Following the tragic events that took place on the set of Rust, the industry is still recovering from the unfortunate accident while also searching for ways to create safer sets. Now, actors such as Andrew Garfield, Peter Dinklage, and more are speaking out about the tragedy, sharing that they feel guns should be removed from sets entirely.
The Rust tragedy occurred this past October in New Mexico, when award-winning actor Alec Baldwin "discharged" a prop gun that ended up killing the film's cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injuring its director. While an accident, the tragic event sparked countless conversations regarding gun and set safety, prompting other actors like Dwayne Johnson to vow to never use real guns on his sets.
In an actor's roundtable for The Hollywood Reporter, Garfield and Dinklage were asked about the new safety measures, to which they both expressed their views on the situation. "That should never happen again. So anything we can do to move away from that then that’s our responsibility," Dinklage shared. "It’s kind of a no-brainer. If it can be avoided," Garfield agreed. Dinklage would then further add, "And it can be avoided, what you can do with movies. That also calls into question: are there too many guns in movies? We’ve all held guns in movies probably. I always think about that, being anti-gun myself when a character isn’t. But that made it very clear that there has to be change, now 100 percent."
While Garfield and Dinklage seem to agree on ridding real weapons on sets, the roundtable interview also included other actors like the veteran Nicolas Cage, who has starred in numerous action flicks like Face Off and Ghost Rider. Cage shared his interesting perspective about the use of weapons on set, saying, "I don’t want to cast blame anywhere, and I’m not talking about anybody, people don’t like the word ‘movie star’, we want to be humble actors. But a movie star is a bit of a different kind of presentation. Because you need to know how to ride a horse, you need to know how to fight- you’re gonna do fight scenes. You need to know how to ride a motorcycle, you need to know how to use a stick shift and drive sports cars. And 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."
All three actors give very solid points. Judging by the amount of CGI implemented in films today, especially with the countless superhero flicks released every year, there is definitely a way where real guns can be eliminated by using visual effects. But Cage is not wrong either. An actor's job is to portray a character and embody that person, which also means learning certain skills related to the role. While Cage of course hopes no tragedy like the one on Rust happens again, many actors are thrown into roles involving fight scenes and large action sets, so it is up to the actor to learn and train themselves in certain skills, like handling a gun properly and safely.
While the tragic event of Rust is rare, it isn't the first fatal shooting that has occurred on a movie set. In 1993, Brandon Lee, the son of martial arts and actor icon Bruce Lee, tragically died on the set of The Crow after being struck in the abdomen by a prop gun's dummy bullet. The continuous release of big blockbusters should push Hollywood to act now and continue to implement new rules regarding gun safety in order to prevent another incident like the one that happened on Rust from happening again.
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Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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