“If it was up to the actor to decide whether a firearm was safe or not, you wouldn’t need body armor in the first place,” Shannon said.
“Bullet Train” star Michael Shannon is on the set of “Rust.”
Shannon dealt with the involuntary manslaughter charges against Alec Baldwin following the October 2021 death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. Baldwin and bodyguard Hannah Gutierrez-Reed face the same charge under New Mexico law, and any involuntary manslaughter charges must be considered male. is a fourth-degree felony and is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Two-time Oscar nominee Shannon shared her reaction to Baldwin’s accusations, but also pointed out that the “rusty” production “cuts corners” as an independent film.
“I’m not judging Alec.” I feel terrible for the guy. It’s a nightmare,” Shannon said The Chicago Tribune. “I feel terrible for everyone in this production. But that’s what happens when you cut corners and hire people who may not be qualified and pay them next to nothing and make the movie on the cheap. People get jobs in this profession because they are willing to work for a low enough fee. I always see that.”
“Rust” had a budget of $7 million and Baldwin was one of the producers.
Shanoon added: “If it was up to the actor to decide whether a firearm was safe or not, then you wouldn’t need body armor in the first place. Being an armorer is hard work, demanding work, and I have nothing but respect for them. But in this case, it was that we went to the ER and it turned out that her doctor wasn’t a real doctor.
The “George & Tammy” star, who made his directorial debut with “Eric Larue,” a film about the aftermath of a school shooting, said the on-site arming was “absolutely not negligent.” “He is very, very meticulous. On most sets, if there is an activity that is considered potentially risky in any way, shape, or form, they start the day with a safety meeting held by the assistant director,” Shannon shared. “They go over all the potential dangerous camera activity and how we’re going to handle it so that no one gets hurt. This is how the day starts. And all the armorers I worked with were extremely demanding in what they did.”
He continued, “But ‘rust’ is an example of a problem I’m seeing more and more in film production these days. On smaller productions, on independent productions, producers want more and more for less and less. They don’t want to give you enough money. They cut corners ridiculously, in every way. And they get away with it. So every time someone makes a great movie for a million dollars, it sets a precedent.”
Shannon added: “The financiers say, well, Joe Blow made a movie for a million, we’ll give you a million. And you say, ‘But I need $3 million to get back on track.’ And they say, “Well, then I guess you won’t.” They cut the budget to the bare minimum – but the one thing you can’t cut is your armor. If there are guns in the movie, this is no place to cut corners… The person in “Rust” was clearly not qualified for the job. He shouldn’t have been there.”
During rehearsals on the set of his film, Shannon noted that the actors rarely handled real weapons and instead had to go through the motions with a plastic firearm.
“Just have the real gun in your hand right before you shoot,” he said. “Now sometimes that doesn’t happen. Sometimes they give you the gun to get a little closer to shooting. But there is a procedure for that. They open the barrel. They show that there is nothing in it. They show the chambers, they show the assistant director, and it’s a visual confirmation. The AD has to check it, the actor checks it, and the armorer checked it. All three people should see that there is nothing in there. Then they hand it over to you.”
He added: “With Rust, before the gun was in his hands, (Baldwin) would have seen with his own eyes that there was nothing in it. The armorer should have brought the gun over to him and said, “Here’s your firearm.” It’s empty.’ Or maybe (the gun) has decoy or dummy rounds; you pull the trigger, nothing happens. But he’s never content to walk up to an actor and hand him the gun without showing him what’s inside. Ever. This was the cataclysmic event on “Rust”.
“Rust” is scheduled to continue in production, with Hutchins’ widow producing despite the accusations against Baldwin.
Register: Stay up to date with the latest movie and TV news! Subscribe to our email newsletter here.