Alec Baldwin is breaking down his Rust controversy even more — with an equally controversial podcast host!
The actor joined former CNN reporter Chris Cuomo on his new podcast The Chris Cuomo Project in an episode on Tuesday, during which he explained how he made the gun fire on the set of the Western film, Rust, despite supposedly not pulling the trigger.
This chat comes after the FBI concluded its investigation into the fatal accident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza in October. Per their findings released on Friday, the Colt 45 revolver used on the set could NOT have been fired without someone pulling the trigger. So, what does Alec have to say?
He’s not changing his story, that’s for sure! While it’s unclear if this conversation was recorded before or after the FBI report was published last week, Chris brought up the fact that the actor said point-blank he “didn’t pull the trigger” during an interview with ABC News after the incident, in which he said:
“The trigger wasn’t pulled. I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at someone and pull the trigger on them, never.”
Body camera footage released by the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office also showed him telling cops that he didn’t touch the trigger nor did he know the weapon had live rounds in it, he said:
“I take the gun out and as the barrel clears, I turn and cock the gun and the gun goes off.”
With that in mind, how the hell did a real gunshot go off?! Chris wondered:
“If a bullet comes out of a gun, [people] say, ‘well someone fired it.’”
Alec explained that while he did not intentionally fire the gun, he did fan the gun, something that was often done in “old Western movies.” He even learned more about it from the New Mexico District Attorney’s Office after the crisis. The action can cause a bullet to fire “without someone having to pull the trigger,” he explained:
“This came from the DA’s office themselves. You’re familiar with what fanning a gun is? You’re familiar with that phrase? So, if you pull the hammer back and you don’t lock the hammer — if you pull the hammer back pretty far. In old Western movies, you’d see someone fan the hammer of the gun. The hammer didn’t lock. You pulled it back to an extent where it would fire the bullet without you pulling the trigger. Without you locking the hammer.”
According to the Buffalo Bill Center of The West, though, the technique IS done by pulling the trigger, they state:
“This action is done by holding down the trigger on a single action revolver, and then rapidly pulling back the hammer. With the trigger under pressure, the hammer will quickly drop on to the next round, and when repeated, can discharge the firearm in rapid succession.”
Very different from Alec’s description… Safe to say we’re still confused!!
The 30 Rock star didn’t waste any more time discussing his actions before calling out the person he thinks is responsible for the gut-wrenching tragedy, arguing:
“The man who is the principal safety officer of the set of the film declared the gun was safe when he handed it to me. The person who was the principal safety officer of the film declared in front of the entire assemblage, ‘This is a cold gun.’ Now, why did he say that if he didn’t know, if he hadn’t checked? The point is all of us were told everything was cool and you can relax and we are working with a gun that is safe to rehearse with.”
According to The Boss Baby voice actor, the employee in question also explained the process of fanning to him, he added:
“He explained it to me effectively exactly what could happen if you pulled a hammer back and let it go if there’s a live round.”
He went on to raise the one question that people should be worried about as the investigation into the tragedy continues, saying:
“There’s only one question to ask here. Who put a live round in the gun? That’s it. There is no other question to ask.”
Still, it’s hard not to inquire about Alec’s involvement in Halyna’s death, considering he was the one holding the trigger and was an executive producer on the movie. While it’s been difficult to wait to see if he will face any charges, Alec was positive everyone who worked on Rust knows he’s innocent, he mused:
“Everybody’s waiting for a sheriff’s report. The DA is not bound by that report. The DA can bring charges or not bring charges regardless of what that report says, but everyone must wait for that report. So while we wait ad nauseam for that report – and I have a lot of information about that which we’re gonna postpone ‘till the report comes out – while we’re waiting for that, I know that every single person on the set of the film knows what happened. The people that are talking loudest about what happened on the set of the film were not on the set of the film.”
After calling out a few newspapers who have consistently reported on the Rust scandal since it broke out, he insisted:
“The thing that they have in common is nobody was there. And everybody who was there, they know exactly what happened, they know exactly who’s to blame.”
Apparently, the principal safety officer! Interestingly, he hasn’t always been so sure about who was to blame for the incident. He admitted to questioning whether the accident was a “set-up.” After a couple of months of paranoid thought, he finally gave up that theory, instead determining:
“What is likely is that someone who was responsible for one situation or one line of responsibility and the other person — a tandem of the two people — one of them or both were negligent.”
He’s likely referring to armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed as a figure who should be held responsible, but he did not name anyone in the interview. Later in the chat, though, he did reference the armorer’s problematic track record. So, he’s def pointing some fingers!
As Perezcious readers know, Santa Fe investigators have been waiting on the FBI’s ballistics report before passing the case to prosecutors to determine any possible charges. Officials are also waiting for the results of Alec’s phone records after he turned his cell over to police in Suffolk County in New York. There’s a lot still to be uncovered in the case — but from the sounds of it, Alec won’t back down until his name is cleared. You can hear more about how he is coping in the aftermath of the tragedy (below, beginning at about 17 mins in).
It sure sounds like Alec is preparing to release some more official information about his side of the story in the future. Hmm. Thoughts? What do you make of Alec’s explanation?