Mickey Rourke says there is “no way in hell” Alec Baldwin should be charged with negligence over the fatal ‘Rust’ shooting.
The 70-year-old ‘Angel Heart’ actor, spoke out in the 64-year-old’s defence after it was announced on Thursday (19.01.23) he was being charged with involuntary manslaughter for the October 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Mickey said on Instagram: “I usually never put my 2 cents in about what happens on someone’s movie set. It’s a terrible tragedy what happened to a cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
“But no way in hell actor Alec Baldwin should be charged with any negligence whatsoever.
“Most actors don’t know anything about guns especially if they didn’t grow up around them.
“Alec didn’t bring the gun to the set from his house or his car, when weapons are involved on a movie set, the guns are supposed to he handled only by the ‘weapon armor’.
“In some cases the 1st AD (Assistant Director) might pass a gun to an actor, but most of the time the gun is handed to the actor directly by the ‘gun armor’.
“There’s what armor’s job is on the set. To have an expert around any type of dangerous weapon.
“The actor then has an option of dry firing the gun him or himself to double check.
“No way in hell should Alec Baldwin be blamed for this unfortunate tragedy. “Why ‘the powers to be’ charging Baldwin with this responsibility is terribly wrong. I am sure Alec is already suffering enough over what happened. But to lay a blame on him is terribly terribly wrong.”
Mickey signed off with his name and the message: “With my deepest condolences to Halyna Hutchins, to her family and her friends.”
Alec’s involuntary manslaughter charge has also been branded “wrong and uninformed” by actors union SAG-AFTRA, who highlighted that film industry standards from the Labor Management Safety Commission require “an experienced, qualified armorer to be put in charge of all handling, use, and safekeeping of firearms on set”.
The group added in a statement on Thursday: “The guidelines do not make it the performer’s responsibility to check any firearm. Performers train to perform, and they are not required or expected to be experts on guns or experienced in their use.”
Alec was handed a loaded prop Colt .45 revolver and, unaware it contained live ammunition, fired a round that struck Halyna in the chest and wounded director Joe Souza while the crew was inside a church building on the Bonanza Creek Ranch near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The actor and the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed, who loaded the weapon, have been charged with involuntary manslaughter by Mary Carmack-Altwies, the First Judicial District Attorney in Santa Fe.
The film’s first assistant director, David Halls, who handed the firearm to Alec on the set of western ‘Rust’, has agreed to plead guilty to a charge of negligent use of a deadly weapon.
Under New Mexico law, Alec and Hannah could face a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted.
But for the actor to be found guilty of the charges, the state will have to prove he was negligent and acted recklessly with the prop gun.