You should expect Hollywood to rally around someone like Alec Baldwin following the shooting on the set of the film Rust. After all, at best we have a tragic accident that cost the life of a budding cinematographer and traumatized everyone on the set. They’d want to rally around one of their own.
However, while we still lack a lot of answers, more and more information suggests that something strange was going on during the filming of the movie.
Actor George Clooney, while not actually assigning blame, talked a little bit about it recently.
“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, noting “It’s just insane” not to.
The actor also laments the term “cold gun,” which was what the gun that shot was described on the set of Rust to denote it was safe for use.
“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.”
So, according to Clooney, it’s apparently not abnormal for an actor to check the weapon and verify whether it’s loaded or not and if there’s anything in there, to make sure it’s the right kind of “round.” He does note earlier in the piece that it’s hard to tell the difference between live rounds and dummy round.
However, what I find interesting is the claim that he’s never heard the term “cold gun” on a set.
Clooney’s been in a lot of movies. Some of those have had guns, so it’s not like he isn’t familiar with how firearms are handled on a set. He’s been around the block enough times to know what’s normal and what isn’t.
And I find that fascinating.
See, if “cold gun” is normal on a set, it means actors are used to being told that a weapon is cold. While that wouldn’t necessarily excuse Baldwin not checking–assuming, of course, that he didn’t as opposed to looking and misjudging what was in the revolver he was handed–it would at least make such an oversight somewhat understandable.
Many have argued actors generally just work with what they’re handed. If “cold gun” was normal, that would lend credence to that argument. The problem is, that simply doesn’t appear to be the case in any way, shape, or form.
The investigation into what happened precisely is continuing, and I suspect that Baldwin won’t face any criminal charges stemming from what happened. I could be wrong, but nothing I’ve heard from the DA suggests they’re looking at prosecuting the actor. Instead, they’ll likely set their sights elsewhere.
Where Baldwin may face issues is that if weapons weren’t handled according to industry standards, the fact that he’s a producer may well lead to him being partially on the hook in civil cases.