- David Halls’ attorney said the ‘Rust’ AD was “not responsible for checking” guns on set.
- Cinematographer Halyna Hutchins died after a loaded gun discharged on set.
- Court documents say Halls handed the gun to actor Alec Baldwin, telling him it was not dangerous.
A lawyer for the assistant director of “Rust” said it wasn’t his job to check if there were bullets in it.
David Halls’ attorney Lisa Torraco told Fox News on Monday: “He’s not responsible for checking it. That’s not the assistant director’s job. If he chooses to check the firearm because he wants to make sure that everyone’s safe, he can do that, but that’s not his responsibility.”
Court documents described Halls giving the gun to Baldwin, declaring it to be “cold” — an industry term meaning not dangerous.
Baldwin fired the prop gun on the set on October 21 while rehearsing. It was loaded, and the bullet his and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the relatively inexperienced armorer for the movie, was overseeing its firearms. But according to accounts given to law enforcement, it was Halls rather than she who gave it to Baldwin.
In the Fox interview, Torraco disputed that Halls gave Baldwin the gun.
She said: “This idea my client grabbed the gun and handed it to Baldwin absolutely did not happen.”
But after further questioning she did not repeat that claim, and avoided answering again.
Torraco then said that it “doesn’t matter” whether Halls handed the gun to Baldwin because it’s “not the assistant director’s job” to check the gun.
Halls previously told law enforcement that he did not check all the rounds in the barrel of the revolver, but that he felt he should have done so.
Halls said in a statement to the New York Post on Monday that he hopes the killing will bring about change in the film industry.
“Halyna Hutchins was not just one of the most talented people I’ve worked with, but also a friend,” he said.
“It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again,” he added.
Torraco told Fox News that she thinks the situation is “extra hard” for Halls “because not only is he so overwhelmed with sadness, but now the target of the investigation, people are starting to point fingers at him and it’s overwhelming.”
She appeared to be referring to a number of reports highlighting previous cases where Halls allegedly neglected safety procedures.
Crew from a movie that Halls worked on previously told Insider’s Kenneth Niemeyer and Jacob Shamsian that he once pushed an actor to do an unsafe stunt over objections from crew members.
People who worked with Halls on other projects have also complained about his behavior on set.
He was fired as assistant director from a movie in 2019, when a gun “unexpectedly discharged” and injured a crew member, a production company told CNN.