I think this is the first time he's realized that with himself front and center.
People who legitimately shoot people in self-defense almost never talk to the press for exactly this reason. Making any sort of public statement before a decision to press charges one way or another can mean the difference between exoneration and decades in prison. And that's just the legal ramifications. Let alone emotional effects most people are ridiculously unprepared for, especially in the public eye.
I think Baldwin is confident of two things:
One, criminal charges most likely will not be pressed against him.
Two, he's a talented enough performer and accustomed enough to talking to the press to control his own narrative to an extent.
Five minutes in, he stops in the middle of describing Hutchins and it takes him a moment to continue.
For what it's worth, I think his emotions in that moment were genuine. I was disappointed by the reaction of many when the "men should be allowed to cry in public" crowd threw that idea to the fucking winds when Rittenhouse cried on the stand. I'd be a bit of an asshole if I joined that bunch now.
That said, his emotions being genuine and his actions being acceptable are two different things.
Seven minutes in, the armorer (Reed) is mentioned. The fact that Rust was her second job was brought up, and audio from a podcast doing publicity for her first gig as an armorer was played.
First thing out of Stephanopolos' mouth: "Do you think she was up for the job?"
Baldwin claimed he assumed her up for it because she'd been hired.
Some bits and pieces, pretty much what I'd expect an actor to remember from an hour's course.
Then Baldwin claims Reed told him to only give a gun back to her or the first AD.
Supposedly, filming in tight quarters may necessitate such a thing.
Not any protocol that I've ever heard of.
Nor is it a covid-related change that I've ever heard of.
He described how Hutchins told him how to draw while she looked in the monitor, and claimed she directed him to aim at her armpit. While testing how cocking the weapon looked in the camera, he pulled the hammer back slightly. His thumb let go of the hammer and the weapon fired. No pulling the trigger.
As I've said before, plausible with the old single-action revolvers.
He kept emphasizing what he was told.
"I was told I was handed an empty gun."
"Never point a gun at someone" "Unless you're told it's empty."
"We both thought it was empty."
"That's not my responsibility."
He mentions billions of rounds fired on sets over the decades and a small handful of deaths.
George Clooney, who's enough of a gun-grabbing stooge off set in his own right, he of all people pointed out that everyone checks a weapon.
"There were a lot of people who felt it necessary to contribute"
"If your protocol is to check the gun every time, good for you."
"I had a protocol. And it never let me down."
Until it did.
Baldwin claims that when he was young, he was taught to do nothing with a gun except what the armorer told him. The armorer said, "We don't want the actor to be the last line of defense against a catastrophic breach of safety with a gun."
One, that's because of moron actors who want to look all cool and tactical but don't want to actually be as competent as some teenagers I've seen with these weapons.
Two, it's been a long time since he was told that early in his career. Things change.
At a half-hour just before commercial break, he asks a relevant question:
"Where did the live round come from?"
There's some claims of sabotage. Which, plausible. Back in the day, gun-grabbers used to sneak loose ammo into gun shows, pretend to be checking out a weapon, load it while nobody was looking, and walk away hoping for an accidental discharge later.
But that raises the second question of why?
Negligence is much more likely.
The question is who is legally negligent?
1st AD Hall's attorney claims it wasn't Hall's responsibility to check.
In which case, WTF was he doing handing it to Baldwin and claiming it was cold?
Here's a little quote from my old handguns on film class:
"Rule two: Never point a weapon at anything you do not intend to shoot. The active word in that sentence is 'you.' You, you, you. Not your armorer, not your director, not the PA's, you."
I think Baldwin is someone who's world has just shattered, and is using his skills and resources to influence the official record to the extent that he can.
I agree with him that nothing would have happened if a live round hadn't been brought onto that set.
But in believing what he was told instead of checking for himself, he contributed directly to Hutchins' death.
If you can't be bothered to learn how to load, unload, and check a single-action, you're too incompetent to appear in a Western as a shooter.
He either didn't know how to check, in which case he was incompetent.
Or he couldn't be bothered to check, in which case he was reckless, lazy, irresponsible, and stupid.
Either way, he's now a killer of someone he cared about by dint of his own negligence, and he'll carry that around for the rest of his life.
Take care of yourselves out there.