The 63-year-old struggled to hold back tears as he reflected on what led to cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ death and director Joel Souza‘s injuries. When asked whether he felt guilt over the incident, Baldwin said no.
“I might have killed myself if I felt that I was responsible,” the 30 Rock alum said during the ABC tell-all, which aired on Thursday, December 2. “I don’t say that lightly.”
However, the Emmy winner confessed to feeling haunted by the tragedy, noting that he’d “go to any lengths to undo” the results. “I have dreams about this constantly now,” he said. “I go through my day and I make it through the day. Then I collapse at the end of the day. Emotionally, I collapse.”
Baldwin was filming the upcoming western in Santa Fe, New Mexico, on October 21 when a prop weapon was accidentally discharged. No charges were filed at the time, but the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office opened an investigation and questioned the actor, as well as other members of the crew. Though he’s been the target of two civil lawsuits, the New York native downplayed the potential for legal consequences.
“I’ve been told by people who are in the know, in terms of even inside the state, that it’s highly unlikely that I would be charged with anything criminally,” he claimed.
The It’s Complicated actor also asserted that he wasn’t at fault for the mistake, saying that he “didn’t pull the trigger” while rehearsing the scene with Hutchins.
“Everything is at her direction,” he recalled. “This was a marking rehearsal. And she says to me, ‘Hold the gun lower. Go to your right. OK, right there. All right, do that. Now show it a little bit lower.’ And she’s getting me to position the gun. … I’m holding the gun where she told me to hold it, which ended up being aimed right below her armpit.”
Baldwin repeated that “the trigger wasn’t pulled,” adding, “I cock the gun. … And then I let go of the hammer of the gun, and the gun goes off. … I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them.”
The Knots Landing alum remembered his colleagues being “shocked” and “horrified” by the sound of the weapon. “[Hutchins] goes down. I thought to myself, ‘Did she faint?'” he said. “The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me [until] probably 45 minutes to an hour later.”
Baldwin continued: “Someone put a live bullet in a gun, a bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property. Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
Shortly after the incident made headlines in October, the Boss Baby star issued a statement via Twitter and said authorities would have his full cooperation as the investigation continued. Later that month, he met with Hutchins’ husband, Matthew, and 9-year-old son.
“I didn’t know what to say,” Baldwin said on Thursday. “[Matthew] hugged [me] and he goes, like, ‘I suppose you and I are going to go through this together,’ he said. And I thought, ‘Well, not as much as you are.'”
A source exclusively told Us Weekly after the tragedy that Baldwin wanted “to make amends” with those who were most impacted. He’s been leaning on wife Hilaria Baldwin — with whom he shares Carmen, 8, Rafael, 6, Leonardo, 5, Romeo, 3, Eduardo, 15 months, and Lucia, 9 months — for support.
“No matter what happens to me. No matter what I suffer. If I win or lose, anything. Anything. No one can take away from me the joy and love you have given me, @hilariabaldwin,” he wrote via Instagram after the interview aired. “These are tough times. The world is choked with fumes of hate. But you have given me a reason to live. Our life with our family is all I care about. Nothing else. I owe that to you.”
The emotional weight of what happened has seemingly shifted Alec’s priorities. “I couldn’t give a s–t about my career anymore,” he said during Thursday’s special. “Well, it could be [over].”