Rust armorer caused Nicolas Cage to walk off set after firing a gun without warning

Rust, Rust armorer, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, Alec Baldwin, Nicolas Cage, Halyna Hutchins, Joel Souza

The tragedy on the Rust set that left cinematographer Halyna Hutchins dead and director Joel Souza injured following a prop gun being fired by actor and producer Alec Baldwin continues to take shape. As the investigation continues into what went wrong and who is exactly to blame for the incident, we are learning more about a seemingly inexperienced player in this tragedy that may have engaged in reckless behavior on another film set.

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the 24-year-old Rust armorer who was in charge of guns on set when this tragedy took place, was allegedly repeatedly accused by crew members on another film for breaking safety protocols. The crew members, who spoke with “The Wrap“, say that on the Montana set of Nicolas Cage’s The Old Way, the actor stormed off the set of the film because Gutierrez-Reed fired off a gun without warning. According to the movie’s key grip, Stu Brumbaugh, Cage ripped into the rookie armorer after the gun went off and said, “Make an announcement, you just blew my f***ing eardrums off.” The situation got so bad that Brumbaugh told the assistant director of the armorer, “She needs to be let go.” Brumbaugh went on to say, “After the second round, I was pissed off. We were moving too fast. She’s a rookie.” This is a reference to Brumbaugh finding out that this was her first movie in charge of weapons.

What is even eerier, considering the tragedy that took place on the Rust set last week while Gutierrez-Reed was in charge of the film’s weapons, is that Brumbaugh detailed a series of complaints that were made about her, including that she walked onto the set of the Nicolas Cage film with live rounds or blanks without announcing it to the cast and crew. Brumbaugh says she also walked around with pistols tucked under her armpits in a way that made them point back at people and allowed firearms to be aimed at people as well.

Another crew member, who wished to be anonymous, confirmed Brumbaugh’s claims by saying Gutierrez-Reed “put the cast and crew in several unnecessary and dangerous situations.” When you learn about Gutierrez-Reed’s background heading into the Nicolas Cage film The Old Way, it’s amazing that she was even allowed to work on that film, let alone on Rust. While she is the daughter of Hollywood weapons expert Thell Reed, she admitted to not feeling ready for taking on the responsibility of being offered the armorer job on The Old Way. During an appearance on a podcast last month, Gutierrez-Reed said, “It was also my first time being head armorer…I was really nervous about it at first, and I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready.” Another one of her statements on the podcast is very telling in hindsight which found the armorer saying, “I think the best part about my job is just showing people who are normally kind of freaked out by guns how safe they can be and how they’re not really problematic unless put in the wrong hands.” Judging from what we’re learning, it looks like she could be responsible for a deadly weapon ending up in the wrong hands on that fateful day on the Rust set.

An unidentified producer on The Old Way did come out in defense of Gutierrez-Reed and insisted they had “no such recollection” of the situation involving Nicolas Cage and also maintained that things were being “blown out of proportion.” Also, during a chat with the “Los Angeles Times”, prop master Jeffrey Crow, who supervised Gutierrez-Reed on The Old Way, defended the young armorer by saying, “I thought she was an exceptionally young, up-and-coming, very eager and talented armorer.” He also admitted to being “stymied” that she could be involved in the accidental shot that was fired by Baldwin. Crow said, “I had a lot of faith in her, and I still do. I’m gonna be surprised if there was anything she was ultimately responsible for in all this, just seeing how she acted in the past. This is all such a surprise.”

Perhaps the issue is supervision. Circling back to the incident on Rust, Brumbaugh blamed the movie producers for putting such inexperienced people in very key jobs to save money and also pointed out that he believes the problem on Rust was that “she didn’t have help” and that “she was doing everything by herself in that movie and on the other movie. If there was one more person in the other movie, the tragedy wouldn’t have happened. A second person would have inspected to make sure the barrels were clear.”

At the end of the day, this situation is so very tragic and could’ve easily been prevented. Corners were cut to save money and it does appear that the situation was a bit unprofessional and reckless on the Rust set. We’ll learn more as this all unfolds but I hope for the sake of what happened to Halyna Hutchins on that day, which saw a mother, wife, and rising star in her field lose her life, the industry does better moving forward to protect their cast and crew members on set.

Source: The Wrap

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