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Alec Baldwin: 'If I felt that I was responsible, I might have killed myself'

·5-min read
NEWS - ABC News announced today on Good Morning America that co-anchor George Stephanopoulos has the first exclusive interview with actor Alec Baldwin, following the deadly shooting on the set of the film Rust. George Stephanopoulos Productions will produce a primetime television event featuring the exclusive interview with Baldwin. The hour-long special will air Thursday, Dec. 2 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), on ABC and will begin streaming later that evening on Hulu.(Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images) ALEC BALDWIN, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS - Jeff Neira/ABC
NEWS - ABC News announced today on Good Morning America that co-anchor George Stephanopoulos has the first exclusive interview with actor Alec Baldwin, following the deadly shooting on the set of the film Rust. George Stephanopoulos Productions will produce a primetime television event featuring the exclusive interview with Baldwin. The hour-long special will air Thursday, Dec. 2 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EST), on ABC and will begin streaming later that evening on Hulu.(Photo by Jeff Neira/ABC via Getty Images) ALEC BALDWIN, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS - Jeff Neira/ABC

Alec Baldwin has denied responsibility for the fatal shooting of a cinematographer on a film set, and said he would have killed himself if he believed it was his fault.

The actor said he initially thought Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer, had fainted after his prop gun misfired, and it was at least 45 minutes before he realised there could have been a live round in the weapon.

In an emotional hour-long interview with George Stephanopoulos for US network ABC, in which he broke down several times, Baldwin gave the most detailed account yet of the moments leading up to the tragedy.

The 63-year-old actor also said he believed it "highly unlikely" that he would be criminally charged.

Baldwin also described how he was having nightmares about the shooting, and said that he no longer cared about his career, which could be over.

 A photo of cinematographer Helyna Hutchins is displayed before a news conference by attorney Gary Dordick and his client Serge Svetnoy, chief of lighting on the "Rust' film set, to announce a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and others, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Svetnoy filed the lawsuit over Baldwin's fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the Western, alleging negligence that caused him "severe emotional distress" that will haunt him forever. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
A photo of cinematographer Helyna Hutchins is displayed before a news conference by attorney Gary Dordick and his client Serge Svetnoy, chief of lighting on the "Rust' film set, to announce a lawsuit against Alec Baldwin and others, Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Svetnoy filed the lawsuit over Baldwin's fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the New Mexico set of the Western, alleging negligence that caused him "severe emotional distress" that will haunt him forever. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Ms Hutchins, 42, died when a gun Baldwin had been told was safe fired off a live bullet during a rehearsal on a set of the film "Rust" in New Mexico on Oct 21.

Asked if he felt guilt Baldwin said: "No. I, honest to God, if I felt that I was responsible, I might have killed myself. And I don't say that lightly. Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can't say who that is, but it's not me.

"Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn't even supposed to be on the property. There's only one question to be resolved, and that's where did the live round come from?"

He added: "I don't have anything to hide."

The tragedy happened during a rehearsal outside a church for a scene in which Baldwin was required to cock the hammer of a Colt revolver but not fire it.

He was following instructions from Ms Hutchins to get the right camera angle.

Baldwin said: “Everything is at her direction. This was a marking rehearsal. And she says to me 'Hold the gun lower. Go to your right. OK, right there. Alright, do that. Now show it a little bit lower.'

"She's getting me to position the gun. She's guiding me through how she wants me to hold the gun for this angle. I'm holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit."

He went on: “I cock the gun. I go ‘Can you see that? Can you see that?' And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and bang, the gun goes off. The trigger wasn't pulled. I didn't pull the trigger.

"First of all, everyone is horrified, they’re shocked, it’s loud. She (Ms Hutchins) goes down. I thought to myself, 'Did she faint?'. The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me until probably 45 minutes to an hour later."

Alec Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe, N.M., after he was questioned about a shooting on the set of the film "Rust" on the outskirts of Santa Fe, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, officials said. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP) - AP
Alec Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe, N.M., after he was questioned about a shooting on the set of the film "Rust" on the outskirts of Santa Fe, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, officials said. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP) - AP

Baldwin said he then thought she might have been hit by wadding from a blank round.

Ms Hutchins was rushed away by helicopter for treatment and he was at the sheriff's office when he was told she had died.

Baldwin addressed comments by George Clooney who, in the wake of the tragedy, said he always checks a gun himself on set before using it.

"If your protocol is you checking the gun every time, well, good for you, good for you," Baldwin said. "My protocol was to trust the person that had the job. And it worked up until this point."

Describing the effect on hi, he said: "I have dreams about this constantly now. I go through my day, and I make it through the day. Then I collapse at the end of the day. Emotionally, I collapse.”

Asked if his career was over he said: "It could be. I couldn't give a s--- about my career anymore." He said it was the worst thing that had ever happened to him and "I think back, and I think of what could I have done".

Baldwin said he decided to do the interview because "I thought there were a number of misconceptions", adding "I would go to any lengths to undo what happened."

He also denied that cost-cutting had impacted safety on the set of the film, of which he was also a producer.

"In my opinion, no," he said. "I personally did not observe any safety or security issues at all in the time I was there."

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