A furious Nicolas Cage stormed off the set of a film where Hannah Gutierrez-Reed was in charge of weapons — and ripped the rookie armorer for firing a gun without warning, crew members said in a new report.
The 24-year-old “Rust” armorer– in charge of guns when Alec Baldwin shot dead cinematographer Halyna Hutchins last Thursday — was repeatedly accused by crew members of breaking basic safety protocols on the Montana set of Cage’s “The Old Way” in August, they told TheWrap.
Cage even walked off set screaming at Gutierrez-Reed after she fired a gun without warning for the second time in three days, the movie’s key grip, Stu Brumbaugh, told the outlet.
“Make an announcement, you just blew my f—ing eardrums out!” Cage yelled before walking off in a rage, Brumbaugh recalled.
Brumbaugh even told the assistant director of the armorer, “She needs to be let go,” he recalled.
“After the second round I was pissed off. We were moving too fast. She’s a rookie,” he said, saying that it was only after complaining that he found out it was the key crew member’s first movie in charge of weapons.
Brumbaugh detailed a series of complaints that were made about the Gutierrez-Reed, including that walked onto the set with live rounds of blanks without announcing it to the cast and crew.
She also walked around with pistols tucked under her armpits in a way where they were pointing back at people, and allowed firearms to be aimed at people, Brumbaugh told TheWrap.
Another crew member — who spoke on the condition of anonymity — confirmed the concerns.
Gutierrez-Reed “put the cast and crew in several unnecessary and dangerous situations,” the unidentified crew member told TheWrap.
Before the fatal shooting on “Rust,” Gutierrez-Reed — the daughter of Hollywood weapons expert Thell Reed — had admitted not feeling ready for taking on the responsibility when offered “The Old Way” job.
“It was also my first time being head armorer … 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,” she admitted on a podcast last month.
“I think the best part about my job is just showing people who are normally kind of freaked out by guns how safe they can be and how they’re not really problematic unless put in the wrong hands,” Reed said.
Brumbaugh blamed movie producers for putting such inexperienced people in key jobs just to save money.
“It’s been happening more and more,” he told TheWrap.
“As producers refuse to bring more experienced people because their rates are higher, they demand we take our time and (producers) don’t want to pay it. So they hire a newbie who is energetic and wants the job and will do it with less people, he said.
More than Gutierrez-Reed’s inexperience, he believes the problem on “Rust” was that “she didn’t have help,” Brumbaugh said, echoing complaints from other experienced movie crew members.
“She was doing everything by herself in that movie and on the other movie.
“If there was one more person in the other movie the tragedy wouldn’t have happened. A second person would have inspected to make sure the barrels were clear,” he said.
Gutierrez-Reed could not be reached, and neither the first assistant for “The Old Way” nor reps for Cage respond to requests for comment, TheWrap said.
One unidentified producer on the movie did, however, insist that they had “no such recollection” of the events the grip mentioned, insisting they were being “blown out of proportion.”
Jeffrey Crow, the prop master who supervised Gutierrez-Reed on “The Old Way,” also defended her in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“I thought she was an exceptionally young, up-and-coming, very eager and talented armorer,” he said, saying he was “stymied” that she could be involved in the accidental fatal shot fired by Baldwin.
“I had a lot of faith in her, and I still do. I’m gonna be surprised if there was anything she was ultimately responsible for in all this, just seeing how she acted in the past. This is all such a surprise.”