“She was my friend,” Alec Baldwin has said about Halyna Hutchins in his first interview since she died.
In a tense and emotional exchange with journalists in Vermont, the movie star described his relationship with the cinematographer he fatally shot on set last week.
“The day I arrived in Santa [inaudible] I took her to dinner with Joel the director.
“We were a very, very well oiled crew shooting a film together. And then this horrible event happened.
“Now I’ve been told multiple times, ‘Don’t make any comments about the ongoing investigation’ - and I can’t. I can’t. That’s it.”
When Mr Baldwin was asked whether filming on Rust would begin again he replied: “No, I don’t.”
The movie is about a 13 year old boy in the American West, sentenced to hang after accidentally killing a local rancher, who goes on the run with his estranged grandfather.
Police in New Mexico are investigating Ms Hutchins’ death and a local trade union said that a number of its members had quit the project because of safety concerns.
“I am not an expert in this field,” Mr Baldwin said.
“So whatever other people decide is the best way to go, in terms of protecting people’s safety on film sets, I’m all in favour of it, I will cooperate with that in any way that I can.”
Halyna Hutchins was working as Rust’s director of photography when she was killed. She had previously been named as a rising star by American Cinematographer magazine.
She had previously worked on an independent superhero film called Archenemy. Director Adam Egypt Mortimer told BBC News:
“Halyna was an incredible artist who was just starting a career I think people were really starting to notice.
"The fact that she would be killed on a set in an accident like this is unfathomable. It just seems inconceivable."
Main image: Alec Baldwin in 2015. Picture by: Dennis Van Tine/ABACAPRESS.COM