Adam Driver may be one of the few American actors walking a red carpet this week, but he is still standing in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA. While attending a press conference to promote his new film, Ferrari, at the Venice Film Festival, Driver called out big studios and streamers like Amazon and Netflix for refusing to meet the actors union’s demands.
“I’m very happy to be here to support this movie, and the truncated schedule that we had to shoot it and the efforts of all the incredible actors working on it and the crew,” said Driver. “But also, I’m very proud to be here to be a visual representation of a movie that’s not part of the AMPTP and to promote the SAG leadership directive which is an effective tactic, which is the interim agreement.”
Driver stars as Enzo Ferrari in Michael Mann’s Ferrari, which follows a year in the life of the Italian motor-racing driver and entrepreneur. Ferrari also stars Shailene Woodley, Sarah Gadon, Gabriel Leone, Jack O’Connell, Patrick Dempsey, and Penélope Cruz as Enzo’s wife, Laura. Ferrari is being distributed by Neon and STX International, two independent companies, and received an interim-agreement waiver from SAG-AFTRA for its stars to attend the Venice Film Festival and do press. At the press conference, Driver said that the waiver helped “stop the bleeding a little bit so people in IATSE [International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees] and SAG can go to work.”
The actor also shouted out Neon and STX for meeting the demands of SAG-AFTRA, which has been on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) since July 14. “Why is it that a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for—this is pre-negotiations—the dream version of SAG’s wish list, but a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t?” Driver said. “And every time people from SAG go and support a movie that has met the terms of the interim agreement, it just makes it more obvious that these people are willing to support the people that they collaborate with, and the others are not.”
Driver has worked closely with both Netflix and Amazon before. In 2016, he starred in the Amazon Studios film Paterson, and in 2019 he starred opposite Annette Bening and Jon Hamm in the political thriller The Report, also distributed by the streamer. In 2020, he earned a best-actor Oscar nomination for Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, which was released by Netflix.
Ferrari director Mann also voiced his support for SAG-AFTRA and the WGA at the press conference. “Ferrari got made because the people who worked on Ferrari made it by forgoing large sectors of salaries, in the case of Adam and myself,” said Mann. “It was not made by a big studio—no big studio wrote us a check. That’s why we’re here in solidarity with both unions.”