Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the 24-year-old armorer for the Alec Baldwin film Rust, was the subject of numerous complaints while handling weapons on another film set just two months earlier, infuriating star Nicolas Cage, according to a crew member who spoke with TheWrap.
Stu Brumbaugh, who this past summer served as key grip on the set of the Cage Western, The Old Way, told TheWrap that Gutierrez-Reed upset both Cage and other crew members on the set when she failed to follow basic gun safety protocols, like announcing the arrival and usage of weapons onto the set.
“Make an announcement, you just blew my fucking eardrums out!” Brumbaugh said he overheard Cage yell at the young woman, after she fired a gun near the cast and crew for a second time in three days without warning. Cage walked off the set in a rage, Brumbaugh added.
“I told the AD [assistant director], ‘She needs to be let go,'” Brumbaugh said, adding, “After the second round I was pissed off. We were moving too fast. She’s a rookie.”
Brumbaugh added that he found out The Old Way was Gutierrez-Reed’s first time as an armorer on a film set after he told his superiors that the production needed a more experienced armorer.
A producer of The Old Way, however, told TheWrap that he has “no such recollection” of Gutierrez-Reed engaging in this behavior on set and that nobody ever asked for the armorer’s dismissal.
“I have no such recollection of this event on our set. I asked my partners the same,” the producer said. “The details on some of these accounts specifically when it pertains to The Old Way have been blown out of proportion.”
Despite the producer’s remarks, Brumbaugh insists that Gutierrez-Reed did the following, per TheWrap:
Walked onto the set with live rounds of blanks and no public announcement to the cast and crew, breaking established safety protocols.
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.
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.
Brumbaugh added that he now understands how deadly accidents can happen.
“You have an AD screaming at you — you’re 24 and energetic and don’t want to be yelled at. So you rush in and start arming people,” he said.
Last week, while on the set of Rust — for which Gutierrez-Reed was the head armorer — actor Alec Baldwin was rehearsing with a gun that he had been told did not contain live ammunition. Cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, was fatally wounded and director, Joel Souza was also wounded.
While on the set of Rust, crew members reportedly took firearms from the set and went out plinking on the day of the fatal shooting. “Plinking” refers to target shooting done for pleasure, typically at objects such as cans, bottles, logs, or other abnormal targets.
“We have a source that’s close to the set, who told us that a few crew members went out plinking on the day of the shooting,” said TheWrap editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman.
In a September interview on the Voices of the West podcast, Gutierrez-Reed said she “almost didn’t take” her job on the set of The Old Way due to fears that she was not “ready.”
“It was also my first time being head armorer as well,” she said. “I was really nervous about it at first, and I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but, doing it, like, it went really smoothly.”
You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.
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