Arts & Entertainment

Chastain backs striking Hollywood actors, writers at Venice Film Festival

Venice, Italy, Sep 8 (EFE).- American actor Jessica Chastain admitted Friday to being nervous about attending the premiere of her latest film “Memory” at the Venice Film Festival, amid an ongoing strike by Hollywood actors and writers.

Chastain, who won an Oscar for her performance in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (2022), said she was “incredibly nervous” to be in Venice promoting the film, adding that members of her team had even advised against it.

Hollywood actors represented by the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) walked off the job over the summer to join writers striking for better pay and other conditions.

“I’m very, very lucky, I’m very aware of how lucky I am,” Chastain, who was wearing a SAG-AFTRA T-shirt, told a press conference.

“It’s a wonderful profession that we get to do as actors and because of that we are quite often made to feel like we have to keep quiet in order to protect future working opportunities. We are often told and reminded how grateful we should be. That is the environment that I think has allowed workplace abuse to go unchecked for many decades and it’s also the environment that has saddled members of my union with unfair contracts,” Chastain said.

The US actor said her union had made it clear that interim agreements with independent production companies, which are not members of the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers), allow them to participate in events like this festival.

“SAG-AFTRA has been explicitly clear that the way to support the strike is to post on social media, walk the picket lines and to work and support interim agreement projects. It’s what our national board and our elected leadership has asked us to do,” she said.

“When independent producers like the ones here sign these interim agreements, they are letting the world know and letting the AMPTP know that actors deserve fair compensation, that AI protections should be implemented and there should be sharing of streaming revenue,” Chastain, who also starred in films such as ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, ‘Interstellar’ and ‘The Help’, added.

“I hope being here today encourages other independent producers and encourages actors to show up and support our union members. And hopefully we’ll see an end to this strike soon. And hopefully the AMPTP will go back to the table,” she concluded. EFE


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