George Clooney Condemns 'Rust' Producers, Calls Shooting 'Insane'

George Clooney has shared his thoughts on the shooting that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on the set of movie Rust last month.

A prop gun discharged by actor Alec Baldwin contained a live round resulting in the death of the 42-year-old and sending shockwaves throughout Hollywood.

"Why, for the life of me, this low-budget film with producers who haven't produced anything wouldn't have hired for the armorer someone with experience...they weren't even using that gun to do target practice and that is insane," Clooney, 60, said on a podcast on Monday.

The actor told WTF with Marc Maron, about his diligence regarding gun safety protocols on set since his friend, the late Brandon Lee, died under similar circumstances in 1996.

"That was a series of stupid things... My cousin Miguel was going to be his best man the next week at their wedding," said the actor-director when discussing his close relationship with Lee. "Brandon and I played ball and hung out at The Hollywood Y three days a week. We were buddies. You know, this was his big break."

Clooney discussed the mistakes that led to 28-year-old Lee being fatally shot on the set of The Crow.

"The first unit, low-budget probably... I don't even remember if the guy was even a union prop guy, sent it down to a second unit, a different group of shooting, and they wanted to use the same gun so they sent the gun down there. It was the guy's girlfriend that was the prop assistant," he said.

George Clooney
George Clooney attends the FYC Red Carpet for Hulu's "Catch-22" at Saban Media Center on May 08, 2019 in North Hollywood, California. Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

"They didn't have dummy bullets so they made them by taking the gun powder out and putting the bullet back in... She takes the bullets out of the cylinder and one of the shells, one of the bullets, had lodged in the barrel of the gun."

The actor added that, after the gun was sent back to first unit, "No one checks the barrel. No one notices of the six shells, one of them is missing the bullet and hands it to the first unit. They put a full load in it. The actor, which you never do with a full load, points it directly at Brandon and pulls the trigger and it's like getting shot with a normal bullet. And killed him."

This tragedy led Clooney to be extra careful when handling prop firearms on sets, he said.

"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," he said.

Clooney added: "We need to be better at making the heads of department experienced and know what they're doing. Because this is just infuriating. Every time I get handed a six gun, you point it at the ground and you fire. You squeeze it six times. Always."

As for Rust, an investigation is currently underway about how the gun fired by Baldwin became loaded with live rounds.

A lawsuit has been filed by Rust's head electrician, Serge Svetnoy, accusing a number of people involved with the production of negligence.

Alec Baldwin and Halyna Hutchins
On October 21, Alec Baldwin (L) discharged a gun that he didn't know contained live ammunition on the set of "Rust," leading to the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins (R). Mark Sagliocco/Getty Images for National Geographic;/Mat Hayward/Getty Images for AMC Networks

Among those named in the complaint are Baldwin who is also a producer on the film, armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed and assistant director Dave Halls.

The suit further alleged there were attempts "to save money by hiring an insufficient number of crew members to safely handle the props and firearms."

The lawyer representing Gutierrez-Reed has said that his client is a victim of "sabotage" and believes that certain aspects on set were tampered with before police arrived.