Seasoned key grip Stu Brumbaugh said this week that 24-year-old armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who handled weapons on the set of Alec Baldwin’s “Rust,” made actor Nicolas Cage curse and storm off set during the shooting of “The Old Way” this summer.
Brumbaugh said Gutierrez-Reed failed “to follow basic gun safety protocols like announcing the arrival and usage of weapons onto the set,” according to The Wrap.
“After firing a gun near the cast and crew for a second time in three days without warning, Brumbaugh said that Cage yelled at her, ‘Make an announcement, you just blew my f***ing eardrums out!’ before walking off set in a rage,” the report outlined.
“I told the AD, ‘She needs to be let go,'” Brumbaugh added. “After the second round I was pissed off. We were moving too fast. She’s a rookie.”
Last Thursday, Baldwin shot cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and director Joel Souza while on the film set for “Rust,” killing Hutchins and wounding Souza. According to a court document, Baldwin was told he was handed a “cold gun” before firing at the camera, striking the two crew members. Authorities confirmed Wednesday that a “lead projectile” was fired from the weapon.
Another person on the set of “The Old Way” claimed Gutierrez-Reed “put the cast and crew in several unnecessary and dangerous situations.” Furthermore, Brumbaugh confirmed the following alleged on-set incidents, per The Wrap:
• Gutierrez-Reed walked onto the set with live rounds of blanks and no public announcement to the cast and crew, breaking established safety protocols.
• She tucked pistols under her armpits and carried rifles in each hand that were ready to be used in a scene. Firearms were aimed at people. She turned around and the pistols that were tucked under her armpits were pointing back at people.
• She twice fired guns on the set without giving any warning to the cast and crew, as required. The first time she was demonstrating the gun volume to see if the loud sound would startle the horses when without warning the gun went off.
A producer of “The Old Way,” though, has denied the incidents and said no one on set ever asked for the armorer’s dismissal, adding that “details” have been “blown out of proportion.”
“I have no such recollection of this event on our set. I asked my partners the same,” the producer said, The Wrap reported. “The details on some of these accounts specifically when it pertains to ‘The Old Way’ have been blown out of proportion.”
Brumbaugh blamed the fatal “Rust” shooting on the producers of the film. Baldwin, notably, is a co-producer of the movie.
“The tragedy, it boils down to the producers,” Brumbaugh argued. “It’s been happening more and more. As producers refuse to bring more experienced people because their rates are higher, they demand we take our time and (producers) don’t want to pay it. So they hire a newbie who is energetic and wants the job and will do it with less people.”
“The problem is she didn’t have help. I would have had minimum two more people,” he said. “She was doing everything by herself in that movie and on the other movie. If there was one more person in the other movie the tragedy wouldn’t have happened. A second person would have inspected to make sure the barrels were clear.”
“You have an AD screaming at you,” added Brumbaugh. “You’re 24 and energetic and don’t want to be yelled at. So you rush in and start arming people.”