George Clooney has ripped Alec Baldwin’s deadly shooting of the “Rust” cinematographer as “infuriating” and “insane” — insisting the star and his crew appeared to ignore decades-old safety rules used on every other set.
“Maybe they weren’t even using that gun to do target practice, but they had live ammo with dummies,” Clooney raged of “all this s–t we’ve been seeing with all the Alec Baldwin stuff.”
“And that is insane. It’s insane. It’s infuriating,” insisted Clooney.
The “Ocean’s Eleven” star said that despite having “been on sets for 40 years,” he has never heard of some of the apparent safety measures Baldwin’s Western had used on the deadly set.
“First of all, I’ve never heard the term ‘cold gun,’” he said of the doomed safe word that Baldwin believed meant the Colt .45 he fired would not have live bullets.
“I’ve never heard that term. Literally, they’re just talking about stuff I’ve never heard of. It’s just infuriating,” he said.
Clooney, 60, also insisted that even after getting the all clear, every actor then takes additional steps to personally ensure the weapon is not loaded before they actually fire on set.
“Every single time I’m handed a gun on a 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, we show it to the crew,” he told Maron.
“Everyone does it. Everybody knows,” he said.
“Maybe Alec did that — hopefully he did do that,” he said, although initial police reports suggest that the 63-year-old actor relied on the “cold gun” call from his crew.
Clooney insisted that such safety measures were obvious to anyone in movies following previous tragedies over the decades.
The former “ER” star said he was “friends” with Jon-Erik Hexum, who died from a blank in 1984, and “good friends — really good friends — with Brandon Lee,” the 28-year-old son of martial arts legend Bruce Lee who died in a similar on-set shooting while filming “The Crow” in 1993.
“After Brandon died, it really became a very clear thing of, open the gun, look down the barrel, looking in the cylinder, make sure,” he said of industry-wide safety steps that Baldwin appears to have skipped.
Clooney suggested that “Rust” assistant director David Halls — who told authorities he handed Baldwin the gun before his fatal shot — appeared to be “the bad guy.”
But he said that “for the life of me,” he could not understand why the Baldwin-produced flick hired rookie armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed.
“It’s a terrible accident. But a 24-year-old person with that little experience shouldn’t be heading up a department with guns and bullets on it,” he said of the “low-budget film with producers who haven’t produced anything.”
“And so it comes down to, we need to be better at making sure that the heads of our department are … experienced and know what they’re doing,” he said.
“Because this is … I’ve just never, you know — it’s just infuriating,” he said, sounding almost at a loss for words.
Authorities have not charged anyone for last month’s “Rust” shooting in New Mexico.
Santa Fe District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies has warned that “no one has been ruled out at this point,” including Baldwin.
Around 500 rounds were taken as part of the investigation, including blanks, dummy rounds — and some suspected live rounds, officials have said.