Dear Gossips, 

Seems like every week on the picket lines in Hollywood, there’s a series reunion. Yesterday it was Breaking Bad. 


While Bob Odenkirk wasn’t there for this particular reunion, both he and Bryan Cranston have been a frequent presence during the strike – as Sarah said a few weeks ago, they represent the “sweet spot” of actors who are showing up, regularly, to represent the unions’ cause. Well known enough, familiar over several seasons to loyal viewers, actors who have worked their way up steadily through the years, but not right at the top of the fame food chain. 

These reunions have been a smart strategy for SAG-AFTRA as we get deeper and deeper into the work stoppage and approaching the end of summer and the usual start of the fall television season when it’ll be really noticeable that Hollywood has shut down. In September, in prime time on network TV, there will basically only be game shows and reality programming. 


Over in Italy it’s the first day of the Venice Film Festival and the strike was top of mind too as the jury gathered, led by Damien Chazelle, who wore his support on his chest in solidarity with the WGA. He spoke compassionately about the situation and the impact it’s having on artists. 

Fellow jury members Martin McDonaugh and Laura Poitras also wore the WGA t-shirt. 


Next week it’s TIFF and we’re starting to get a sense of which actors have secured or will likely secure interim agreements allowing them to travel to Toronto to promote their independent films. Deadline reports that Sean Penn, Dakota Johnson, Finn Wolfhard, Viggo Mortensen, Maya Hawke, and Laura Linney will be coming. 

However there are many who will NOT be attending, including Scarlett Johansson and several Oscar winners, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Olivia Colman, Annette Bening, and Cate Blanchett. Chris Pine, whose directorial debut Poolman will have its world premiere in Toronto, which is obviously a big deal for him, will probably be passing on Toronto too. 

As we saw last week, talks between the WGA and the AMPTP did not go well and there’s been no word at all if SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP are even considering a meeting to discuss when to resume negotiations. Will be interesting to see if that changes after Labour Day. 

Yours in gossip,