George Clooney Sounds Off on Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ Shooting

Clooney questioned whether Baldwin followed the proper gun safety protocol. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

A-list Hollywood types have so far avoided criticizing Alec Baldwin for his role in the deadly shooting on the set of western indie film “Rust.”

But Academy Award-winning actor George Clooney sounded off recently about the incident—and he didn’t hold back from a veiled critique of Baldwin’s gun safety habits.

“Every single time I’m handed a gun on the set — every time — they hand me a gun, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I’m pointing it to, I show it to the crew,” Clooney told WTF With Marc Maron. “Every single take. You hand it back to the armorer when you’re done.”

He says he “hopes” Baldwin followed those protocols, but considering Baldwin shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and injured director Joel Souza, it’s unlikely.

Clooney also described another method he uses to ensure stage revolvers haven’t been loaded with live rounds.

“I mean every time I get handed a six-gun, you point it at the ground and you squeeze it six times,” Clooney said, noting, “It’s just insane” not to.

SEE ALSO: Should Baldwin Face Criminal Charges for Fatal Shooting?

The Baldwin incident is still under investigation, and no charges have yet been filed. But the actor is already being sued by script supervisor Mamie Mitchell, who originally called 911 following the on-set shooting, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Mitchell argues that Baldwin should have checked to make sure the gun was unloaded, and she alleges physical and emotional trauma from being so close to a fired gun.

“Alec Baldwin should have assumed that the gun in question was loaded unless and until it was demonstrated to him or checked by him that it was not loaded,” the complaint says.

According to Mitchell, the on-set armorer is always supposed to demonstrate to the actor that a gun is unloaded before handing it to him.

She also dismisses the excuse that Baldwin was told the gun was “cold” as it was handed to him. Court documents revealed in the days after the incident that assistant director Dave Hall shouted “Cold gun!” prior to giving the gun to Baldwin.

SEE ALSO: Accident On Set with Alec Baldwin Kills One, Injures Another

“He had no right to rely upon some alleged statement by the Assistant Director that it was a ‘cold gun.’ Mr. Baldwin cannot hide behind the Assistant Director to attempt to excuse the fact that he did not check the gun himself,” Mitchell says.

Clooney doesn’t buy this excuse either. In fact, he claims that the “cold gun” signal isn’t an industry-standard safety protocol.

“I’ve never heard the term ‘cold gun,’” Clooney said. “I’ve never heard that term. Literally. They’re just talking about stuff I’ve never heard of. It’s just infuriating.”

Clooney has been no friend to gun rights over the years, despite making millions from movies valorizing the use of firearms. In 2019, he spearheaded the “March for Our Lives” movement, which leverages minors to push for the most radical items on the anti-gun lobby’s wish list.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Jerry January 7, 2022, 11:38 am

    Re: the misguided fellow saying saa are ALWAYS used in westerns; there have been a number of vintage westerns in which double action colt’s have been used because the actor was incapable of managing the saa in a reasonably displayable fashion. These guns were usually the “thunderer”, or even the 1878, which Hollywood figgert the audience wouldn’t notice as not being the classic 1873 saa. Was Big Jake a western? Watch for the motorcycle kid with his disguised p38 shooting-up the set….or the Roman candle “gun” used by Geoffrey Lewis in, what was that, Deadwood? As for gun safety on-set, Bob Munden once handed me a special lightweight blank-only saa, then yanked it out of my hand when I put my thumb on the hammer, ‘cos I didn’t first check for loaded status (it was). I was a kid, and he really was fast, but I considered him an arrogant idiot after that.

  • Andrew N. November 22, 2021, 6:26 pm

    How about if anti-gun types don’t do movies involving guns? If you don’t know enough about firearms to be safe, WHY are you handling one?

  • Roy Miller November 20, 2021, 7:13 am

    It doesn’t matter what the armor said whoever is holding the weapon is responsible you never ever play weapon in another person and pull the trigger unless it’s intentional even on a movie set it takes a second to pop the magazine and check the fact is simple there should have never been why ammunition on the set ever. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been told even on a movie set if you’re handed a weapon it’s your responsibility to check especially if you’re going to be pointing it at another person there’s absolutely no way around this basic fact Alec Baldwin should go to jail.

  • Bob November 19, 2021, 1:37 pm

    Alec Baldwin should have been arrested and charged already. However, he receives special treatment because for whatever reason people have placed actors, professional athletes and other entertainers on a different level above the law. Baldwin in his warped mind believes he did nothing wrong. He somehow has forgotten that he actually pulled the trigger on the revolver that ultimately killed the lady and injured another man. The gun did not discharge on it’s own. It matters not that he claims someone told him the gun was cold whatever that is supposed to mean. He alone is responsible for the death of one person and injury to a second person. While his act may not have been intentional, it is at the very least reckless and he deserves to be tried for the homicide and serious injury to the second person.

    • kimbepross November 23, 2021, 10:00 am

      You’re right! Just look at Kyle RIttenhouse. He got to stay in jail for 87 days for his incident. If you or I had Baldwin’s accident, we would be out on bond, maybe, not walking the streets shopping in NYC. It really is aggravating.

  • Scott November 19, 2021, 12:43 pm

    Maybe George Clooney could teach the fundamentals to the A-listers. Alec Baldwin should have some retraining and a test or three before he is allowed to handle a gun on set again.

  • LJ November 19, 2021, 12:24 pm

    I wonder it Mr. Clooney – being the gun expert he claims to be – realizes the dangers of pointing a gun at the ground and pulling the trigger just to make sure it’s safe before shooting a movie scene? I can imagine showing up at my local gun range and stepping up to the firing line and pulling the trigger 6 times at the ground to make sure I’m empty before loading it. The guy standing closest to me would probably shove that gun right up my bung-hole, and rightfully so, right after he got over the shock of the stupidity.

  • Frank November 19, 2021, 12:08 pm

    Sometimes it would REALLY be nice to post a meme here! There’s a photo-shopped picture of Grouchy Old A.B. himself wearing a black t-shirt that bears the following words:


  • Kane November 19, 2021, 12:00 pm

    I remember Clooney cracking an ignorant joke when it was announced that Charelton Heston was suffering from Altimerz disease. Wonder what will the possible jokes be when George Clooney leaves this world. Heston was classy and said something respectful of Rose Clooney that he knew years before.

    A thousand pardons for any spelling mistakes I made here or in the past and in perpetuity.

  • Lewis Wereb November 19, 2021, 11:27 am

    Clooney is an asshole puke liberal also. If he’s such an expert on revolvers he should know that some of them can hold SEVEN rounds and some can hold NINE rounds. And single action revolvers can’t fire six rounds without pulling the hammer back to full cock for each round so the “squeezing” bullshit won’t work.
    And SINGLE ACTION REVOLVERS which the Baldwin asshole misused are ALWAYS used in Western movies.

  • Symilarian November 19, 2021, 11:09 am

    Alec Baldwin handled a gun in “Red October” and seemed proficient. It would be interesting to hear how the arms keeper handled those scenes and hear their comments. To me this is very suspicious. They weren’t even filming a scene when this happed so how did a film crew member manage to get shot? This is criminal negligence at a minimum.

    • BR549 November 19, 2021, 11:11 pm

      Armorers are like having a “parent in the room”, so to speak. The biggest problem is that the majority of liberals are just large children who managed to reach voting age without doing something stupid to get themselves killed.

  • Gerald Willecke November 19, 2021, 10:54 am

    “I mean every time I get handed a six-gun, you point it at the ground and you squeeze it six times,” Clooney said, noting, “It’s just insane” not to.

    That is almost as dumb as what Baldwin may or may not have done, what is the surface your shooting at what is under the surface your shooting at?

  • Chuck Matson November 19, 2021, 10:30 am

    Baldwin should be in jail…and Clooney is a leftist puke!

  • horace November 19, 2021, 10:07 am

    Clooney a fooking hypocrite who makes millions from firearm movies as stated yet stands against ownership. Fooking Hollywood should just go away buncha fooking commie bastards. This blunt enough comment for the censors?

  • amelio white November 19, 2021, 10:06 am

    No words for this indescriminate shooting. Lame safety actions and training. There is liability here and actions need to be taken to prevent anymore lameduck blaming. 😎

  • Anthony Cannata November 19, 2021, 10:01 am

    Actually, I was hoping these kind of incidents could catch on and become a trend in Hollywood.

  • Clint W. November 19, 2021, 9:59 am

    Baldwin broke every firearm handling rule in the book plus the movie making rule of never pointing a firearm at the person they intend to shoot and pull the trigger. All firearms that are fired, are aimed at a ‘safe point’ off to the side of the target. But the real issue is why any live round was on the movie set in the first place. If you read about the armorer, regardless of her daddy’s reputation as a movie armorer, she needs to go back to the wardrobe department. I find Clooneys understanding of blanks and dummy rounds to be amusing too. So the powder comes out a little hole drilled in the case to make it a dummy bullet? Sure, but perhaps they are ID’d as a dummy because the have a hold drilled through both sides of the case, as the dummy rounds I make for my Garand and AR have. Clooney and Baldwin, if they attended a high school with a shop class, would flunk drilling holes in boards.

  • KetchemKenny November 19, 2021, 9:34 am

    Too bad Baldwin didn’t have the gun pointed at himself when he pulled the trigger.

  • Abby Normal November 19, 2021, 9:28 am

    I read that the woman who wrote the script for this move never put any gun fire in it. There was not supposed to be a single gunshot in the movie. So why was there anything at all in the gun?

  • Armed and Dangerous November 19, 2021, 9:11 am

    Clooney is a real genius. “Point the gun at the ground and squeeze the trigger 6 times”? What a joke. Suppose there’s a misfire and the round fires on the second try? Open the damn gun, check all rounds, and then DO NOT POINT IT AT A PERSON. What idiots. It’s no wonder these people are against guns, they are totally ignorant when it comes to gun safety. Always assume a gun is loaded. Quote from Forrest Gump “Stupid is as stupid does”.

    • Slim November 19, 2021, 5:47 pm

      Wait, you don’t squeeze the trigger at least six times?! You’d be crazy not to;)

  • krinkov545 November 19, 2021, 8:54 am

    Go back into the slime you epic has been psychopath. You suck.

  • survivor50 November 19, 2021, 8:47 am

    Can’t stand his BS he spews all the time, but ” BROKEN CLOCK ” theory… he’s right about handling any gun handed to you…

    You check the gun, show it to me, and hand it to me, I’m going to check it again, and SHOW it to you…
    How much simpler can that get ? It’s LOADED till we BOTH check it…

    And ” WHY ” isn’t Baldwin CHARGED with Negligent Homicide YET ???

  • Stephen Graham November 19, 2021, 8:16 am

    If Clooney had correctly observed ANY of the safety rules, nothing would’ve happened. Apparently all of these basic rules were violated. Further, it was a scene involving a cross – draw, which means many people may have been “muzzled“:

    1) treat EVERY gun as if it is loaded
    2) NEVER let the muzzle point at anything you don’t want to kill or destroy
    3) keep your finger OFF the trigger until you’re ready to shoot
    4) all firearms should be UNLOADED when they are not in use

  • Anthony J Romano November 19, 2021, 8:12 am

    If you check to see if it’s loaded by opening it (revolver) or racking it (semi) then you don’t need to pull the trigger 6 times at the ground. What an a-hole!

  • Y2K November 19, 2021, 7:51 am


  • alex November 19, 2021, 7:41 am

    just what we needed,this asshole shooting his mouth off again,go back to your island and go back to jerking off,nobody cares what you think!

  • Polcat November 19, 2021, 7:25 am

    What’s taking so long to file charges? He’s known to have a bad temper, he didn’t check the gun, and you NEVER point a gun at someone unless you intend to shoot them. ALWAYS assume the gun is loaded! Fundamentals!

  • perlcat November 19, 2021, 4:29 am

    Well. Out of the mouths of dumba5535. Not a fan of Clooney; his aunt was ok.

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