A-List Cast Walks Out of Oppenheimer Premiere

When strike hit, cast left London premiere before film's screening
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
Updated Jul 14, 2023 6:36 AM CDT
Oppenheimer Cast Leaves Premiere Due to Actors' Strike
Rami Malek, from left, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh, Cillian Murphy, director Christopher Nolan, Robert Downey Jr. and Tom Conti pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere for the film 'Oppenheimer' on Thursday, July 13, 2023 in London.   (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

As the SAG-AFTRA strike loomed, Christopher Nolan's highly anticipated film Oppenheimer had its London premiere—a premiere the movie's cast arrived at only to leave before the screening. "I have to to acknowledge the work of our incredible cast," Nolan told the audience ahead of the screening, per Deadline. "You've seen them here earlier on the red carpet. Unfortunately, they are off to write their picket signs for what we believe to be an imminent strike by SAG, joining one of my guilds, the Writers Guild, in the struggle for fair wages for working members of their union." The union representing most actors did, in fact, vote Thursday to join the screenwriters' guild in going on strike, essentially shutting Hollywood down.

While on the red carpet, one of the film's stars, Matt Damon, told Variety, "We talked about it. 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." Added co-star Emily Blunt, also prior to the walkout, "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." Sources say the actors discreetly left and then had dinner together in the West End. The film tells the story of the Manhattan Project, which ultimately produced the first nuclear weapons. (More SAG-AFTRA stories.)

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