LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Actor George Clooney weighed in on the story that shocked Hollywood, calling the fatal shooting on the set of the Alec Baldwin western film “Rust” “insane” and “infuriating.”
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“Why, for the life of me, this low-budget film with producers who haven’t produced anything wouldn’t have hired for the armorer someone with experience…they weren’t even using that gun to do target practice and that is insane,” Clooney said Monday on a popular podcast.
The actor appeared on comedian Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast and recalled his close friendship with Brandon Lee, the son of Bruce Lee, who was accidentally shot and killed on a movie set in 1993.
“After Brandon died, it really became a very clear thing of: open the gun, look down the barrel, look in the cylinder, make sure. It’s a series of tragedies, but, you know, a lot of stupid mistakes,” Clooney said.
The 60-year-old actor, who has worked with weapons multiple times over the course of his career, including on the film “Three Kings,” talked about his own safety practices on set.
“”I open it. I show it to the person I’m point it to. I show it to the crew. Everybody knows. And maybe Alec did that. Hopefully he did do that, but the problem is dummies are tricky because they look like real bullets,” he said.
Last month’s shooting on the New Mexico set of “Rust” claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. The gun that Baldwin used in the fatal shooting was to be “cold,” meaning it wasn’t supposed to be loaded with live ammunition.READ MORE: In Wake Of Recent Crime Uptick, Beverly Hills Hires More Officers And Increases Patrols
“I’ve never heard the term ‘cold gun.” I’ve never heard that term, literally. They’re just talking about stuff I’ve never heard of. It’s just infuriating,” Clooney said.
Expert armorers beg to differ, saying “cold gun” is an industry standard term and a normal part of the on-set safety checks.
“That is something that is always used, ‘hot gun,’ ‘cold gun,'” said motion picture armorer Bill Davis. “That’s the way we do it, that’s been done for years. If he hasn’t heard it, then he’s been living under a rock for the past 30 years.”
The “Rust” shooting has drawn swift backlash from other big names in Hollywood and has spurred investigations and lawsuits. Some have even called to end the use of weapons on set completely, but armorers still insist there is a safe way to use them.
Clooney went on to say that he doesn’t know Baldwin well, and explained he doesn’t think anyone on the set had bad intentions, but that filmmakers need to take more precautions moving forward, including hiring armorers with lots of training.MORE NEWS: Police Seeking Suspects In North Hollywood Shooting And Crash