Mads Mikkelsen Shines at Venice Film Festival amid SAG-AFTRA Strikes
Mads Mikkelsen, the Danish actor, made a fleeting appearance at the premiere of his new movie Bastarden (The Promised Land) at the Venice Film Festival on Friday. As many American and British stars chose to stay away from fear of breaching the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes, Mads stood out as one of the few famous faces to grace the red carpet.
The 57-year-old actor looked suave in a white tuxedo jacket paired with black trousers. He completed the look with a crisp white shirt and matching dickie bow. Mads was joined by his co-stars as they prepared for the screening of the historical drama.
The Venice Film Festival, which started on Wednesday, usually attracts Hollywood’s biggest stars. However, this year, only a few independent productions received permission to promote their films with the presence of their stars. Adam Driver and Jessica Chastain were confirmed to make appearances at the festival.
The SAG-AFTRA strikes, which have entered their 45th day of protests, have led to a halt in Hollywood’s activities. Members of the SAG-AFTRA union went on strike alongside the Writers Guild Of America to address concerns regarding the use of artificial intelligence and streaming residuals. Some films premiering at Venice have obtained SAG-AFTRA interim waivers, as they are independent productions not produced by AMPTP members.
Well-known actors have expressed their solidarity with the striking actors by issuing statements of support, joining picket lines in Los Angeles and New York City, and providing aid to picketers such as water bottles and food. Celebrities like Jason Sudeikis, Susan Sarandon, Vanessa Hudgens, Mandy Moore, Logan Lerman, America Ferrera, Josh Gad, and many others have taken part in picket lines.
The U.K. actors union Equity also held rallies in London and Manchester to support the SAG-AFTRA strike. Brian Cox, Jim Carter, Hayley Atwell, David Oyelowo, and Oscar-nominated actress Imelda Staunton were among those in attendance.
While talks between the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA have shown little progress, negotiations with the Writers Guild Of America have reached a stalemate. The sides have not met since August 18, when the AMPTP rejected a counter-offer from the WGA.
The Venice Film Festival, known as the oldest film festival in the world, is currently in its 80th edition. It opened on August 30 with the premiere of Comandante, an Italian World War Two film directed by Edoardo De Angelis. The festival will run until September 9 and conclude with the Spanish-language Netflix drama Society of the Snow.
Venice holds significant importance as it marks the beginning of the awards season and often showcases favorites that later receive recognition at the Oscars. Eight of the past 11 best director awards at the Oscars were given to films that debuted at the Venice Film Festival.
This year, the festival will have fewer star-studded appearances due to the ongoing Hollywood actors‘ strike, which has restricted actors from promoting their work.
The festival features various categories of films, including those competing for the coveted Golden Lion award. The 23 contenders in this year’s competition include films like Dogman, Ferrari, The Promised Land, Poor Things, Finally Dawn, and many others.
Aside from the competitive films, Venice also reserves spots for notable movies shown out of competition. This year, films like The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial by William Friedkin, Woody Allen’s first French-language picture Coup de Chance, Roman Polanski’s The Palace, and Wes Anderson’s short feature The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar will be showcased.
Mads Mikkelsen’s presence at the Venice Film Festival serves as a reminder of the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes affecting the industry. While many stars decided not to attend, Mads’s appearance added a touch of glamour to the event.