Actor and producer Alec Baldwin redoubled his working conditions defense in the film “Rust” by apparently sharing social media posts on Tuesday from a crew member who said the complaints on the set were exaggerated.
Baldwin, who fired the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on October 21, shared seven screenshots of comments apparently posted by Terese Magpale Davis, a Georgia-based costume designer who worked on the film. The context of the comments – who Davis wrote to and whether Baldwin republished her comments with her knowledge or consent – was unclear.
In the comments first reported by Deadline, Davis defended the producers of the beleaguered western as well as the two crew members at the center of the investigation, gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls.
“Our AD never seemed frivolous about safety,” wrote Davis, later adding, “Am I mad at him? Yes sir. But I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon and pretend that it hasn’t taken care of our safety the whole time. “
Davis did not immediately respond to the Times’ efforts to verify that the post was hers. Baldwin was also not immediately available for comment.
Baldwin’s re-release of the film’s apparent defense by a colleague comes after Baldwin first publicly asked questions about the tragedy this week. Before photographing in Vermont, he described the “Rust” team as “a very, very well-rehearsed crew making a movie together” in New Mexico. Assistant director Halls also addressed Hutchins’ death and issued a statement saying the film industry must “reassess its values and practices.”
In response to reports that cost-conscious producers created an unsafe work environment, the Davis-attributed Post said the crew never worked more than 12½ hours a day. She said that hotel rooms were made available to the camera crew that The Times reported had dropped out due to salary, security and housing issues. “They just didn’t feel fancy enough,” wrote Davis. Non-unionized replacements were deployed after the camera crew left.
The comments attributed to Davis described the film’s producers, including Baldwin, as tirelessly working alongside the crew. “Before you send these letters telling the Thomasville producers what you think of them for hiring non-unions, you might want to wait and find out what the majority of us who have worked with them are actually about she thinks, “she wrote. The film’s producers include founders of Georgia-based production company Thomasville Pictures, led by Rust Executive Producer Allen Cheney and Producer Ryan Smith.
The posting indicated that a manufacturing union representative said “don’t give in to the camera crew because they asked for things the union didn’t”.
Regarding the gunsmith Gutierrez Reed’s relative inexperience, Davis said, “I will fight to ensure that our gunsmiths have higher standards that they must meet in order to be in this position where our entire lives are in their hands. But I don’t agree to use it as a figurehead for better hours. “
Davis said she’ll never get the sound of the gunshot or the screams of director Joel Souza out of her head.
“Maybe you just couldn’t be a person with a pitchfork in a mob who had no idea what you’re talking about,” she wrote, “because you weren’t there.”
Julia Wick contributed to this report.
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