Adam Driver was in high demand at the Venice Film Festival, which bowed on Wednesday and has mostly had to make do without famous movie stars as the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike prohibits actors from promoting films made by most major studios. But since the new Michael Mann-directed film “Ferrari” will be released domestically by Neon and internationally by STX — two companies that aren’t members of the group that Hollywood guilds are striking against — its star, Adam Driver, was free to make the trip to Venice and add A-list appeal to a festival in dire need of it.
“I’m proud to be here, to be a visual representation of a movie that’s not part of the A.M.P.T.P.,” Driver said on Thursday at the news conference for the film, referencing the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. He praised the interim agreement devised by SAG-AFTRA that allows stars to promote independent films as long as their distributors agree with the terms the actors’ guild is seeking.
“Why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for — the dream version of SAG’s wish list — but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t?” asked Driver, who has previously promoted Netflix movies like “Marriage Story” and “White Noise” in Venice. “Every time people from SAG go and support movies that have agreed to these terms with the interim agreement, it just makes it more obvious that these people are willing to support the people they collaborate with, and the others are not.”
While he might not literally be crossing a picket line, perception matters. To outsiders, Driver represents SAG and whether through a loophole or fact, his appearance diminishes the strength of the strike. It seems like every actor is not sitting at home with their livelihood on tenterhooks. It’s a bad look. I hope others do not follow.