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Alec Baldwin's Co-Star Jensen Ackles Described VERY Casual Gun Training On Rust Before Tragic Shooting

Alec Baldwin's Co-Star Jensen Ackles Described The Very Casual Gun Safety Training On Rust

Yikes, this did not age well…

As you’ve probably heard by now, Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun on the set of his new movie Rust on Thursday, and it fired for real — resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. It’s still unclear whether there was “live” round in the gun or debris in the barrel; an investigation is under way. But it’s called into question the gun safety on set.

Innerestingly, we happen to have a little insight into that.

Just last week, Jensen Ackles appeared at a fan convention for his The CW series Supernatural, where he gushed all about landing his role in the upcoming Western. In a conversation with fans shared on Saturday, the 43-year-old giddily talked about how he “hit the ground running” after replacing another actor on the film. That quickly led to a discussion of his gun training on the film set — or rather, the very scary lack of training!

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In comments which are kind of disturbing in retrospect, Jensen told fans about his first time firing an Old West-style pistol with the film’s armorer (who has not yet been identified). He recounted:

“I’ve got a 6 a.m. call tomorrow to have a big shootout. They had me pick my gun, they were like, ‘Alright, what gun would you like?’ and I was like, ‘I don’t know?’ and the armorer was like, ‘Do you have gun experience?’”

He told her he only had “a little” experience, which got a big laugh from the crowd — clearly he’s been pretending to fire guns as a Winchester brother for many years. So the crew member quickly taught him how to handle the dangerous weapon, something Ackles himself seemed to breeze past in the story:

“She was like, ‘This is how you load it, check it’s safe.”

The unnamed woman then quickly moved on, asking whether he’d want a “hip drawn or cross drawn” gun. Um, that’s all the training he got?! They make fast food clerks watch hours of videos just to make sure they don’t hurt anyone’s feelings; these are dangerous weapons. The Smallville alum went on to explain that he was told there would be “some blanks” in the gun before getting sent out to practice, noting:

“So she’s like, ‘I’ll just put some blanks in there and I want you to just fire a couple of rounds towards the hill.’ I walk out and she’s like, ‘Just make sure you pull the hammer all the way back and aim at your target.’ I was like, ‘alright, I got it.’”

He then demonstrates to the crowd how he quickly whipped out the weapon from his holster, shot, and spun it back into his belt like a true cowboy. Laughing, he recalled the armorer teasing:

“You’re an a**hole.”

Hear him recount the entire moment (below):

We won’t slam the guy for being so excited and casual while describing the brief training, but, we have to say, this just doesn’t look good in the aftermath of the freak accident. Whether boys want to play cowboy or not, real guns should not be treated so casually.

It’s important to note that IATSE Local 44, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, addressed the controversy in an email to members on Friday. They revealed that the film’s prop master — who may or may not be the female Jensen’s speaking about here — was NOT a member of the LA union.

Related: Did Tawny Kitaen Die Of A Broken Heart? Her Cause Of Death Revealed

Jensen and his representatives have yet to address more about the fatal shooting that killed Rust’s director of photography and injured director Joel Souza; however, days before the incident, Jensen captioned a pic on set:

“Been out on the range for the last couple of weeks. Dream come true. Finally my bow legs are in their element. Excited to share more when I can. #RustWestern.”


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A post shared by Jensen Ackles (@jensenackles)

In the video (above), the dad of three was so excited to talk about the dream project which included Titanic actress Frances Fisher and Vikings actor Travis Fimmel. Now he may never get to finish the gig as production has been halted, with some sources suggesting the film could be permanently axed now that lawsuits are bound to hit the production company hard. What an important reminder that safety measures should always be a top priority when handling weapons.

[Image via WENN/Avalon/Nicky Nelson]

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Oct 22, 2021 12:32pm PDT

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