEOPLE about Hutchins' dedication to her work and how she was always thinking of others, sometimes before even thinking of herself. Noting that production of the project at hand "rest[ed] on her shoulders" given her role as cinematographer, McAbee explained, "She's the one responsible for how this [film's] gonna look.
Since the fatal incident, video footage resurfaced of Ackles speaking at a convention in Denver, Colorado, earlier this month about his gun training for Rust.
Ackles had been attending the convention for his hit drama series Supernatural, according to Extra, which quoted him as telling the crowd: "I've got a 6 a.m. call tomorrow to have a big shoot-out. They had me pick my gun.
"They were like, 'Alright, what gun would you like?' and I was like, 'I don't know?' and the armorer was like, 'Do you have gun experience?' I was like, 'A little.' And she's like, 'OK, well, this is how you load it, this is how we check it and make sure it's safe.'"
"So she's like, 'OK, I'm gonna put some blanks in there and I want you to just go and fire off a couple rounds towards the hill.' And I was like, 'OK.' So I put the belt on, I put the gun there, and I walked out and she's like, 'Just make sure that you know, you pull the hammer all the way back and you aim at your target.' And I was like, 'OK, I got it.'"
'Rust' Gaffer Shares 'Last Photo' of Halyna Hutchins Before Fatal Shooting
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally shot on the set of "Rust" last week, after star and producer Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun.On Thursday, Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on the New Mexico set, leading to cinematographer Hutchins' death and the injury of writer-director Joel Souza.
Since the video footage was reported on by multiple outlets, it was removed from YouTube. However, some of the footage of Ackles speaking about his gun safety training remained on TikTok at the time of publication.
Per Extra, Ackles stated that he had a Zoom meeting with Baldwin and Souza before joining the project, as he added: "They started filming two weeks later."
He is also said to have informed fans that he wasn't the original choice for the big screen role, after an unnamed actor dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
Ackles revealed that he had been filming for "two weeks" at the time of the convention. According to the convention organizer's website, the event took place between October 15 and 17.
There is no evidence that Ackles was involved in the scene that led to the fatal shooting.
Newsweek has contacted a representative of Ackles for comment.
Production on Rust has been halted as the investigation into the shooting by the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office continues.
Alec Baldwin Could Be Charged With 'Negligent Homicide' for 'Rust' Shooting—Nancy Grace
As Alec Baldwin continues to cooperate with the ongoing police investigation, legal commentator Nancy Grace weighed in on the matter. "Alec Baldwin obviously did not intend to shoot a live round or to kill her," Grace told Entertainment Tonight. "I think the most he can be charged with is a negligent homicide—and yes, that is a possibility because he did not check the gun before he fired. Your browser does not support this video "But a jury would be asked should he [have checked], or should he rely on the assistant director that hands him the gun, who should also be checking for safety.
"This investigation remains open and active," the. "No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives."
According to IMDB, the 19th century-set film follows Harland Rust, portrayed by Baldwin, who goes on the run with his grandson after he's sentenced for the accidental killing of a local rancher. Other stars include Travis Fimmel, Frances Fisher, and Brady Noon.
Brian Cox Says 'Rust' Shooting 'Tragic' For Friend Alec Baldwin .
"Rust" star and producer Alec Baldwin discharged a gun on the film's set on October 21, leading to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.Rust star and producer Baldwin discharged a gun—which he was unaware contained live rounds—on the New Mexico set of the film on October 21, leading to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injury of director Joel Souza.