- CW actor Michael Vlamis said he’s always shown a gun’s empty chamber before filming.
- His show has filmed near where someone died by gunfire on the set of the Alec Baldwin movie, “Rust.”
- “On my show, Baldwin would’ve seen the inside of the gun,” Vlamis said.
Michael Vlamis, who stars in the CW drama “Roswell, New Mexico,” said on the set of his show he is always shown the inside of a gun’s chamber to prove it’s not loaded right before shooting a scene with it.
“Roswell” shoots in Santa Fe, New Mexico, including on occasion at the Bonanza Creek Ranch, the same location where actor Alec Baldwin discharged a Colt revolver, killing one person and injuring another, while filming the western movie “Rust” last week.
Vlamis, who is the brother of this reporter, told Insider he sometimes has to handle a revolver while portraying his “Roswell” character, Michael Guerin, a cowboy alien pretending to be human. He said every single time a gun is used on set, a multistep safety protocol is followed.
Max Bozeman, the assistant prop master for “Roswell” who has worked in the industry for more than 30 years, told Insider that live rounds or blanks are never used on the show, and that any gun-related sounds or effects are added in post-production. He emphasized that they “never, ever, ever” bring live rounds on set.
Before filming a scene that involves a gun, the prop master or assistant prop master brings the gun to the assistant director, opening and spinning the revolver chamber or dropping the clip or magazine to show the gun is not loaded.
- They also open up the side of the gun and shine a flashlight down the barrel to show there’s light coming through the other end, confirming there is nothing in it.
- The assistant director then announces to everyone that there’s a “cold weapon” on set, which signals the gun does not have live rounds.
- The prop master will then bring the gun over to the actors. Vlamis said they always open the chamber to show him the gun is not loaded, and that they will even let him turn the chamber around himself for additional confirmation.
“On my show, Baldwin would’ve seen the inside of the gun,” Vlamis said, adding that if he was handed a gun without being shown the empty chamber, “1000% I wouldn’t take it.”
Bozeman said he also shows the empty chamber or magazine to other actors participating in the scene, even if they are not handling the gun, or any crew members that would like to check it. If the scene involves the gun being pointed toward the camera, he’ll show it to the camera crew as well.
Another actor on “Roswell,” Nathan Parsons, frequently handles a prop gun in his portrayal of Max Evans, a police officer who is also an alien. Parsons’ pistol is actually an airsoft gun, and it’s also never loaded. Still, when it’s brought out on set the same protocol is followed as for Vlamis’ revolver.
Bozeman said 99% of the time the guns used on the show are airsoft guns, but that it’s the industry standard to treat them as real guns.
Vlamis said when he first held a gun on a set it felt “strange,” but that he feels “very confident after that process that it’s safe.”
He called what happened on the “Rust” set “insane,” and said it’s “going make me triple check from now on even after everyone does protocol.”
“It just goes to show there’s so much human error. We just forget that when we’re in a ‘safe environment,'” Vlamis said. “This is work. Work is supposed to be safe.”
Bozeman agreed, saying he takes “great offense” to what happened on “Rust” because “there are so many steps that should’ve been taken beforehand that clearly weren’t.”
“Nothing should be happening like this,” he said. “We work for multibillion dollar companies every day and our safety should never be in question.”