Actor and producer Alec Baldwin doubled down on his defense of working conditions in the film “Rust” by sharing on Tuesday what appeared to be social media posts from a team member who said the complaints about the plateau had been exaggerated.
Baldwin, who fired the gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on October 21, shared seven screenshots of comments that appear to have been posted by Terese Magpale Davis, a Georgia-based costume designer who worked on the film. The context of the comments – to whom Davis was writing and whether Baldwin was basing his comments with his knowledge or approval – was unclear.
In the comments, first reported by Deadline, Davis defended the producers of the besieged western as well as the two crew members at the center of the investigation, gunsmith Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls.
Davis did not immediately respond to The Times’ efforts to verify that the posts were his own. Baldwin was also not immediately available for comment.
Baldwin’s replay of a colleague’s apparent defense of the film comes after Baldwin publicly answered questions about the tragedy for the first time this week. Speaking to photographers in Vermont, he described the “Rust” team as “a very, very well oiled crew making a movie together” in New Mexico. “Rust” assistant director Dave Halls also addressed Hutchins’ death, issuing a statement that the film industry needs to “re-evaluate its values and practices.”
Responding to reports that cost-conscious producers created an unsafe working environment, the post attributed to Davis said the team never worked more than 12 and a half hours a day. She said the film crew, which The Times reported leaving due to pay, security and housing issues, were granted hotel rooms. “They just didn’t feel like they were sophisticated enough,” Davis wrote. After the film crew left, non-union replacements were recruited.
Comments attributed to Davis describe the film’s producers, including Baldwin, as having worked tirelessly alongside the team. “Maybe before you send out those letters telling producers in Thomasville what you think of them for hiring non-union people, you might want to wait and find out what the majority of those of us who worked with them actually think of them, ”she wrote. Among the film’s producers are founders of Georgia-based production company Thomasville Pictures, run by “Rust” executive producer Allen Cheney and producer Ryan Smith.
The post suggested that a union representative told the production “not to give in to the film crew because they demanded things the union doesn’t need.”
Comments Baldwin reposted said Davis would never get the sound of the gunshot or director Joel Souza’s screams out of his head.
Julia Wick contributed to this report.
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