Halyna Hutchins Remembered by Colleague Wayne Brady, Says She Was the 'Epitome of Professionalism' (Exclusive)

The cinematographer died after a prop gun was discharged by Alec Baldwin on the set of 'Rust.'

Stars, directors, screenwriters and more are honoring Halyna Hutchins, the cinematographer who died on the set of the film Rust after a prop gun was discharged by actor Alec Baldwin. Director Joel Souza was also hospitalized but has since been released.  

Among those remembering Hutchins is Wayne Brady, who worked with her on the 2020 crime drama Blindfire.

"[Halyna] was, to me, the epitome of professionalism," Brady told ET's Nischelle Turner of working with Hutchins. "What I loved is she carried herself with a grace but a strength because being a female [director of production] in this business, that is no small feat. You have to conduct yourself and make sure that this room respects you. That's what I immediately noticed about her"

Brady added, "The director listened to her, the stars listened to her, because she knew what she was talking about. She was warm and engaging. We talked for a bit while I was working and she was just lovely but got stuff done. I think that was a trademark of hers."

Last Thursday evening, the sheriff’s department in Sante Fe, New Mexico, confirmed to ET that Baldwin had fired the prop gun which lead to Hutchins' death. She was transported by helicopter to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, and was pronounced dead by medical personnel at the hospital. Hutchins was 42.

"This investigation remains open and active," authorities told ET. "No charges have been filed in regard to this incident. Witnesses continue to be interviewed by detectives."

In addition to Rust and Blindfire, Hutchins had worked on other films such as Archenemy, Darlin', and The Mad Hatter

As news broke of her death, actors including Elijah Wood, Joe Manganiello and Patricia Arquette took to social media to honor the cinematographer's legacy and to discuss the tragic accident that took her life. Additionally, a slew of stars, including Zendaya, Amy Schumer, Ava DuVernay and Ellen Pompeo, all shared photo tributes in remembrance of her.

Rust actress Frances Fisher posted a photo of her and Hutchins, along with a lengthy message. "Rest in Paradise Dear Halyna - I loved watching you work: Your intense focus and your vibrant command of the room," she began her post. "I asked you to stand next to me in our #IAsolidarity #RUST cast&crew photo because I wanted to make sure you were front and center, seeing as there are so few non-male directors of photography. ✨ There is a line from #Unforgiven that maybe someday I will have the courage to put here. It pretty much sums it all up. 🙏🏽 In the meantime, my prayers are with your family and with all who love and miss you."

Jensen Ackles, who also stars in Rust, too shared a heartfelt tribute to Hutchins on Sunday, and called the incident "a tragedy of epic proportions that we are all still processing."

"Earlier last week I felt compelled to tell Halyna just how awesome I thought she was. I told her how incredible I thought her camera shots were and just how exciting it was to watch her and her team work. She laughed and said thank you and gave me a hug. I’ll forever be thankful we had that moment," Ackles wrote, alongside a slideshow of snapshots from the set, which showed Hutchins riding a horse and spending time with the actors between scenes. "She had a spunk and passion that infected the entire crew from the top down."

"She was an inspiration," he continued. "My heart and prayers go out to Halyna’s husband, son and the rest of her family. There just aren’t enough words to express what an immense loss this is. She will be incredibly missed by all of us who knew and admired her."

Ackles then encouraged fans to donate to the AFI scholarship that has been established in her name, as well as the GoFundMe page set up to help her family.

Here are some more social media tributes for Hutchins, as well as Debra Messing's tweet in defense of Baldwin, her former Will & Grace co-star.  

As for the film itself, Rust is a Western about a 13 year-old boy left to fend for himself and his younger brother following the death of their parents in 1880's Kansas. The boy is forced to go on the run with his long estranged grandfather after he's sentenced to hang for the accidental killing of a local rancher.