The husband of the cinematographer shot and killed by Alec Baldwin blasted the actor for shifting blame and making himself sound like a victim, despite having been the one to pull the trigger.
‘He said essentially he felt grief but no guilt. Almost sounds like he was the victim,’ Matt Hutchins told TODAY in an interview aired Thursday.
‘And hearing him blame Halyna in the interview and shift responsibility to others and seeing him cry about it, I just feel like – are we really supposed to feel bad about you, Mr. Baldwin?’
Halyna Hutchins, 42, died on October 21 when a prop gun used in the film Rust fired, shooting Hutchins in the chest.
Baldwin, 63, was told the gun he brandished was ‘cold’ – not loaded – and on December 3 he told ABC News that he did not feel guilty for her death, because he did not believe he was responsible.
‘Watching him I just felt so angry,’ said Matt Hutchins, Halyna’s husband of 16 years.
‘I was just so angry to see him talk about her death so publicly in such a detailed way and then to not accept any responsibility after having just described killing her.’
Matt Hutchins, husband of Halyna Hutchins and father of their nine-year-old son Andros, blasted actor Alec Baldwin for shifting blame and making himself sound like a victim, despite having been the one to pull the trigger on the gun that killed his wife
Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot and killed on set on October 21
Hutchins, a Harvard-educated lawyer, told Today he felt the majority of the blame lay with Baldwin.
Baldwin, in the December interview, said: ‘Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but it’s not me.’
Hutchins said: ‘The idea that the person holding the gun and causing it to discharge is not responsible is absurd to me.
‘But gun safety was not the only problem on that set. There were a number of industry standards that were not practiced and there’s multiple responsible parties,’ he added.
The widower, who has a nine-year-old son named Andros with his late wife, filed a wrongful death suit against Baldwin on February 15.
The suit, which alleges at least 15 safety practices were disregarded on the set, argues a wider cost cutting culture ultimately led to Halyna’s death.
‘The lawsuit [is] seeking to hold accountable the people who are responsible for Halyna’s death, which was totally preventable,’ Hutchins said. ‘In the end, you know, justice won’t bring Halyna back, but maybe the memory of her can help keep people safe and prevent something like this from ever happening again.’
Baldwin’s attorney has said any claims the actor was reckless are ‘entirely false’.
Hutchins, a Harvard-educated lawyer, told Today he felt the majority of the blame lay with Alec Baldwin (pictured in December). The widower said: ‘The idea that the person holding the gun and causing it to discharge is not responsible is absurd to me’
The widower (right), who has a nine-year-old son named Andros (left) with his late wife, filed a wrongful death suit against Baldwin on February 15. The suit, which alleges at least 15 safety practices were disregarded on the set, argues a wider cost cutting culture ultimately led to Halyna’s death
Halyna Hutchins is shown on set with Alec Baldwin, who was also the executive producer of Rust, and the film’s other stars – Josh Hopkins (left), Travis Fimmel (second from right) and Jensen Ackles (right)
Halyna Hutchins is pictured with her son, Andros
Alec Baldwin is spotted in New York Thursday morning after an interview with Matthew Hutchins aired on the Today Show
Hutchins, who described his romance with Halyna as love at first sight, also shared the heartbreaking moment he learned of her passing.
‘I remember the production team told me that Halyna had been shot, and my heart sank right away, completely inexplicable to me that it could have happened at that moment,’ he recalled.
‘When I got to the doctor and spoke with him and he detailed exactly what had happened and that she didn’t survive, I mean, I was heartbroken. I knew that I had to tell my son right away when I saw him.’
Hutchins said he knew he had to be ‘very direct and blunt’ with Andros about the incomprehensible loss of his mother. He recalled sitting him down and telling him she had died before the pair travelled to Santa Fe, where the movie was filminh.
‘When I saw him, just had to be very direct and blunt, because going to pick him up and go to the airport and go to Santa fe, I didn’t want him to think we were going to be seeing her and having fun together and getting his hopes up,’ he said.
‘I told him sitting together that his mother had been shot and died. And of course he didn’t believe it right away. He didn’t want to believe it.’
Hutchins added: ‘I think that that kind of news you just have to say multiple times so that it can be believed. And so he believed it, and we cried together then, every holiday – Christmas, New Year’s, our anniversary, my birthday, Valentine’s Day – I mean, every holiday is difficult without her and for me and Andros.’
Hutchins and Halyna had a whirlwind romance that resulted in 16 years of marriage.
‘It was pretty magical,’ he told TODAY, recalling how he traveled 2,000 miles to Halyna’s home country of Ukraine to propose only three months after they met.
‘I like to trust my intuition on matters of the heart, and I was like, well, I can just get on a train and go 2,000 miles and get there,’ he said. ‘That’s what love does. Wow. It was along the way where I decided to propose and I got down on my knee and said let’s get married.’
‘This is way too fast for her she said, “I don’t know about this.” So I had to convince her, and we met up and I gave her a ring.’
In addition to being the love of his life, Hutchins remembers Halyna as a loving and devoted mothers.
‘She just felt that connection and just loved him so much,’ he said of her relationship with Andros.
Hutchins and Halyna (pictured together) had a whirlwind romance that he described as ‘magical’ and love at first sight. They were married for 16 years
Matthew and Halyna Hutchins are pictured with their son Andros, aged nine
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins is pictured filming with a camera in this undated photo
The cinematographer would call her son every night from the Rust movie set.
‘They would get on video, you know, and she would just do everything she could as a mom to reassure him, you know, just give him kisses,’ Hutchins said. ‘I think it helped him get to sleep every night knowing that she was thinking about him.’
The father noted how losing her was nothing they ever imagined.
‘I feel like in life we expect certain things to happen. We expect the sun to raise. We expect the sun to set, and we expect our loved one to come home at night,’ he said. ‘We certainly expected her to come home and to be there with us in our new home.’
Although she is no longer with them, Hutchins explained how people and organizations are keeping her memory alive.
The American Film Institute (AFI), where Halyna earned her graduate degree, has started a scholarship in her honor.
‘AFI has been wonderful,’ Hutchins said. ‘I also want her legacy as an artist to live. AFI has created the scholarship in her name, I think that’s part of her legacy. You know, she would have been mentoring fellow female cinematographers as a guiding light for others.’
Additionally, Hutchins said the family is ‘pursuing justice every way we can,’ which includes the civil lawsuit seeking responsibility for Halyna’s ‘totally preventable’ death.
Alec Baldwin is seen returning to his New York apartment on Thursday, Feb. 24, after Hutchins’ interview had aired on the TODAY Show
Alec Baldwin is seen on Wednesday in New York City with two of his children
Baldwin, seen on Wednesday, angered Hutchins with his claim that he felt no guilt for his wife’s death
Hutchins met Baldwin in New Mexico, shortly after the fatal shooting.
‘Her husband comes to town, her husband Matthew,’ Baldwin said in the December interview with ABC.
‘And I met with him and their son. He was as kind as you could be. ‘
Asked what he said, Baldwin replied: ‘I didn’t know what to say. He hugged me and he goes, ‘I suppose you and I are going to go through this together.’ And I thought, ‘Well, not as much as you are.’
Brian Panish, representing Hutchins, said the Oscar-nominated actor and others are named defendants ‘responsible for the safety on the set and whose reckless behavior in cost cutting led to the senseless and tragic death of Halyna Hutchins.’
The suit also names the armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, 24, who has said that she loaded the antique Colt .45 revolver with what she believed were dummy rounds.
Gutierrez-Reed named crew member Seth Kenney, who supplied ammunition to the set, in her own suit, filed in January.
Gutierrez-Reed gave the gun to Dave Halls, an assistant director on the movie, who is also named in the Hutchins family’s lawsuit.
The set of Rust, at the Bonanza Creek Ranch outside of Santa Fe
She was shot just moments after the crew entered a church set to rehearse a scene (above)
The gun prepared by the film’s armorer, Hannah Gutierrez Reed (right), discharged in Baldwin’s hands as it was aimed at Hutchins (left)
Halls told Baldwin the gun was ‘cold’.
Gutierrez-Reed, in her suit, described the set of Rust as a ‘rushed and chaotic atmosphere, (that) created a perfect storm for a safety incident.’
NBC News reported that ‘multiple previous misfires’ by the same prop gun that killed Hutchins caused multiple crew members to walk off the movie’s set hours before the incident.
Lane Luper, who served as the film’s A-camera first assistant, said he quit one day before the fatal shooting because employees were being overworked, COVID-safety was not being enforced properly, and gun safety was poor.
‘I think with Rust, it was the perfect storm of the armorer, the assistant director, the culture that was on set, the rushing. It was everything,’ he told Good Morning America about the events that led up to the fatal shooting.
‘It wasn’t just one individual. Everything had to fall into place for this one-in-a-trillion thing to happen.’
In his letter of resignation, Luper said there had been two accidental weapon discharges on set and one accidental sound-effects explosion that went off around the crew.
‘There have been NO explanations as to what to expect for these shots. When anyone from production is asked we are usually met with the same answers about not having enough time to complete the day if we rehearse or that ‘this is a 21 day shoot,” Luper wrote in the letter.
He added that the crew grew exhausted of the long commutes from the set to their lodging, which for some more than two hours away.
‘In my 10 years as a camera assistant I’ve never worked on a show that cares so little for the safety of its crew,’ Luper said.
In a statement to Sky News, a spokesperson for the producers hit back at his claims, saying: ‘Mr Luper’s allegations around budget and safety are patently false, which is not surprising considering his job was to be a camera operator, and he had absolutely nothing to do with it or knowledge of safety protocols or budgets.
‘As we continue to cooperate with all investigations, we are limited in what we can say,’ the spokesperson continued.
‘However, safety is always the number one priority.’
Baldwin insisted that he was unaware of any problems on set.
He was rehearsing a scene in which he pulls out his gun and, in an interview with ABC on December 2, said that he never pulled the trigger, but the gun went off anyway.
Hutchins, a 42-year-old cinematographer, was shot and killed. The director of the film, Joel Souza, was shot in the shoulder and survived.
It is unclear why it has taken so long for New Mexico police to seize Baldwin’s phone.
The actor has insisted that he has fully cooperated with the investigation.
Baldwin on December 2 gave an emotional interview to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, in which he said he did not pull the trigger, and felt no guilt because he believed he had done nothing wrong.
The American Film Institute (AFI), where Halyna earned her graduate degree, has started a scholarship in her honor
Baldwin wept as he described accidentally shooting dead his cinematographer on the set of his film Rust during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos
Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 21 after he was questioned about the shooting
‘I let go of the hammer, bang. The gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They’re shocked. It’s loud,’ he said.
He told Stephanopoulos that he didn’t know she’d died until hours later, at the end of his police interview when he was photographed in the sheriff’s parking lot in Santa Fe.
He said that he has been told by people ‘in the know’ that it is ‘highly unlikely’ he’ll face criminal charges.
‘Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who it is, but it’s not me,’ Baldwin told Stephanopoulos.
‘Honest to God, if I thought I was responsible I might have killed myself. And I don’t say that lightly.’
He also took a swipe at former President Donald Trump, his media foe who he impersonated on Saturday Night Live, for suggesting that he ‘loaded the gun himself.’
‘He said that I did it deliberately. Just when you think things can’t get any more surreal, here’s the president of the United States making a comment on this tragic situation.’
Baldwin described in detail for the first time the immediate aftermath of the accident on October 21.
He was filming a scene inside a church on the set of the movie when the gun was handed to him.
‘She’s getting me to position the gun – everything is at her direction. I draw the gun, to her marker. I’m not shooting to the camera lens, I’m shooting just off. In her direction. This was a completely incidental shot, that may not have ended up in the film.’
Baldwin says he cocked the gun, and was discussing with Hutchins how it looked on camera.
‘I’m just showing. I go, ‘How ’bout that? Does that work? You see that? Do you see that?’ And then she goes, ‘Yeah, that’s good.’
‘I let go of the hammer, bang. The gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They’re shocked. It’s loud. They don’t have their earplugs in.
Hutchins’ October 19, 2021 Instagram post showed cast members and staffers, including Baldwin alongside Hutchins herself and armorer Gutierrez-Reed (circled left to right) on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Baldwin’s version of on-set tragedy
‘I’m just showing. I go, ‘How ’bout that? Does that work? You see that? Do you see that?’
‘And then she goes, ‘Yeah, that’s good.’
‘I let go of the hammer, bang. The gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They’re shocked. It’s loud. They don’t have their earplugs in.
‘No one was – the gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun.
‘If they were cosmetic rounds, nothing with a charge at all, a flash round, nothing.
‘She goes down, I thought to myself, ‘Did she faint?’
‘The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me ’till probably 45 minutes to an hour later.’
He added: ‘Well, she’s laying there and I go, ‘Did she hit by wadding? Was there a blank?’
‘I never pulled the trigger. No, no, no. You would never do that.
‘The gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun.
‘Nobody gave a f*** who you are any more until this. You see a lot of people with their phones now, in a coffee shop,’ he said, showing them filming him.
‘No one was – the gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun. If they were cosmetic rounds, nothing with a charge at all, a flash round, nothing.
‘She goes down, I thought to myself, ‘Did she faint?’ The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me ’till probably 45 minutes to an hour later.’
He added: ‘Well, she’s laying there and I go, ‘Did she hit by wadding? Was there a blank?’ Sometimes those blank rounds have a wadding inside that packs, it’s like a cloth that packs the gunpowder in. Sometimes wadding comes out, it can hit people, and it could feel like a little bit of a poke.
‘But no one could understand. Did she have a heart attack? Because remember the idea that someone put a live bullet in the gun was not even in reality.’
‘I never pulled the trigger. No, no, no. You would never do that.’
Halls, the assistant director who was watching, confirmed Baldwin’s account, through his lawyer.
He said he stood over her for ‘about 60 seconds’ and was then ushered out.
‘Was she conscious?’ Stephanopoulos asked.
‘My recollection is yes,’ said Baldwin.
He said ‘no one had any idea’ there was live ammunition used until a police officer showed a photo of the shrapnel removed from Souza’s arm.
He said then began ‘the agony, insanity, that someone put a live bullet in the gun.
‘She was laying there and she was there for a while.
‘I was amazed at how long they didn’t get her in a car or get her out, but they waited until a helicopter came,’ he said.
‘And by the time the helicopter took off with her we were literally all glued to that process outside.
‘When she finally left, I don’t know how long she was there for.
‘She kept saying, she’s stable, just as you disbelieve there was a live round in the gun, you disbelieve its going to be a fatal accident.
‘At the end of my interview with the sheriff’s department, they told me ‘we regret to inform you she didn’t make it,’ they told me then and there.’
He added: ‘That’s when I went outside and called my wife.’