Rust actor Jensen Ackles paid tribute on Sunday to Halyna Hutchins, the film's cinematographer who died from injuries sustained after a prop gun was discharged on the set of the upcoming Western, calling her an "inspiration."
In an emotional post on Instagram, Ackles recounted an interaction he had with the 42-year-old days before her untimely death.
"Earlier last week I felt compelled to tell Halyna just how awesome I thought she was," Ackles shared next to a slideshow of photos of Hutchins on set. "I told her how incredible I thought her camera shots were and just how exciting it was to watch her and her team work. Truly. She laughed and said thank you and gave me a hug. I'll forever be thankful we had that moment."
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images Jensen Ackles
Ackles said the cinematographer "had a spunk and passion that infected the entire crew from the top down."
As previously reported by EW, actor Alec Baldwin discharged a prop gun at the Bonanza Creek Ranch during production on the film in Santa Fe, N.M., killing Hutchins and injuring director Joel Souza. Souza was treated for injuries and has since been released from the hospital. Based on information in a search warrant filed in Santa Fe and obtained by the AP and the New York Times, Baldwin had been told the gun was "cold," meaning safe to use.
Ackles called the incident "a tragedy of epic proportions that we are all still processing," and said Hutchins will be "incredibly missed."
He informed his followers that he and his wife Danneel Ackles have made donations to the AFI scholarship fund established in her name, and a GoFundMe for the family, set up by ICG Local 600.
"My heart and prayers go out to Halyna's husband, son and the rest of her family," Ackles continued in the heartbreaking post. "There just aren't enough words to express what an immense loss this is."
Halyna's husband, Matthew Hutchins, shared two heartfelt messages in remembrance of his wife on Friday night.
"Halyna inspired us all with her passion and vision, and her legacy is too meaningful to encapsulate in words," Hutchins wrote on Twitter, alongside a photo of the cinematographer with the couple's son. "Our loss is enormous, and we ask that the media please respect my family's privacy as we process our grief. We thank everyone for sharing images and stories of her life."
Baldwin also posted a tribute to the cinematographer on Twitter, writing, "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."
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
— AlecBaldwin(HABF) (@AlecBaldwin) October 22, 2021
The production company behind the Western is launching an internal review in the wake of the accident. A police investigation is also ongoing.