Alec Baldwin is cancelling other projects & looking to take some time to himself

Alec Baldwin on social media

Alec Baldwin is gutted. Last week, he was part of a tragic accident on the New Mexico set of Rust. He was the one handling what he thought was a “cold gun,” an unloaded gun. By the LA Times’ account, Alec was walking through a scene where he would have to pull a gun, and Joel Souza (the director) and Halyna Hutchings (the cinematographer) had not returned to the safety of the video-village camp – they were both huddled behind a mobile monitor, watching Alec walk through the scene and presumably figuring out where exactly to put the camera and how to film the scene. That’s when Alec’s “prop gun” fired a real bullet. Alec was photographed by a local photojournalist shortly after the shooting and he looked terrible. Sources close to Baldwin are telling People Magazine that he’s cancelling other projects and going dark for a while following the tragedy:

Alec Baldwin “is canceling other projects” following an accidental shooting on the set of his film, Rust, that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead and director Joel Souza injured. A source tells PEOPLE that Baldwin, 63, is looking “to take some time to himself and re-center himself,” as he has during difficult times in the past.

“This was pretty devastating,” the source says. “This is how he handles difficult times. Whenever something bad happens, in the short term, he removes himself from [the] public eye.”

The source confirms to PEOPLE that Baldwin was “hysterical and absolutely inconsolable for hours” following the shooting: “Everyone knows this was an accident, but he’s absolutely devastated. [Baldwin] is someone who really deeply cares, so he can be very hard on himself,” the source shares. “That’s true in general, in situations nowhere near as serious as this. But in this situation, it’s a whole other level because of the loss of life involved.”

“It’s going to take him time to figure all this out,” they add. “He needs to take a while to himself, to be with his family.”

So far, no charges have been filed and an investigation remains ongoing.

[From People]

I mean… I would be devastated too. It was an accident and involved huge and deadly mistakes from several people, but Alec was still the one holding the gun. I would be hysterical too. I would be catatonic.

The Daily Mail also published photos of Alec meeting with Halyna’s husband Matthew Hutchins. They spent time together at a Sante Fe Hotel, along with Halyna’s son Andros. Alec and Matthew Hutchins embraced after the meeting. It’s said that Halyna’s family doesn’t blame Alec for this. There’s also a lot of blame-shifting on the young armorer and the assistant director and everyone else. Frankly, a lot of people were to blame. A lot of people were negligent.

alec baldwin rust

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Photos courtesy of Getty, Alec’s social media.

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66 Responses to “Alec Baldwin is cancelling other projects & looking to take some time to himself”

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  1. ME says:

    It was an accident, and no one should blame Alec. I know he’s going to blame himself and have guilt (just like any normal human would do). He’s rich enough to retire if he wants to. He has 6 kids and a wife to keep him busy. He can also put a side money for the son of Halyna if he wants to do something positive.

    • mahcat says:

      Part of the issue though is that he was also a producer, so if they hired inexperienced people and failed to investigate the previous onsite gun incidents then he does bear some culpability.

  2. Bettyrose says:

    I predicted this yesterday. It’s the right thing to do. For himself, his 200 children, and for Hollywood. He may or may not have done anything wrong (he was a producer after all so some of the chaos on set may have been his doing), but it’s the respectful thing to do and probably necessary for his emotional state. Disappear for awhile Alec. Mourn in private.

    I also hope the movie gets shelved. I for one have never seen The Crow.

    • Barrett says:

      I could see him never working again. If he comes back many years from now, he would have to use the grief to do a very emotional role, no guns, no action films. This will also test his marriage. If Hilaria really loves him or the fame can she stick out no more press and a quiet life. She posts continuously and I do think has mental health issues for attention.

      • Jaded says:

        God forbid she keeps popping out more babies, that’s not how you deal with a tragedy of this magnitude. And she needs to stay off social media permanently.

      • molly says:

        This will absolutely be a test of his marriage, and I’m not particularly hopeful. They seemed to cope with their age difference by both doing their own thing. She has her online persona and the six kids, and he works all the time while parenting as much as it fits into the life of a busy and rich 63 year old.

        Is Hilaria up to the lifelong, daily, hourly task of supporting someone who’s gone through a life-altering tragedy? Especially someone with Alec’s history of large and often destructive emotions?

        If Alec quits the industry and she goes dark too, that’s definitely not what she signed up for as Mrs. Baldwin. Maybe they can endure and he can heal, and I really hope that’s the case for their whole family, but like I said, it’s going to be a LOT.

      • minx says:

        Yes, I’m waiting to see if “How you say cucumber?” Hillary can step up. She’s such a selfie-addicted narcissist. This calls for some real selflessness on her part.

      • Jayna says:

        @Molly, actually, until probably these last two babies, she went almost everywhere with him. He was on Howard Stern and talked about it during a Zoom interview during 2020. He did not like being away from his family. He had her pop on for a moment also. He wanted her and the kids with him, and so they would travel together. It was more doable back when they had three or so. Not so much now.

        He also stated that he had taken a lot of easy money-making work right in NYC so that he wouldn’t be away from his family, like that game show. It’s a few days a week and he makes great money, and stays in town with his family. He has his weekly podcast. I don’t think they live two separate lives at all.

        Now, of course, he is going to be away at times for movies. But he isn’t the lead in really any movies he does and hasn’t been a lead actor for years on movie sets. So his filming time away from family is not like a lead actor’s. Except this project, where he was going to be away for longer. Still, it’s an independent movie, so not super long filming periods away, like a huge budget movie.

      • molly says:

        @Jayna- that’s true that they spent a lot of time together in NYC, but I think the pandemic logistics changed things. They left the city and went to their huge Hamptons house at the beginning of it all. Once he started working again, it didn’t make sense to haul everyone back and forth to the city every time, especially with quarantine rules. I don’t think he saw the nearly as much.

        They’ve always seemed shocking solid for two people so different in age and background. Maybe they can make it through a problem their money can’t solve. I truly hope so, for those kids’ sake.

  3. Rocķy says:

    Its tragic all around. Who wouldn’t need time after this. Its revolting the way the right is jumping on this. Trump Jr is selling t-shirts for God’s sake

  4. Ariel says:

    He is absolutely not to blame as an actor handed a supposedly “safe” gun.
    however, as a producer, if all these statements and rumors and walk outs are truthful, he is to blame, along with everyone else on the high end of the production team.
    Safety concerns swept under the rug, a walk about allowed to happen, not with a resolution of fixing problems, but with plugging less safety oriented people into those holes.
    Civilly liable, and possible criminally negligent.

    I still feel awful for him though- ending someone’s life through an accident, must be devastating.
    I hope he gets whatever help and time he needs.

    • ME says:

      I didn’t know he was a producer on the movie. I guess he does have some blame in this then.

    • Theia says:

      I could be wrong but I think he was an executive producer, which means he provided funding for the movie. It’s different than a producer who runs the production, handles the hiring, etc.

      • Maria says:

        No, he is an actual producer. Allen Cheney, Tyler Gould, Matthew Helderman, Emily Hunter Salveson, and Luke Taylor are the executive producers.
        I feel for him, this was a terrible tragedy and he does have my sympathy. But he played a part in the set being unsafe and the job of armorer going to a person who was unprepared for it.

      • Courtney B says:

        Executive producers bear more responsibility. He could’ve just been attached for funding and distribution reasons. It’s not uncommon for low budget movies.

      • Maria says:

        In any case his production company was involved, which is why they are conducting an internal review now of their practices.

    • bettyrose says:

      This is where I fall too. I believe in that exact moment he was truly blameless, and he is legitimately devastated.

      Still, I’d like to know more about how and why the environment became so toxic that the union crew walked off set. He was a producer and may very well have had a hand in creating that toxicity (which is a far cry from premeditated or even negligent murder. These are separate issues, but it’s important that Hollywood learn every detail and ensure this never ever happens again).

    • tealily says:

      I 100% agree with this. He has my sympathy, because I’m sure this was a terrible experience, and anyone blaming him for his gun handling as an actor is an idiot. But as a producer, he is culpable for this. I can’t imagine living with being the one who was handling the gun though.

      • HelloDolly! says:

        Yes, I think he is culpable and knows he is indirectly partially at fault. As an executive producer, you help production run smoothly. Judging by the reports of the multiple misfires of this particular gun and him being a veteran actor/producer, he knows better. I also know that if he was properly trained as an actor/following his training, you never directly point a prop gun at any person on set, even if “practicing.”

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      This is a part of why I think taking space is a really healthy choice. (I don’t hold him responsible as actor but he was also a producer. As a unionist this is why the set should have be done shut down after the walk out. Upper management could have resolved the issues raised by unionised members instead of hiring scabs).
      The accidental death of Halyna Hutchings has clearly left him devastated. Taking space will allow him to heal on a personal level. And give him time to reflect on how he might handle the role of producer differently in the future. I appreciate how seriously he is taking this instead of fixating on projects to avoid confronting his feelings.
      I hope he has does some work on himself with a professional since he left that message on Ireland’s phone. And that a psychologist is a part of his support network. I can’t imagine what he is going through. But I do know that a strong support network is such a key part of the healing process.

    • Cate says:

      I agree, given his role as producer and his obvious presence on set I have a hard time believing he was completely unaware of safety/toxic work environment concerns. And given his history of being kind of a raging asshole, I can completely believe that his reaction to these concerns was something along the lines of “shut the fuck up you pansies, get back to work”. I am sure he is gutted by what has happened but I will definitely be interested to learn more about what he knew and how he reacted re: safety concerns before this happened.

      • Caseysmom says:

        We all cut corners every single day to save time and by the grace of God we do not suffer from it. Roll through a stop sign? Speed up to make a yellow light that is almost red? We’ve all taken liberties and most are lucky that nothing came from our inattention. It’s beyond tragic that cutting corners on this film cost a woman her life. I wish everyone would slow down and do their due diligence.

  5. kimberly says:

    I can’t even imagine what he is dealing with.

  6. Seraphina says:

    My heart goes out to everyone. I ache for her family that so tragically and abruptly lost their loved one and I ache for Alec. He looks like he is going through hell. Hell on earth.
    I know many acquaintances who like to post about their problems on FB – deaths, divorce or illnesses. But I operate like Alec, I go dark and isolate myself from everyone except loved ones. So I get it.
    I pray they all get through this and seek therapy.

    • Jayna says:

      Yeah, that’s a good description. Going through “hell on earth.” He’s been on this earth for 60 plus years. Never would he ever have thought he would tragically take someone’s life he worked with, knew, or anyone’s life, for that matter, with a gun. He watched her dying in front of him. I can’t imagine those frantic moments after. He knows the horrible pain and grief this is causing her husband and young son and the rest of her family and will change their lives forever. It is a horrible tragedy that will replay over and over in his mind for the rest of his life.

  7. Noki says:

    When was that top picture/selfie taken? Those are definitely the eyes of someone who has been crying none stop. Sad all around.

  8. Jayna says:

    He took someone’s life he knew in a violent way right in front of him. Not that he ever intended that or expected it. But it happened. And I have no doubt he is going to suffer from great depression and maybe PTSD. I can’t imagine. It has to feel like an ongoing nightmare he can’t wake up from.

  9. FHMom says:

    This story is horrific for everyone involved. SOMEBODY is to blame. Perhaps even several people who cut corners and made assumptions about other people doing their jobs. I have no idea. I’m sure when the shock wears off there will be a law suit filed and a settlement.

  10. olliesmom says:

    Everyone on this set must be so devastated..

    It is not the actor’s responsibility to make sure that a prop gun is not loaded. It was not Alec’s fault. It seems like there is so much finger pointing, rumors and speculation going on. It will be interesting to see the final results of what the forensic and interviews reveal.

    • judith A reeder says:

      I just read that it wasnt a prop gun. it was actually a real gun that should have been loaded with blanks. but a real bullet was left inside!!

      • Jaded says:

        Yes, I read that some of the crew were doing target practice with live ammo just for sh*ts and giggles and I guess they put the guns back without taking out the bullets.

      • N0B0dy says:

        Prop guns *are* real guns…

  11. GrnieWnie says:

    He looks tired and old. Imagine the financial pressures of a million kids, then this. It’s a lot.

  12. STRIPE says:

    Absolutely devastating all around.

    I grew up around guns so maybe this isn’t common knowledge, but if someone says a gun is unloaded, check it yourself, every single time. It’s not worth taking someone’s word for it.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “if someone says a gun is unloaded, check it yourself, every single time. It’s not worth taking someone’s word for it.”

      100%. the problem lies with the fact that MOST actors/actresses are NOT trained in gun safety. man, you better believe that if it were ME handling that gun, I’d want some basic safety training on it. first on the list would be “how do I tell if it’s loaded?”

      • Nope says:

        For legal, liability and safety reasons the actor is NEVER the last line of defense. They are explicitly NOT ALLOWED to check their own guns. That is the job of the expert on set, the armorer.

        If the actor checks the gun it changes it back from being considered a “prop” to considered “live” and the armorer has to take it back and go back down the checklist again. The scene would never be able to proceed if the actor insisted on checking the gun. They are not allowed to mess with the guns, period.

        The issue is NOT changing the protocol so that the actor is the last line of defense. It is that the standard protocol was violated in multiple horrific ways throughout this shoot. The armorer and the AD are definitely liable, and the management that hired them and allowed this to continue (it’s not clear if Alec’s role as an executive/producer makes him one of these or not) are going to have a degree of liability too.

      • Maria says:

        It has been made pretty clear as an actor he’s not responsible.
        But as a producer involved in a shoot where people raised safety concerns and walked off the set – that is not so clear and it is probable he and his company played a role.

  13. Rapunzel says:

    I feel for Alec. He might be producer, but I’m guessing that was likely in name only and he probably had very little to do with things like hiring and set safety.

    The armorer knew she wasn’t up to the job. Ultimately, it’s her fault. She shouldn’t have been hired, yes, but she also shouldn’t have taken a job she was unqualified for. It’s sad she felt unable to do the right thing and not take the job.

    And shame on the folks using this tragedy to hate on Alec- looking at you, Candace Owens

    • lucy2 says:

      It’s very concerning that someone would take a job involving gun safety, of all things, without complete confidence in their abilities.
      I can’t imagine how Alec must feel. It could have been any of the actors on that set, but ultimately it was him, and that’s a tough thing to live with going forward. I do hope he has support and professional help.
      My deepest sympathy to Halyna’s family. I truly can’t imagine.

    • Maria says:

      No, he was a producer with actual input on the set.
      I don’t know…the armorer should not have been hired, period. Ultimately, she was the one who felt her experience was insufficient and that should have been a red flag to the people on set who actually have experience. And as others have said, I think they felt that they could get her cheaper than another armorer and that played a role.
      I do feel for Alec and as an actor no he is not responsible. But as a producer…he and the network of people running the show know showbusiness better than she did, so putting others in danger by even contemplating hiring her is a problem to me.
      But I do hope is okay and gets the help he needs. This is an awful situation all around.

      • Eurydice says:

        From looking at the credits on IMDB, there seem to be about 16 crew members, including the director and cinematographer. There are always a few more, like PAs and others who work for the producers but aren’t on the film budget. But, basically it looks like a relatively small number of people. Nothing is hidden with such a small group – everyone had to have known that corners were being cut. I do feel sorry for Alec and wouldn’t want to wish that pain on anyone, but I’m sure he’s contemplating all the warning signs he may have ignored.

    • tealily says:

      I feel like a young woman saying she “isn’t sure she’s ready” for a new job isn’t something I’d put a whole lot of stock in. Imposter syndrome is a thing, and I know plenty of young (or not young) women who more than ready, but respond to big promotions and new chances that way. I think it would be easy to push the blame off on her. I hope there’s a thorough investigation.

      • Nope says:

        It depends on the job. When people’s lives depend on you getting it right, I want confidence based in extensive experience. I want confidence in the engineers who program traffic lights, and in surgeons, and in air traffic controllers, and apparently in armorers.

      • Maria says:

        I want confidence in those things too. Which is why it’s incumbent upon industry experts to be all the more stringent in hiring.

  14. Becks1 says:

    I can’t imagine what he and everyone else involved are going through. It’s such a horrendous tragedy. Taking some time away is probably the best move for him right now.

  15. Pam says:

    It’s very tragic for all concerned. However, the crazy conspiracy theorists are already out in full force. One nutso theory I read was that someone who’s a Trump supporter got onto the set as an extra or worker, and switched out the bullets to make Alec Baldwin look bad.

  16. Ellen says:

    Do you have a source for the fact that the gun fired a bullet? I thought that a live round could mean anything from a bullet to a blank, and I thought it was still unclear what the “projectile” was that was fired from the gun.

    • Nope says:

      It seems to be the consensus now that crew members took the guns off set for recreation and practiced with live ammo and that a gun loaded with a real bullet or bullets and not a blank made it back onto set without being checked, which should have happened multiple times before it ended up in Baldwin’s hand. That the projectile passed through Hutchins and hitting Souza is also only explained by it being a real bullet. It’s not settled enough yet to know for certain though I don’t think.

  17. browniecakes says:

    I’d be interested in hearing what Chad Stahelski has to say. He was a stuntman on The Crow who stood in for Brandon Lee after he was killed on set. And, he is the director on the John Wick films – are there any films that have more gun use! ? He must know allot about set gun safety.

    • msd says:

      John Wick movies don’t use functioning guns apparently. It’s all done in post production. I’m not sure if that’s entirely because Stahelski was friends with Brandon Lee. Probably a factor but I read it’s also impossible to have anything discharging at all in close action stunts.

  18. tealily says:

    A friend of mine worked on a previous project with this assistant director and said he was just awful. Negligent about safety and awful to women in particular. It sure sounds like the folks who have worked for Thomasville Pictures in the past aren’t surprised.

  19. Kizzle says:

    (FYI – this info is second hand, but my friends are in film and worked with Halyna.) While I understand why people are saying not to blame Alec Baldwin for someone else’s mistake….As the producer, Alec Baldwin had a responsibility to everyone on set to create a safe environment. This includes not holding the entire film hostage to the 21 day shooting timeline when so many safety issues & walk-offs had happened. Many armorers turned down the job because the film’s budget was seen as too low for the level of danger posed given the amount of guns on set (red flag!). It is tragic that the people directly responsible for gun safety did not do their jobs, but Alec allowed that dangerous situation to continue by not listening to the crew when they raised concerns. If anything, he is someone who has the power and responsibility to speak up for the crew and ensure that they are 1) paid (paychecks were not being delivered on time), 2) safe (safety meetings were not being held despite multiple accidents on set), and 3) their needs are met (ex. max 12 hour days, hotel rooms instead of traveling 60 miles each way to set, etc.). If your star and producer says conditions need to change, that is extremely hard for a studio to deny. Unfortunately this tragedy is a direct example of what happens when film sets are run by studios & the bottom line, instead of listening and meeting the needs of the crew. THIS IS EXACTLY WHY FILM CREWS ARE SAYING SET CONDITIONS ARE DANGEROUS! It’s a shame that this happened, but I truly hope this serves as a catalyst for improving conditions on film sets.

  20. Cessily says:

    Horrible, I can not imagine what he and everyone involved are going through. Personally I hate guns, I do not understand why they use real guns.. they can use a realistic looking fake, sound effects, and other techniques. Real guns bring nothing but heartache.

  21. Tourmaline says:

    Variety has had a lot of great reporting on this, both what specifically happened on this set and the larger implications for the industry. One of the things mentioned was that there is a huge shortage of experienced production talent, due in part to a huge increase in content being created across different platforms. Also that many production entities/financiers these days are like venture capital firms that are ruthless about cost cutting and completely cut off from the day to day and safety considerations on a production. This plays into the union/labor disputes that are occurring in the industry lately.

    For Rust, a relatively low budget film, Variety listed 6-7 production entities involved, only one of which was Alec Baldwin’s production company (El Dorado Pictures).

  22. MangoAngelesque says:

    I don’t think he’s a producer if jus movies in the way Tom Cruise is a producer of his movies, in that his hands and eyes are on everything, but even then, tragic accidents can happen. But in this case, I think Alec was a money man and name producer, and was the person who hit handed the hot gun by a horribly negligent (and hopefully not malicious) crew member.

    How horrendous. Of course he’s gutted. I hope his family can rally for him. I’m not a fan of his, but this would devastate anyone, and the potential PTSD could be tremendous. I also hope it rattles the industry enough to implement real safety changes, considering the level of attention this is getting.

  23. K says:

    This is an awful situation and I feel so bad for him. He bears no real responsibility, yet he’ll probably regret this for the rest of his life.

  24. msd says:

    I said elsewhere that when things like this happen it’s never one thing. It’s always multiple issues creating a perfect storm. Like a plane crash. And someone else rightly pointed out that the starting point, at least on film productions, is always money.

    In this case, there seem to be some key factors:

    – low budget and cutting corners (inexperienced crew, unrealistic/tight shooting schedule etc)
    – inexperienced armorer not following protocol but also not asserting themselves to make sure protocol was being followed
    – first AD with a poor safety record obsessed with “making the day” and running rough shod over props/armorer

    I’ve read about gun protocols on set. They’re really tedious. Necessary but super tedious and time-consuming. I have no doubt that other low budget productions have cut corners under pressure. There but for the grace … etc. The lethal combination here was that particular 1st AD combined with that particular armorer. But they weren’t operating in a vacuum … Ultimately it’s the producers and the production company at fault. They created a negligent, dangerous environment.

    Baldwin didn’t intentionally hurt anyone but he isn’t quite blameless either. Firstly he’s a producer on the film but also, he’s a very experienced actor who 100% *knows* a 1st AD handing him a weapon isn’t following protocol. He was wearing two hats and his producing duties may well have clouded things.

    No one with authority stepped up. That’s all that was needed to avoid this very avoidable tragedy.

    The only good thing to come out of this is that, as with Brandon Lee, Halyna’s death will ensure even tighter rules in future.