George Clooney is speaking out about the fatal prop gun accident that left one dead and one injured on the set of Rust.
Last month, Oscar-nominated actor Alec Baldwin was filming a scene for his upcoming movie Rust. During a series of events that are still being determined, Baldwin was handed a prop gun that was armed with a live bullet. And when he fired the weapon, it struck and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
The accident mirrored two other Hollywood incidents that killed Brandon Lee and Jon-Erik Hexum, who were friends of George Clooney.
On an episode of WTF With Marc Maron, Clooney spoke out about the “infuriating” and “insane” events that led to the tragic death. Because according to him, there is a very specific protocol that actors follow to ensure those sorts of accidents do not happen.
“Every single time I’m handed a gun on the set — every time — they hand me a gun, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I’m pointing it to, I show it to the crew,” Clooney said. “Every single take.” Then, “You hand it back to the armor when you’re done.”
The Ocean’s Eleven actor shared that the death of Brandon Lee spurred the protocol change. And “everyone does it. Everyone knows.”
“Maybe Alec did that — hopefully he did do that,” he continued. “But the problem is dummies are tricky because they look like real [rounds]. They got a little tiny hole in the back [from which] somebody’s [removed] the gunpowder.”
Because dummy bullets are “tricky,” Clooney takes extra precautions before handing over prop guns because “It’s just insane” not to.
“I mean every time I get handed a six-gun,” or a gun that holds six cartridges, “you point it at the ground and you squeeze it six times,” Clooney said.
George Clooney Has Never Heard the Term ‘Cold Gun’
As news continues to trickle in from the Rust investigation, George Clooney is growing more skeptical about the situation. The actor did share that he doesn’t believe anyone intended to kill Hutchins. But there appears to have been major oversights. And now, crew members are beginning to point fingers.
Recently, Alec Baldwin revealed that director David Halls declared the prop gun a “cold” gun. And when he did, Baldwin assumed the prop was safe to fire. But Clooney said that is not a common protocol. And during his 43 years in Hollywood, he’s never even heard the term.
“I’ve never heard the term ‘cold gun,'” Clooney said of his years of movie-making. “I’ve never heard that term. Literally. They’re just talking about stuff I’ve never heard of. It’s just infuriating.”
A film’s prop person or armorer are the only two people who are “responsible for the gun,” he said.
“It’s a series of tragedies, but also a lot of mistakes,” he concluded. “A lot of stupid mistakes.”