After upbraiding paparazzi who have followed him simply because a gun he fired killed someone on the set of his new movie, actor Alec Baldwin said little about the incident during a rare public outburst on Saturday.
Baldwin has been trailed in Vermont by hordes of photographers since he was spotted there last week.
On Saturday, he finally offered his first public comments since the incident in which cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed after a projectile from a gun Baldwin fired struck and killed her, according to WABC-TV.
“I’m not allowed to make any comments because it’s an ongoing investigation,” Baldwin said outside his Manchester, Vermont, home. “I’ve been ordered by the sheriff’s department in Santa Fe. I can’t answer any questions about the investigation. I can’t.”
Baldwin did not indicate if he has any further information than what has been released by New Mexico authorities.
“We are eagerly awaiting the sheriff’s department telling us what their investigation has yielded,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin called Hutchins “my friend.”
“The day I arrived in Santa Fe to start shooting I took her to dinner with Joel, the director,” he said, referring to director Joel Souza, who was wounded in the incident.
At one point in the impromptu media scrum, Baldwin’s wife Hilaria tried to interrupt.
Baldwin told her “excuse me” and said that contrary to any rumors, the production of “Rust” had been going smoothly.
“We were a very, very … well-oiled crew shooting a film together and then this horrible event happened.”
Baldwin’s wife did get a word in when a reporter flubbed Hutchins’ name.
“Her name is Halyna,” Hilaria said. “If you’re spending this much time waiting for us, you should know her name.”
Baldwin said he met with Hutchins’ husband after the incident.
“The guy is overwhelmed with grief,” Baldwin said. “There are incidental accidents on film sets from time to time, but nothing like this. This is a one in a trillion episode.”
Baldwin had more to say on the subject of firearms on move sets.
“I do know that an ongoing effort to limit the use of firearms on film sets is something I’m extremely interested in,” Baldwin said.
“But remember, something that I think is important and that is, how many bullets have been fired in films and TV shows in the last 75 years? This is America. How many bullets have gone off … nearly all of them without incident?”
He said that due to “this horrible catastrophic thing some new measures have to take place.”
“That’s not for me to decide,” Baldwin stated. “It’s urgent that you understand I’m not an expert in this field, so whatever other people decide is the best way to go in terms of protecting people’s safety on film sets. I’m all in favor of and I will cooperate with that in any way that I can.”
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