Hannah Gutierrez-Reed: Nicolas Cage screamed at rookie armorer for firing gun on set
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the rookie armorer who loaded the gun that claimed the life of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins while being handled by actor Alec Baldwin, reportedly faced several complaints on her last movie.
The 24-year-old reportedly upset crew members on the set of 'The Old Way', including star Nicolas Cage, with her reckless gun handling. Speaking to The Wrap, Stu Brumbaugh, the key grip on the production, claimed the young armorer had failed to abide by basic gun safety protocols. According to him, Gutierrez-Reed discharged a weapon for the second time in three days without warning, with Cage yelling at the set, "Make an announcement, you just blew my f**king eardrums out!"
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Brumbaugh said he told the assistant director on the Montana set, which was set up just two months prior to 'Rust', that Gutierrez-Reed ought to be fired. "After the second round, I was pissed off. We were moving too fast. She's a rookie," he recalled. Brumbaugh later learned from his superiors that 'The Old Way' was Gutierrez-Reed's first movie.
These claims were, however, denied by a producer for 'The Old Way'. "I have no such recollection of this event on our set. I asked my partners the same," they said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. "The details on some of these accounts specifically when it pertains to 'The Old Way' have been blown out of proportion." The anonymous producer said Gutierrez-Reed worked under veteran property master Jeffrey W Crow. Nonetheless, Brumbaugh and another source who was reportedly at the set claimed Gutierrez-Reed "put the cast and crew in several unnecessary and dangerous situations".
According to Brumbaugh, she broke safety protocols when she entered the set with live rounds of blanks without warning the cast and crew. He claimed that she carried loaded pistols under her arms and rifles in both hands and unintentionally pointed them at people as she moved around on set. He added that she fired guns without warning twice.
The key grip explained that low budgets were the reason someone so inexperienced was given such a critical role. "The tragedy is it boils down to the producers," Brumbaugh said. "Been happening more and more. 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 fewer people."
"The problem is she didn't have help. I would have had a minimum of two more people," Brumbaugh continued. "She was doing everything by herself in that movie and in the other movie. If there was one more person in the other movie the tragedy wouldn't have happened. The second person would have inspected to make sure barrels were clear." He said he understood the potential for mistakes on set. "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 stated.
24 year old Hannah Gutierrez-Reed the set armorer that was hired by Rust Movie Productions and is responsible for all guns on the Alec Baldwin Western Film ‘Rust’ in New Mexico has deleted her TikTok and Twitter and also her Facebook and Instagram accounts. pic.twitter.com/NvCJiTUCMu— 🌈 (@MagicZoetrope) October 24, 2021
Meanwhile, sources told The Daily Beast how Gutierrez-Reed handed a gun to 11-year-old actress Ryan Kiera Armstrong on 'The Old Way' set. "She was a bit careless with the guns, waving it around every now and again," the source recalled. "There were a couple of times she was loading the blanks and doing it in a fashion that we thought was unsafe."
According to the insider, Gutierrez-Reed had been loading a gun on the pebble-strewn ground — a potentially dangerous practice — before handing it over to Armstrong. "She was reloading the gun on the ground, where there were pebbles and stuff," the source added. "We didn't see her check it, we didn't know if something got in the barrel or not."
That said, Gutierrez-Reed has previously admitted she wasn't sure she was ready for the job in an interview after the filming for 'The Old Way' was completed. "It was also my first time being head armorer as well. You know, 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," she said. "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," she added.