On Oct. 21, renowned Hollywood actor Alec Baldwin unknowingly fired a prop gun loaded with live ammunition, killing Halyna Hutchins and injuring Joel Souza. The upcoming film, “Rust,” on which Baldwin serves as both a producer and lead actor, follows the western story of a teenage boy accused of murder. Baldwin, known for his work on Saturday Night Live portraying Donald Trump and his acclaimed role in Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed,” was instantly filled with sorrow and distress. It was reported that following the incident, Baldwin walked off of the set, crying. On Oct. 22, he tweeted: “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours. I’m fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred.” The police have opened their investigations, beginning an in-depth examination of everything leading up to the accident.
Halyna Hutchins, originally from Ukraine, was chosen to be a member of the American Cinematographer’s Rising Stars in 2019, and in the following year, assisted on the action flick “Archenemy.” On Oct. 21 just before 2 p.m., a 9-1-1 call came in, and authorities and emergency helicopters quickly rushed to the film set. Hutchins, along with Souza, was rushed to the hospital; however, she unfortunately passed away during the transport.
An accomplished cinematographer, Hutchins will be missed and loved by all. Baldwin’s co-star Jensen Ackles, famed for his role as Dean Winchester on the hit television show “Supernatural,” released a statement on his Instagram, flooded with emotions of heartbreak and loss. “She had a spunk and passion that infected the entire crew from the top down. She was an inspiration,” he said. Although Ackles had only known her for a brief period of time, he developed a strong connection with her on-set, complimenting her on her expert camera tactics.
Every aspect of the production process of “Rust” is currently being examined by authorities, revealing the cracks in the safety protocols of the Hollywood industry. Leading up to the incident, there was an apparently growing sense of uneasiness about safety on set. There had been a handful of misfires with weapons, causing cameramen and other staffers to become worried. Before being handed the weapon, Baldwin had been given the signal “Cold Gun,” meaning that there were only blank rounds loaded into the weapon. Unfortunately, this proved to be a fatal mistake. Investigations continue and the police have yet to rule out filing criminal charges.