The cast of Oppenheimer left the London premiere before the screening of the Christopher Nolan epic began in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA strike that began today.
Director Christopher Nolan confirmed before the screening began that his cast — who were present on the red carpet and openly discussed their plan to leave the premiere if the strike was confirmed — had indeed left the premises, according to Variety.
Back in Hollywood, SAG-AFTRA held a press conference on Thursday afternoon confirming that the strike will begin at midnight on Thursday and that picketing will begin on Friday morning.
Earlier today on the Oppenheimer red carpet, actor Matt Damon explained the cast’s intentions to honor the strike, which forbids SAG members from promoting film, television and theatrical projects.
“We talked about it,” Damon told Variety. “Look, if it’s called now, everyone’s going to walk obviously in solidarity … Once the strike is officially called, [we’re walking]. That’s why we moved this [red carpet] up because we know the second it’s called, we’re going home.”
Damon added: “We gave the strike authorization. We voted 98% to 2% to do that because we know our leadership has our best interest at heart.”
“It’s really about working actors,” Damon continued. “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.”
Fellow Oppenheimer cast member Emily Blunt agreed.
“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,” she told Variety.
Oppenheimer arrives in U.S. theaters on July 21.
Main Image: Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer. Credit: Warner Bros.