The action star has played countless gun-wielding villains — but has never seen so many costly mistakes.
He’s played the bad guy in “Desperado,” “24,” “Fast Five,” “Clear and Present Danger” … but he has never seen a horror show like the set of “Rust.”
Joaquim de Almeida believes a litany of errors led to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was fatally shot by Alec Baldwin while working on the Santa Fe set last month.
While not involved in the production, the Portuguese acting vet has been around enough guns on movie sets throughout his 40-year career to know that serious mistakes were made.
“Well yes, I am in tons of movies with guns,” he agreed when asked for his insight in LA recently. “The problem is that there was a big mistake and somebody is responsible for the guns.”
According to a police search warrant, it was First Assistant Director Dave Halls who handed the gun to Baldwin; according to de Almeida, this should not have happened.
“The first AD shouldn’t have handed the gun, the armorer has to hand the gun and has to check the gun,” he said. “They didn’t check it.”
When asked how much responsibility Baldwin bears as Executive Producer, de Almeida insisted armorer and the first assistant director bear more.
“But anyways it depends,” he said, “I don’t know what kind of producer he is on the show. I know a lot of times actors just put their names on there and give them a production title but they are not really involved in production so … listen, it shouldn’t happen.”
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While the 64-year-old has used real guns on sets, they are very clearly identified, they are never pointed directly at anyone … and they most certainly should never come anywhere near live rounds.
“We use real guns, but they have a cross at the end,” de Almeida explained. “You know, they show us the gun, they show us ten thousand times. They try them in front of us, they show us that they are safe. And you never point the gun at a person, so I don’t know what happened.”
He said that when shooting a scene that requires a character to aim a gun at someone, it is always pointed to the left or right of them. When the scene requires a gun be pointed at the camera, he said a bulletproof glass protector should be placed in between.
“… you don’t aim at somebody, you aim sideways. You never aim it really at somebody,” he said. “You have a protection, a lot of times the camera has a protection, they have a glass in front of it in case something comes out of it.”
“I have never seen a live bullet on set, they shouldn’t be on set,” he added. “I read that some of the crew were playing with the guns, were shooting with them. That’s not cool. That shouldn’t happen. So they have to find out who is responsible.”
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