'Rust' Actor Says He Felt Movie Set Was 'Life-Threatening' Before Fatal Shooting

Rust actor Ian A. Hudson said he was "terrified" shooting a scene where his character was shot and killed

Ian A. Hudson
Ian A. Hudson. Photo: Instagram

An actor who worked on the film Rust is speaking out about his experience on the set of the Western ahead of the fatal on-set shooting involving Alec Baldwin.

In an interview with TMZ published Monday, Ian A. Hudson, who plays an outlaw in the film, per the outlet, described shooting a scene where his character was gunned down as "life-threatening" because of the use of real pistols and rifles on set. Hudson told TMZ that "everyone on the camera crew was protected by shields" during the filming of the scene.

"That made me question me being in front of the camera and in between all of that fire," he said. "When the rounds were released — when they shot at me — I actually did feel the blanks hitting my face and my body, and I could feel the wind from the shotgun being discharged."

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He continued: "It was heavy. It was strong... It was life-threatening. It felt too surreal."

Hudson said he wasn't alone when it came to feeling afraid on set.

"I would talk to my fellow cast members afterward, and we all agreed how intense that was and how scary and real it was," Hudson told TMZ of his character's final moments.

PEOPLE didn't immediately hear back from the producers of Rust regarding Hudson's allegations.

Hudson shared days before the on-set incident, he and his costars also discussed the death of Brandon Lee — the son of Bruce Lee, who was shot and accidentally killed on the set of The Crow in 1993.

"That conversation came up a couple times," Hudson told TMZ. "We're doing this the same way they did it then, 30 years ago."

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Despite feeling the Rust set was dangerous, Hudson said the film's 24-year-old gun handler Hannah Gutierrez-Reed did a "fantastic job."

"I even overheard [director] Joel Souza praise her a couple of times for being as safe as she was and as consistent — and speedy, too, keeping up with the rushed schedule," Hudson told TMZ.

Authorities in New Mexico are currently investigating the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who died after being airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital on Thursday. Baldwin, 63, shot a prop firearm while rehearsing a scene on the set of the movie Rust, killing Hutchins, 42. Director Joel Souza, 48, was also injured in the incident but was released from the hospital the following day.

According to a search warrant affidavit from the Santa Fe Sheriff's Office, assistant director David Halls picked up a prop gun from a rolling cart prepared by the armorer and handed it to Baldwin moments before the fatal shooting.

As he retrieved the weapon, Halls yelled "Cold Gun!" (a phrase that is meant to indicate that the gun is not loaded and is safe to handle). Neither Baldwin nor Halls were aware that there were live rounds in the gun.

Halls has not commented publicly on the situation.

Baldwin first spoke out regarding the incident on Friday morning, writing on Twitter, "There are no words to convey my shock and sadness regarding the tragic accident that took the life of Halyna Hutchins, a wife, mother and deeply admired colleague of ours."

"I'm fully cooperating with the police investigation to address how this tragedy occurred and I am in touch with her husband, offering my support to him and his family," he continued. "My heart is broken for her husband, their son, and all who knew and loved Halyna."

The Rust film set has been shut down and production indefinitely paused following Hutchins' death, according to the production company, Rust Movie Productions, LLC.

In an email to the film's crew obtained by PEOPLE, the Rust production team said, "We are conducting an internal review of safety protocols. As with any ongoing investigation, we are limited in our ability to say anything further publicly or privately, and ask for your patience in that regards."

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