On Thursday, the actor spoke in-depth for the first time about the Oct. 21 shooting on the set of his Western film “Rust” that resulted in cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ death.
The 63-year-old, who became emotional discussing the 42-year-old, said he feels incredible sadness and regret over the shooting on the New Mexico film set, but not guilt.
“Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that was, but it’s not me,” Baldwin told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “Honest to God, if I felt I was responsible, I might have killed myself.”
Actor John Schneider (right) railed against Alec Baldwin (left) for claiming he did not pull the trigger of the gun on the set of the film ‘Rust.’ (Getty Images)
Schneider, who has been critical of Baldwin’s decision to do the interview, wasn’t buying it.
“This is becoming an obvious attempt to blame the gun,” the actor told Fox News Digital. “Guns don’t work that way. They don’t load themselves and they don’t fire themselves. That’s absurd.”
“I’m dismayed and disgusted by Mr. Baldwin’s refusal to show any guilt, shame or remorse for his actions,” the “Dukes of Hazzard” star continued. “I’m embarrassed for my industry and the dark cloud that this is causing to come over it. My sincere hope is that this is not a smokescreen to hide some darker truth.”
In the tell-all, Baldwin claimed that despite holding the gun, he “didn’t pull the trigger.”
Before the interview, Schneider shared his thoughts on the matter in an 18-minute video titled “Seriously Alec?”
Many fans recognize John Schneider (left) from his time on ‘The Dukes of Hazzard,’ which also starred Catherine Bach and Tom Wopat. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
The 61-year-old claimed the interview was “all designed to make us feel sorry for Alec Baldwin” and claimed the actor’s teary-eyed emotional responses during the interview were “bulls–t.”
Schneider questioned the conversation, asking whether viewers were supposed to “believe that a gun went off by itself.”
“This is a wonderful business we all work in. We are honored and privileged to be part of it,” he continued. “So when someone takes a crap – which obviously George and Alec have done here and obviously this woman is still deceased. Her family is still without a mother, without a wife. This is absurd.”
Schneider said he believes “the propaganda machine” is responsible for perpetuating the idea that Baldwin “is a victim.”
“Three weeks ago, it was a prop gun. Four weeks ago, nobody knew how in the world this real weapon was loaded on the set,” Schneider said. “Today, he didn’t pull the trigger.”
This image released by ABC News shows actor-producer Alec Baldwin, left, during an interview with ‘Good Morning America’ co-anchor George Stephanopoulos. The hour-long interview about the fatal shooting on the set of Baldwin’s film ‘Rust’ aired on Thursday. (Jeffrey Neira/ABC News via AP)
“What kind of idiots do you take us for?” the actor questioned. He then pleaded with law enforcement, asking investigators not to believe Baldwin’s claim, calling it “nonsense.”
“Guns do not go off by themselves,” Schneider insisted. “Let us not forget this was a single-action – it was not a Colt, it was a replica … – a single-action weapon needs to be cocked and fired. So what kind of idiots do you take us for?”
“There is just no world in which guns go off by themselves,” he repeated. “… Hutchins is still deceased. And their family is not getting an apology, they’re not getting any – in my opinion – they’re not getting any justice, they’re not getting any answers.”
Schneider then developed an analogy, comparing the “Rust” shooting to a bully pushing a child off of a swing on a playground, resulting in serious injury.
“What is the bully going to say? ‘I didn’t push her! I didn’t push her,'” the actor said. “First they’re going to say, ‘I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was going on.’ Then if that doesn’t work – which, by the way, it still doesn’t work because you are supposed to check the weapon, you fellow – but then you have the audacity to say, ‘I didn’t pull the trigger.'”
Halyna Hutchins is survived by her husband and their son. (Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks)
The star added that it was “still inexcusable” not to check a weapon when it’s handed to you, even if you’re told it’s unloaded, but admitted it would be “very easy to accidentally pull that trigger.”
It wasn’t just Baldwin that the actor aimed at, however. He called Stephanopoulos “the poster boy for leftist propaganda.”
“Why in the world anyone would look at an interview with George as being anything enlightening or having a modicum of truth, I don’t know,” Schneider said. “But that’s just me.”
Schneider also said that he’s “incredibly embarrassed for” Stephanopoulos “because, my God, why are you perpetuating this BS?”
Baldwin said it is essential for investigators to find out who put the bullet in the gun he fired, which was supposed to be empty, that killed Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza.
Director Joel Souza was also hit by the projectile, but has since been released from the hospital. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
“There’s only one question to be resolved, and that’s where did the live round come from?” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said in a clip from the interview released a day earlier that “I didn’t pull the trigger. I would never point a gun at anyone and pull the trigger at them. Never.”
He said it was Hutchins herself who asked him to point the gun just off-camera and toward her armpit before it went off.
When Stephanopoulos told Baldwin that many say you should never point a gun directly at someone on a set, he responded, “unless the person is the cinematographer who was directing me where to point the gun for her camera angle.”
He had one of several tearful moments when he described Hutchins, saying she was “somebody who was loved by everybody and admired by everybody who worked with her.” Baldwin also noted he was doing the interview to counter public misconceptions about the shooting and to make it clear that “I would go to any lengths to undo what happened.”
This Oct. 23, 2021 photo shows the Bonanza Creek Ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
“I want to make sure that I don’t come across like I’m the victim because we have two victims here,” he added.
Investigators have described “some complacency” in how weapons were handled on the “Rust” set. They have said it is too soon to determine whether charges will be filed, amid independent civil lawsuits concerning liability in the fatal shooting.
Baldwin said he met with the film’s armorer Hanna Gutierrez Reed for a gun training session before the shoot, and she appeared capable and responsible.
“I assumed because she was there and she was hired that she was up to the job,” he said.
Gutierrez Reed has been the subject of much of the scrutiny in the case. Her attorney has said she did not put the round in the gun and believes she was the victim of sabotage. Authorities say they’ve found no evidence of that.
Halyna Hutchins was a rising star in the cinematography world. (Photo by Fred Hayes/Getty Images for SAGindie)
Baldwin, who was also a producer on the film, said there was no indication to him that crew members were unhappy with safety conditions on the set, though some resigned over the issue.
“I never heard one word about that, none,” Baldwin said, adding that complaints about cost-cutting on the film have been misguided. Asked by Stephanopoulos whether the cost-cutting compromised safety, Baldwin said “In my opinion no.”
“I personally did not observe any safety or security issues at all in the time I was there,” he said.
Baldwin said he does not believe he will be criminally charged in the shooting.
“I’ve spoken to the sheriff’s department multiple times,” he said. “I don’t have anything to hide.”
‘I’ve spoken to the sheriff’s department multiple times,’ said Alec Baldwin. ‘I don’t have anything to hide.’ (Jim Spellman/Getty Images)
But the incident, he said, left him emotionally ravaged.
“I have dreams about this constantly,” he said. “Wake up constantly where guns are going off. These images have come into my mind and kept me awake at night and I haven’t slept for weeks and I’ve really been struggling physically.”
Asked by Stephanopoulos if his career is over, Baldwin said, “It could be.”
He said his next production still wants him, “but I said to myself, ‘do I want to work much more after this?’”
Hutchins is survived by her husband and their son.
Fox News’ Nate Day and The Associated Press contributed to this report.