Nicolas Cage Makes His Thoughts On The Rust Controversy Crystal Clear

Since October 2021, Alec Baldwin has been living the aftermath of the "Rust" shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza. Baldwin is currently waiting the results of the investigation by the New Mexico authorities, who issued a search warrant for his cellphone in December 2021, as The Guardian reported. Meanwhile, the public and celebrities alike have been sharing their thoughts on who should and shouldn't be held responsible for Hutchins' death. 

While many celebs have simply extended their sympathies to Hutchins and her family, others used the opportunity to comment on the mistakes they believed contributed to the tragedy. Among the latter is George Clooney, who criticized Baldwin's role in the shooting. In mid-November 2021, Clooney implied Baldwin should've checked the prop gun before using it. "Every single time I'm handed a gun on the set ... I open it, I show it to the person I'm pointing it to, I show it to the crew. Every single take, you hand it back to the armorer when you're done and you do it again," Clooney said on the "WTF with Marc Maron" podcast (via The Hollywood Reporter). 

Baldwin addressed Clooney's criticism in his December interview with ABC News' anchor George Stephanopoulos. "If your protocol is you checking the gun every time, well, good for you," Baldwin said, adding that Clooney's comments "really didn't help the situation at all." Other celebrities have weighed in on the incident since then, with Nicolas Cage being one of the latest.  

Nicolas Cage doesn't place the blame on Alec Baldwin

Nicolas Cage doesn't believe Alec Baldwin is specifically responsible for Halyna Hutchins death, he said on The Hollywood Reporter's roundtable with fellow actors Andrew Garfield, Simon Rex, Jonathan Majors, and Peter Dinklage. "I don't want to cast blame anywhere," Cage emphasized.

However, the Academy Award-winning actor does think precautions should've been taken, pointing out that "movie stars" must receive proper training before engaging in the myriad activities shooting a film might require of them, including riding a horse, driving a stick, engaging in fights, and also handling weapons. "You do need to know how to use a gun. You do. You need to take the time to know what the procedure is. Those are part of the job profiles," Cage said.

With his comment, Cage seemed to imply Baldwin should have followed safety protocols more closely. However, Baldwin told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that he didn't fire the gun, suggesting the prop went off on its own. "I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never. Never. That was the training that I had," Baldwin told Stephanopoulos. To prevent these tragedies, Baldwin has called for stricter policing of sets that contain firearms. "Every film/TV set that uses guns, fake or otherwise, should have a police officer on set, hired by the production, to specifically monitor weapons safety," Baldwin tweeted in November (via The Guardian).