Jessica Chastain is attending the Venice International Film Festival to promote “Memory”, her new indie film directed by Michel Franco.

However, Chastain admitted she nearly didn’t come over apprehensions about promoting a new project in the midst of the contentious SAG-AFTRA strike.

Since many indies — including “Memory” — are outside the bounds of the studios represented by the AMPTP and received an interim agreement permitting actors to promote them, Chastain told Variety she still worried about how attending the film festival in the midst of the strike would be perceived.

“I was very nervous about coming,” said Chastain, revealing that “there were actually some people on my team who advised me against it.”

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Making her support of the strike apparent by wearing a “SAG-AFTRA on Strike” t-shirt during the festival, Chastain said that actors are “often made to keep quiet in order to protect future working opportunities, and we are often told and reminded how grateful we should be. And that is the environment that I think has allowed work to be abused, to go unchecked for many decades. And is also the environment that has saddled members of our union with unfair contracts.”

She and co-star Peter Sarsgaard were able to attend the festival in support of “Memory”, she explained, because the film was able to obtain an interim agreement from SAG-AFTRA.

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“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 line and to work and support interim agreement projects,” she said.

“It’s what our national board, negotiating committee and our elected leadership has asked us to do,” she continued.

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“The independent producers, like the ones here, are letting the AMPTP know that actors deserve fair compensation, that AI protection should be implemented, and there should be sharing of streaming revenues,” she added. “I hope my being here today encourages other independent producers, and encourages actors to show up [at festivals] and support our union members. Hopefully we will see an end to the strike soon and hopefully AMPTP will go back to the table.”

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Spotted At The 2023 Venice Film Festival