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Y&R's Eric Braeden on 'Rust' Tragedy: "Something is Very Rotten in The State of Denmark"

Eric Braeden

The Young and the RestlessEric Braeden (Victor) appeared on CNN on Oct. 29 to speak with Don Lemon. The pair talked about the recent fatal shooting on the set of the film Rust. A veteran thespian, Braeden shared his own experiences on TV and movie sets and discussed the tragic event.

In the interview, Lemon asked Braeden how such a situation could happen. The daytime legend stated:

There's a hierarchy on the set. And that hierarchy means that the assistant director is responsible for everything going on the set. Above him is the director. The director is usually concerned with the shots, with the angles, with talking to the actor. The assistant director asks every department head, are you ready for this shot? And the assistant director does not hand the gun to the actor. That has not happened to me in over 60 years in this business. Ever.

I've been on more shows with guns than you can shake a fist at. So that obviously, that hierarchy was broken. As far as I'm concerned, it was an independent film. I don't know anything more about it. I have a feeling that they were overworked and underpaid as they usually are on independent films.

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What is normal protocol for filming with weapons? Braeden answered:

Well, you have an armorer on the show like that, you need two or three. That's an enormous responsibility to put on the shoulders of a 24-year-old girl. To handle all the equipment, all the props that are involved on that show.

So what happens is, the actor gets ready for the scene. The assistant director looks around. Looks at the armorer. Says ready, ready? OK. Give him the gun. The armorer comes over. Shows the gun to the actor. Opens, has him look at the barrel, look at the whole thing says, OK, it's empty. Alright, cool. Close it. Ready to go. Now another thing that puzzles me is the fact that I don't know if this was a rehearsal or a take.

He added:

It was a rehearsal. Even in the rehearsal, you say action. Now, what the hell was the director and the D.P. doing standing right in the line of that shot? I don't understand that. I feel dreadful for the woman, Hutchins, Halyna Hutchins. I feel bad for everyone concerned. I feel terribly badly for Alec Baldwin. He's a nice man. I know him. He's a good guy, a good actor. A great professional. And he was given that gun by an A.D. who then proclaimed it was a cold gun.

That's something is very rotten in the state of Denmark. I don't understand how then the director and the D.P. would stand in the line of the shot. That is very peculiar to me. I don't understand that.

Watch Braeden and Lemon's discussion here.