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Alec Baldwin's Body Language During His ABC Rust Interview Was Very Revealing - Exclusive

For months, director Joel Souza's latest feature, "Rust," has made near-constant headlines — and unfortunately, they've all been for the worst possible reasons. It all started on October 21, 2021, when a prop firearm wound up firing a live projectile on set, resulting in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and the injury of Souza himself. As the situation slowly unraveled, the world soon found out that the gun sat in the hands of famed actor Alec Baldwin when the incident went down, making him the center of attention for this entire case. Per his own admittance, even long after this situation concludes, his life and career will likely never be the same.

Naturally, the shooting has spawned numerous debates and questions among those close to and far from it. Was there actually a live round in the gun, or did it merely malfunction? What were the safety precautions like on set, if there were really any at all? Who is ultimately responsible for this tragedy? That's a lot of ground to cover, and though he doesn't have all of the answers, Alec Baldwin did his best to address such topics and more during his December 2nd interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos — dispelling some uncertainty and hearsay in the process.

Of course, speech is just one way for a person to convey information, if you know what you're looking for. As such, there's much more to this interview than just Baldwin's words. The actor's body language had a lot to reveal as well, according to a body language expert.

Baldwin's body language told a story itself

To learn more about Alec Baldwin's body language during his ABC interview, Looper got in touch with Body Language Expert Alison Henderson from Moving Image Consulting, and what she found was quite interesting. First and foremost, she mentions that it's important to keep in mind that Baldwin is an actor, meaning there were fewer visual "tells" to work off of. "At the beginning of the interview, Baldwin was less comfortable and exhibited some holding behavior," Henderson says, citing him keeping his hands on his knees or lacing his fingers together.

However, Henderson notes that the truly interesting thing about the actor's body language was his eyes, and how he used them. "The most striking moments were when Mr. Baldwin looked George Stephanopoulos in the eyes and when he didn't," she says. Henderson elaborates this by pointing out that Baldwin appeared truthful when he referred to Hutchins as "fantastic" and uttered the statement "I let go of the hammer, and gun goes off," due to his eye contact with Stephanopoulos. 

On the other hand, the actor's choice to drop eye contact when claiming he didn't observe any safety or security issues on-set, as well as his denial that he feels guilty about the situation, indicates there may be more to the story on those specific points. 

Was Alec Baldwin truthful in his interview?

While Alec Baldwin's big interview was heartfelt and seemed to clear some of the questions behind the tragedy — or the actor's take on them, anyway — the big question remains: was Alec Baldwin being honest throughout this interview? According to Alison Henderson, it's a bit more complex than a simple "yes" or "no." 

Ultimately, this comes down to the fact that, as Henderson points out, Baldwin is an actor, and an extremely seasoned interview guest. As such, he was very much facing this issue on his home turf, and came in prepared. 

"Everyone wants to know if Alec is lying," Henderson concluded. "Overall, there was nothing which stood out as a major red flag. However, Alec was also carefully controlling the narrative by bringing up the feeling on set, multiple references to his family, etc. He stuck to his script and his performance."

Of course, it makes sense that Baldwin wants to maintain a modicum of control in what was possibly the most important interview of his career. After all, the first interview he gave about the subject was a scruffier affair. In October 21, Baldwin shared then-new details about the "Rust" shooting in a roadside interview in front of a paparazzi group (via TMZ). In the statements he gave back then, he was already quite adamant about doing what he can to help improving gun safety, and mentioned that he'd been in touch with Hutchins' family — both points that he repeated in the new interview (per ABC News). As such, there's certainly a measure of consistency to Baldwin's statements, and much of the new information he conveyed to Stephanopoulos might have fallen under the "keep quiet" order he said he'd received from the Sheriff's Department in Santa Fe back then.