Alec Baldwin has given his first in-studio interview since the fatal shooting on the set of his Western film, Rust, in October. The Emmy Award-winning actor sat down yesterday for a discussion with ABC journalist George Stephanopoulos, which will air tomorrow night on ABC at 8pm and stream on Hulu afterward, Variety is reporting.
The television host described his one-hour-20-minute discussion with Baldwin as raw and intense. “I’ve done thousands of interviews in the last twenty years at ABC,” Stephanopoulos said during this morning’s Good Morning America. “This was the most intense I’ve ever experienced.”
The reporter added: “As you can imagine he’s devastated, but he was also very candid…He answered every question, he talked about [Rust‘s cinematographer,] Halyna Hutchins, talked about meeting with her family as well. [He] went through in detail what happened on the set that day, and I have to tell you, I was surprised in many places over the course of that hour and 20 minutes we sat down yesterday.”
In a preview clip of the interview, Baldwin recounts the events of the day on the movie’s set when a prop gun he was using accidentally killed Hutchins and injured the feature’s writer-director, Joel Souza. The Golden Globe-winning performer noted that even now, “I find it hard to believe that. It just doesn’t seem real to me.”
Baldwin also told Stephanopoulos that he “didn’t pull the trigger.” The host then confirmed with the actor that he never pulled the trigger. “No, no, no. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never,” Baldwin noted.
Stephanopoulos also asks Baldwin how a live bullet made its way onto the set. “I have no idea,” the latter replied. “Someone put a live bullet into a gun. A bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property.”
The television host also asked the SAG Award-winning actor actor: “You say you’re not a victim, but is this the worst thing that’s ever happened to you?”
“Yes. Yep… yep,” Baldwin answered. “Because I think back, and I think of what could I have done?”
The incident occurred while the Academy Award-nominated performer rehearsed with what he believed was be an empty gun on the set of Rust. He was handed the weapon by assistant director Dave Halls, who had been given the gun by Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the drama’s armorer. As Baldwin then practiced drawing and firing the weapon, a bullet discharged and hit Hutchins and Souza.
The Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office and the New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney is currently investigating the shooting to determine how and why live bullets were inserted into the gun. Authorities have said the criminal investigation may take months to complete.