Halyna Hutchins Remembered by Colleague Wayne Brady, Says She Was the 'Epitome of Professionalism' (Exclusive)
By Rachel McRady and Jackie Willis
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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, tooshared 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."
It is absolutely NOT. A prop gun was handed to him . He used it in the scene. Then- a catastrophic event happened where Halnya Hutchins lost her life and Joel Souza was injured. I am praying for all of their families. https://t.co/dsUxsofs3F
My heart goes out to Halyna Hutchins family. What a heartbreaking loss. Sending prayers to Joel Souza. I’m sure everyone is devastated. Alec Baldwin Fired Prop Gun That Killed DP and Wounded Director – Variety https://t.co/3apNSUokUb
I’m in shock. I was so lucky to have had Halyna Hutchins as my DP on Archenemy. An incredible talent & great person. I can’t believe this could happen in this day and age… gunfire from a prop gun could kill a crew member? What a horrible tragedy. My heart goes out to her family pic.twitter.com/W479ch56Js
My greatest fear is that someone will be fatally hurt on one of my sets. I pray this will never happen. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the tragedy today on Rust, especially Halyna Hutchins & her family.
This is just so horrific and disturbing. 🤦🏽♀️😩💔Every time I’ve been on sets with guns the protocol is SO strict. We are shown the empty barrel of the guns and make sure there’s nothing in the chamber.
My heart goes out to that young Armorer, the entire Cast and Crew of ‘Rush’. Especially thinking of those that are traumatized by the accident, injured, and particularly to the family of Director of Photography Halyna Hutchins.
I loved Halyna Hutchins’ work so much. It’s not only a tragic loss for cinema but to so many of you I know who worked with her. You and her family are all in my thoughts tonight. I’m heartbroken for you all.
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.