Hollywood reacted to the actor union’s announcement Thursday that it will join the writer’s union in striking for fair pay, with A-listers like Matt Damon, Margot Robbie, Jeremy Renner and Jamie Lee Curtis all voicing their support.
“It’s really about working actors,” Matt Damon told Variety of the strike at the “Oppenheimer” premiere. “It’s $26,000 to qualify for health coverage and a lot of people are on the margins and residual payments are getting them across that threshold. This isn’t an academic exercise. This is real life and death stuff. Hopefully we get to a resolution quickly. No one wants a work stoppage, but we’ve got to get a fair deal.”
His castmate Emily Blunt added, “Obviously we stand with all of the actors and at whatever point it’s called, we’re going to be going home and standing together through it because I want everyone to get a fair deal.”
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Shorty after the interview Blunt, Damon and the rest of the cast, including Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh, walked out of the London premiere as the strike was called.
Margot Robbie on Wednesday told Sky News at the London premiere of “Barbie” that as a SAG-AFTRA member she will “absolutely” support the strike.
Jamie Lee Curtis, who starred in Disney’s upcoming “Haunted Mansion” comedy, wrote “Union Strong! Now-Always-Forever!” on her Instagram, adding in another post: “Since we will all stop utilizing social media to promote work that we are on strike for, this is my last offering from the wonderful new Disney movie @hauntedmansion and ironic because in order to put Madame Leota inside her crystal ball and trap her there for hundreds of years, they used a digital technique which was a first for me, acting with my head in a vise, but the results are magnificent.”
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She added, “A great combination of acting AND technology. What I will say is that although I AM computer generated, it is FROM my PERFORMANCE, my sense of comedic timing and you CANNOT replicate that with a machine. I stand STRONG with my union @sagaftra.”
“Chucky” actress Jennifer Tilly tweeted, “Actors! Drop your sides and back away from the set! We are officially on strike! #Solidarity #SAGstrike #Fairwages.”
It’s the first time the actor’s union has gone on strike since 1980 and the first time it has simultaneously been on strike with the writer’s union since 1960 when Ronald Reagan was president of SAG-AFTRA as the industry grapples with what the rise of streaming services means for their livelihood.
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Jamie Lynn Spears, who has been heavily promoting her new movie “Zoey 102” on her Instagram, posted on her Stories that Thursday was the last day she would be able to publicize the film.
“It’s important and necessary that we all stick together, but it’s also heartbreaking and creates a lot of complicated feelings because you worked so hard with so many other people — not just yourself — to create this and this is your time to celebrate it,” she said.
Along with a ban on participating in filming, SAG union members also aren’t allowed to go to any premieres, do press or other promotions of projects.
“Final Destination” actor Devon Sawa shared several posts about the strike, including one that said, “This is when the Tom Cruises of the world speak up and tell CEOs they’d be nothing without their background performers, day players and costars etc. that all contributed in different ways over their long careers.”
In another post he wrote, “I’m heartbroken. I wasn’t done.”
“Day one. And we’ll be with you until the end.” “Mom” actress Kristen Johnston said of the strike at SAG-AFTRA’s commitment to supported to Writer’s Guild of America’s strike.
“Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon tweeted that she was “proud to be standing tall with the @WGAWest and @WGAEast as actors and writers together demand a fair share of the record-breaking profits the studios have been reaping from our labor for far too long.”
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