Matt Hutchins, the husband of late cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, recalled the unimaginable moment he had to tell their 9-year-old son, Andros, that his mother was killed on the set of Rust.
In a powerful Today show interview that aired on Thursday, February 24, Matt spoke with Hoda Kotb about his relationship with his late wife, who died in October 2021 after she was struck by a live bullet from a prop gun held by Alec Baldwin.
“A member of the production team told me that Halyna had been shot,” Matt said. “And my heart sank right away. [It was] completely inexplicable to me that it could happen at that moment, and the first thing I thought, I sat down and I said, ‘I have to get my son,’ because I had to be with him.”
Halyna and Andros spoke via video chat every night before bed while she was on the set of Rust in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Matt told Kotb. “I think it helped him get to sleep every night, knowing that she was thinking about him,” he recalled.
As soon as Matt heard that his wife had been shot, he “rushed home,” explaining, “And on the way decided that we had to go to Santa Fe. And when I got through to the doctor and spoke with him, and he detailed exactly what had happened and that she didn’t survive, I mean, I was heartbroken. And I knew that I had to tell my son right away when I saw him.”
He continued: “I just had to be very direct and blunt because going to pick him up and go to to airport to go to Santa Fe, I didn’t want him to think that we were going to be seeing her and having fun together, and getting his hopes up,” Matt told Kotb. “I told him, sitting together, that his mother had been shot and died.”
Andros was in shock, according to his dad.
“Of course, he didn’t believe it right away,” Halyna’s husband of 16 years stated. “Didn’t want to believe it.”
“I think that that kind of news you just have to say multiple times so that it can be believed,” he added of telling his son. “And so he believed it, and we cried together then.”
Though Halyna’s family initially seemed to accept Baldwin’s grief — “You have to remember the shock we were in,” Matt revealed on Today of the meal they shared together — he was outraged when the actor, 63, declared in his December 2021 ABC News interview that he wasn’t responsible for Halyna’s death.
“I was just so angry to see him talk about her death so publicly in such a detailed way and then to not accept any responsibility after having just described killing her,” Matt told Kotb.
Halyna’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against Baldwin and others involved in the production of Rust, Us Weekly confirmed on February 15.
“Gun safety was not the only problem on that set,” Matt said in the Today interview. “There were a number of industry standards that were not practiced and there’s multiple responsible parties.”
Matt shared: “Every holiday is difficult without her. For me and Andros.”