I am still coming to terms with the enormity of Alec Baldwin accidentally killing someone on the set of his latest movie, Rust.
Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, 42, was shot in the chest after Alec was handed a gun and told it was safe.
“Cold gun!”, the assistant director shouted, according to a search warrant submitted to court. “Cold” is the term used for a gun that isn’t loaded.
However, the prop gun that Alec fired contained a “live single round”, according to an email sent by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees to its membership, reports Variety.
Halyna died while being flown by helicopter to hospital. She left behind a husband and an eight-year-old son.
“My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna,” Alec wrote on Twitter. “There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours.”
A source close to the star told the New York Post: “Alec is absolutely devastated, distraught, in shock and in disbelief how this could have happened. Yes, he can be hot-headed, but deep down Alec has a very good heart. He’s a fragile guy, and we don’t know how he will ever come to terms with this.”
How does anyone come to terms with it? My heart breaks for Halyna, her husband, her son and for Alec. The tragic incident has made headlines around the world. The terrible moment he pulled the trigger and Halyna fell to the ground will be etched in his mind and heart forever.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Alec, I loved him in 30 Rock and It’s Complicated.
However, his hot head has resulted in his personal life to be dogged by controversy. As The Guardian aptly describes it: “The actor appears to be one of those unlucky people who live at the mercy of the Gods, either buffeted by ill-fortune, or actively inviting disaster.”
There have been many angry incidents over the decades, but I’ll stick to the biggies.
He was involved in a bitter divorce from actress Kim Basinger and left an angry voicemail message in 2007 on his 11-year-old daughter Ireland’s phone that was leaked to the media. She was living with her mother at the time and didn’t answer a court-mandated call from her father.
“You are a rude, thoughtless little pig,” he said. “You don’t have the brains or the decency as a human being. I don’t give a damn that you’re 12 years old, or 11 years old, or that you’re a child, or that your mother is a thoughtless pain in the a** who doesn’t care about what you do as far as I’m concerned.”
Alec apologised, attributing it to the grief of being “alienated as a father” and said he had suicidal thoughts after it was made public.
He fell madly in love with yoga teacher Hilaria Thomas in 2011. The couple married in 2012 and have six children. He’s a devoted husband and loving father, but the couple are constantly stalked and taunted by paparazzi photographers. Not a good combination for a man known to lose his cool.
The worst incident was back in 1995, when he allegedly assaulted a photographer who was videotaping his ex-wife with their three-day-old daughter as they returned home from hospital. He had to pay damages to the man for breaking his glasses and nose.
There have been numerous incidents since. Not cool, but I can’t imagine how awful it must be to spend your life being followed by a pack of photographers, clamoring for a dramatic photo to sell.
I find myself deeply opposed to the paparazzi business these days, after being part of it for many years at Woman’s Day. One of my unfulfilled wishes is to edit a weekly magazine that is 100% paparazzi free.
Google will elaborate on other incidents where Alec has said and done the wrong thing. But, as that source told the Post, he has a very good heart deep down. And he steadfastly stood by his wife during the recent scandal that erupted over claims she was pretending to be Spanish.
Just in case you missed that controversy … In a 2018 profile, Hola! magazine described Hilaria as “born in Spain” and speaking Spanish as her native language. Interviews from the earlier days of her marriage to Alec — unearthed and tweeted by @lenibriscoe — feature Hilaria speaking in a Spanish accent and, in one case, seemingly forgetting the English word for “cucumber.”
However, in 2020 her former school mates revealed she actually attended a private high school in Boston and was called Hillary. Alec stood by his wife, noting on Instagram “When you love somebody, you wanna defend them.”
In August he shared one of her selfies to his Instagram account, saying: “When this woman is happy, I am happy.”
Just when it seemed the actor had finally found contentment, the couple face a far more harrowing crisis than a fake accent.
And I am worried about Alec Baldwin.
I hope the paparazzi leaves him alone, but I fear they will pursue him even more intently. They have already taken photos of him crying outside the sheriff’s office and his family have gone into hiding.
I also hope Alec gets a lot of counselling. He’s going to need it.
And my heart breaks for that poor little boy who has lost his mum. He’s going to need lots of counseling too.