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Jessica Chastain felt ‘incredibly nervous’ attending Venice Film Festival amid actors’ strike

80th Venice International Film Festival: ‘Memory’ Photocall
Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain has admitted she felt “incredibly nervous” about attending the Venice Film Festival on Friday amid the ongoing actors’ strike.

The Oscar-winning actress and her co-star Peter Sarsgaard appeared at the Italian film festival on Friday to support Michel Franco’s Memory, which was given a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement allowing them to promote the independent film during the work stoppage.

Chastain, who wore a “SAG-AFTRA on Strike” T-shirt, was asked during the film’s press conference if she had considered not coming due to the strike.

“Yes, I was incredibly nervous to be here today, and actually there are some people on my team who advised me against it,” she began, reports Deadline.

However, the actress, whose attendance was unconfirmed until Thursday, ultimately decided that her appearance would support the cause.

“I am here because 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,” she continued. “When indie producers sign these agreements they are letting the world know, they are letting the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) know that actors deserve fair compensation, they have protections that should be implemented and there should be sharing of streaming revenue.

“So I hope being here today encourages other producers, encourages actors to show up… Hopefully we’ll see an end to the strike soon and hopefully the AMPTP will go back to the table.”

SAG-AFTRA went on strike over a labour dispute with the AMPTP, which represents major studios, streaming services and TV networks, in July. Actors are not allowed to promote their projects amid the stoppage unless the production has received a SAG-AFTRA waiver.

The Venice Film Festival is usually a star-studded affair, however, this year’s edition only featured a handful of Hollywood actors such as Adam Driver, Patrick Dempsey and Jacob Elordi. The festival ends on Saturday.

– Cover Media