Baldwin is among those sued over the deadly 'Rust' shooting by the Halyna Hutchins estate.
Alec Baldwin is sharing his feelings about being a named defendant in lawsuits over the fatal Rust shooting, with the actor insisting he's being targeted because he's rich.
The 63-year-old actor made the comments Saturday during a sit-down interview at the Boulder International Film Festival. CNN was the only outlet that captured part of the interview on cell phone video and audio, in which Baldwin spoke about the lawsuits, the late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and how the fatal shooting will transform safety procedures in Hollywood.
While Baldwin never specifically mentioned which lawsuit he was referring to, he's adamant those going after him and others are after a payday.
"What you have is a certain group of people -- litigants, or whatever on whatever side -- who their attitude is, 'The people who likely seem negligent have no money. And the people who have money are not negligent, but we're not gonna let that stop us from doing what we need to do in terms of litigation,'" said Baldwin in the cell phone video captured by CNN. "So, we have people that are suing people that they think are deep-pocket litigants, where they’re going to be able to -- well, why sue people if you’re not gonna get money? That’s what they’re doing it for."
Hutchins died in October after a prop gun was discharged on the film's set. Baldwin was holding the gun at the time, and he has since publicly stated that he did not pull the trigger. The film's director, Joel Souza, was also wounded in the shooting.
Back in November, the film's chief electrician, Serge Svetnoy, sued Baldwin -- as well as armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director David Halls -- claiming the defendants' alleged negligence caused him severe emotional distress in the aftermath of the incident.
Svetnoy claimed the bullet that struck both Hutchins and Souza nearly struck him too. He also alleged he's the one who tried to comfort Hutchins and keep her conscious after she was hit.
Then, in February, Hutchins' estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the actor and others, claiming Baldwin was among those "responsible for the safety on the set and whose reckless behavior in cost cutting led to the senseless and tragic death of Halyna Hutchins." Just hours after the wrongful death lawsuit was filed, Baldwin's lawyers released a statement calling the "reckless" claims against him as "entirely false."
During his interview at the Boulder International Film Festival, Baldwin -- in audio captured by CNN -- said that he's never had a safety issue during his entire 40-year career in the business.
“When someone whose job is to ensure the safety of a weapon hands someone else, whose job is to be the secondary layer of protection for safety of a weapon, and they hand you that weapon, you declare that that weapon is safe," Baldwin said. "That’s how I’ve done it my whole life."
He added, "But all my career, without incident, I’ve relied on the safety experts there to declare the gun safe and never had a problem. And this happened. And, of course, this is to me sometimes it’s, it’s so surreal, I don’t even know what to say."
Baldwin also referenced Hutchins during his interview.
"This woman was a lovely woman, she was a very lovely woman, and she was talented," Baldwin said. "I was involved in a situation where somebody was killed. It’s changed my life, just in terms of the function of weapons in films and television. The function of safety procedures, which we’re all going to have to address eventually."
The actor said it's very likely that the incident will dramatically transform how Hollywood goes about using weapons and explosions moving forward.
"They will probably, in all likelihood, eliminate nearly all live weapons and shoot rounds," he said, "and they’ll CGI (computer-generated imagery) the explosion and they’ll lay in the sound."