Nicolas Cage Says Stars ‘Need to Know How to Use a Gun’ on Movie Sets

by Chris Haney

During a recent roundtable discussion, Hollywood legend Nicolas Cage chimed in on the ongoing discussion about gun safety on the set of movies and television shows. He didn’t want to cast blame, but emphatically stated that actors should know how to properly handle a firearm if using one while filming.

Back in October, Alec Baldwin fatally shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the western Rust. Allegedly, Baldwin didn’t realize his gun was loaded with live ammunition. However, many in the film industry have criticized the actor for not double-checking the weapon himself.

Recently, The Hollywood Reporter brought together five actors for a roundtable talk about their profession. The discussion included Nicolas Cage, Andrew Garfield, Peter Dinklage, Simon Rex, and Jonathan Majors. At one point, the five men were asked if there should be guns on sets at all. As the star of Face/Off, Con Air, and many more action films, the 57-year-old has used guns on set plenty during his long career. He says it’s vital that movie stars know proper procedures for handling real firearms on set.

“I don’t want to cast blame anywhere,” Nicolas Cage shared. “But I do think, and I’m not talking about anybody, but people don’t like the word movie star. We want to be humble actors. But a movie star is a bit of a different kind of presentation because you need to know how to ride a horse. You need to know how to fight. You’re going to do fight scenes.”

“You need to know how to use a stick shift and drive sports cars. And you do need to know how to use a gun. You do. You need to take the time to know what the procedure is. Those are part of the job profiles,” Cage added.

Nicolas Cage’s Fellow Actors Share Their Thoughts On the Subject

As the roundtable discussion continued, Nicolas Cage’s fellow actors chimed in with similar opinions. Dinklage is most well-known as Tyrion Lannister from HBO’s wildly popular Game of Thrones. They didn’t use firearms in the hit series, but he’s acted with them before even though he’s not a gun proponent. Dinklage thinks it’s time to move away from real firearms on set.

“That should never happen again,” Dinklage said of the Rust incident. “Anything we can do to move away from that, then we should. That’s our responsibility.”

Actor Andrew Garfield is no stranger to action movies either. He portrayed Spider-Man in two Marvel films that released in 2012 and 2014. While Spidey shoots webs not bullets, he called it a “no-brainer” to move on from real guns on set when agreeing with Dinklage.

“Yeah, it’s kind of a no-brainer. If it can be avoided, avoid it,” Garfield agreed.

“Yeah, and it can be avoided because look at what you can do with movies,” Dinklage added. “But that also calls into question, are there too many guns in movies? We’ve all held guns in movies, probably. I always think about that, being anti-gun myself, but the character isn’t. So it’s a very complicated thing. But that made it very clear that there has to be change now, 100 percent.”