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Jessica Chastain says she ignored advice not to attend Venice Film Festival amid SAG-AFTRA strikes

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Oscar winner Jessica Chastain is at the Venice Film Festival promoting her independent film Memory, but she used her time to also promote the plight of SAG-AFTRA performers who are on strike.

Even though she had the blessing of the union to talk up the movie at the festival, thanks to an interim agreement from SAG-AFTRA, The Hollywood Reporter says it wasn’t an easy decision.

Wearing a “SAG-AFTRA on Strike” shirt, the kind seen on picket lines back home, Chastain admitted she was “incredibly nervous” to attend the festival, even going so far as to say, “some people on my team advised me against it.”

That said, Chastain used her platform to boost the strikers. “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…,” the Zero Dark Thirty vet expressed, according to the trade.

“And when independent producers like the ones here sign these interim agreements, they are letting the world know and letting the [studios] know that actors deserve a fair compensation, that AI protections should be implemented and there should be sharing of streaming revenue,” she continued.

Chastain also said she is “very aware” of “how lucky” she is to have her career. “And we are quite often because of that made to feel like we have to be quiet in order to protect future working opportunities,” she expressed, adding, “And we are often told and reminded how grateful we should be.”

She added pointedly, “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.”

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