Just when you think Alec Baldwin can’t go any lower, he blames Halyna Hutchins, the woman he shot to death, for getting shot to death.
“Everything is at her direction,” Baldwin told a sycophantic George Stephanopoulos during a jaw-dropping, hourlong interview that aired Thursday night.
“I’m holding the gun where she told me to hold it,” Baldwin said, “which ended up right below her armpit. Which is what I was told — I don’t know.”
There was so much Baldwin claimed not to know.
And Stephanopoulos, his longtime friend from the Hamptons — not that the average viewer would know that — was only too eager to pitch softball after softball.
Yes, one of ABC’s leading journalists — I use that term loosely — hardly challenged Baldwin when he claimed, repeatedly, that he never pulled the trigger, that the gun just went rogue.
“I would never point a gun at anyone,” Baldwin said — despite his earlier assertion that Hutchins had told him to point the gun at her, so he did — “and pull the trigger at them. Never.”
“The bullet striking and killing that woman came out of the barrel of the gun pointed directly at her,” says retired FBI Agent Bobby Chacon, who now works as a writer and on-set consultant in Hollywood.
“Bullets don’t curve. He isn’t in ‘The Matrix.’ The trigger would still have to be pulled.”
“I’m not aware of any gun firing itself,” says Steve Wolf, a Hollywood firearms and special-effects expert since 1994. “I’ve never seen a gun self-discharge. A single action revolver like this” — the Colt that Baldwin fired — “can be discharged very easily, with minimal input required . . . The trigger still must have been pressed.”
Wolf is also outraged by a larger concern. “It’s really important to discredit anyone who claims that guns fire themselves,” he says. “If this becomes an acceptable defense, there goes any accountability when it comes to shooting people. We can’t have this kind of ‘guns shoot themselves’ thing. They don’t.”
Perhaps — perhaps — Baldwin is in denial. That’s the generous interpretation, but it’s hard to feel generous toward him when he and his wife have been behaving so deplorably.
There was the jaunt to Vermont immediately after the shooting, shopping at Ralph Lauren and buying out a local tavern, sitting right in front of the window where paparazzi could get unobstructed pictures.
Then came the bizarre roadside press conference in which Hilaria yelled self-righteously at the press while angling to get in every camera frame. All quickly followed by the gross Instagram posts on Halloween and after, raving about how happy their children are, while Hutchins’ son, only 9 when she died, was so traumatized he couldn’t speak for two days after her death.
On Thursday morning, hours before this interview aired, Baldwin was photographed going for coffee and loading up his car — en route to the Hamptons, no doubt — while his gross fraud of a wife, Hilaria, strutted around in metallic leggings, four-inch heels and a gold $1,900 Moncler vest.
Thursday’s little gambit, Baldwin attempting to elicit sympathy while pointing the finger at everyone else, was an epic miscalculation.
He truly believes we’ll feel sorry for him — Alec Baldwin, one of Hollywood’s biggest bullies and rage monsters, attempting to squeeze out tears as he laments how this has ruined his love of moviemaking.
Stephanopoulos is equally to blame here. This was an embarrassing line of questioning.
“What was it that drew you to this project in the first place,” Stephanopoulos asked, “to ‘Rust’?”
Who cares? What is this — an episode of “Access Hollywood”?
“People who are watching this show,” Baldwin said — meaning people like you and me, the little people — “you have no idea how unique a motion-picture set is … the amount of care …”
Care? That’s rich given what we know about this set, the seven crew members who walked that very morning over documented safety concerns, at least two accidental gun discharges, one accidental special-effects explosion and a young, inexperienced armorer — but, hey, sure, let’s go with “care.”
“I looked at all these people, and I see how hard they worked and they’re so conscientious” — unbelievable — “and you’re part of one of the great collaborative processes in the world: moviemaking.”
Here’s the essence of this tragedy: It was just a movie. A fast, cheap and out-of-control production that cost a young wife and mother her life.
Ignore Baldwin’s excuses. Everyone from Chacon to Wolf to George Clooney and others has said safety protocols on set are specific, simple, exact, rigorous and to be followed to the letter every time.
Every. Single. Time.
In speaking to me a few weeks ago, Wolf presented an interesting hypothetical: “If that scene required [Baldwin] to put the gun to his head and pull the trigger, I’m sure he would have taken a look inside the gun. Wouldn’t you?”
If only Stephanopoulos had asked that question.
Instead, we learned that Baldwin now has nightmares (poor him!), feels no guilt, and fully expects Hutchins’ widower, Matthew, to sue — but is feeling pretty confident that he won’t be charged criminally and that Matthew won’t come after him personally.
“Someone is responsible for what happened,” Baldwin said, “and I know it’s not me.”
After this interview — and Baldwin’s callous demeanor these past few weeks — Matthew Hutchins, especially, might feel differently.