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Nicolas Cage thinks being a “movie star” comes with a great sense of responsibility.
The “Face/Off” star, 57, explained during a roundtable discussion with The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday that if an actor is going to be in the position where he or she leads a film, then they must learn every aspect of their role — including how to use a gun properly.
“I don’t want to cast blame anywhere,” Cage said when asked about the fatal October shooting on the set of the Alec Baldwin-led Western “Rust.”
“But I do think, and I’m not talking about anybody, but people don’t like the word ‘movie star.’ We want to be humble actors. But a movie star is a bit of a different kind of presentation because you need to know how to ride a horse.
“You need to know how to fight,” he continued. “You’re going to do fight scenes. You need to know how to ride a motorcycle. You need to know how to use a stick shift and drive sports cars. And you do need to know how to use a gun. You do. You need to take the time to know what the procedure is. Those are part of the job profiles.”
Cage, who has starred in action movies like “Gone in 60 Seconds” and “A Score to Settle,” also said the stuntman and movie star are “two jobs that co-exist.”
He concluded, “That’s just part of the profile, and that’s all I’m going to say about it.”
Peter Dinklage, who was also present for THR’s “Actor’s Roundtable,” said an incident like the “Rust” tragedy “should never happen again.”
“Anything we can do to move away from that, then we should,” said the “Game of Thrones” alum, 52. “That’s our responsibility.”
Dinklage said he is “anti-gun” in his personal life, but because the characters he sometimes plays aren’t, then it becomes a “very complicated thing.”
Another movie star who previously spoke out about the responsibilities that actors have when handling weapons on set was George Clooney.
He insisted just weeks after Baldwin, 63, accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on set that actors must take additional steps to personally ensure their weapon is not loaded before they actually fire it.
“Every single time I’m handed a gun on a set — every time — they hand me a gun, I look at it, I open it, I show it to the person I’m pointing it to, we show it to the crew,” Clooney, 60, said on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast in November. “Everyone does it. Everybody knows.”
Baldwin, however, has maintained that he is not to blame.
“There’s only one question that needs to be resolved, just one: Where did the live round come from?” the “30 Rock” star told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in December.
“Someone put a live bullet in a gun. A live bullet that wasn’t even supposed to be on the property. Someone is responsible for what happened, and I can’t say who that is, but I know it’s not me.”
The shooting is still under investigation.
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