Bob Odenkirk Has Words for A-Listers Who Still Want to Promote Their Movies: ‘It’s a Strike… Tough S-t’ (Video)

“Sometimes you have to do the hard thing,” the “Better Call Saul” star says

Ike Barinholtz, Bob Odenkirk
Ike Barinholtz, Bob Odenkirk on the picket lines at Paramount on July 19, 2023 (Sharon Knolle for TheWrap)

Bob Odenkirk told TheWrap that actors should not be asking for waivers to promote their movies during the SAG-AFTRA strike, as “Mission: Impossible” star Tom Cruise was reported to have requested earlier this week.

“Don’t,” the “Better Call Saul” Emmy nominee said succinctly outside Paramount studios on Wednesday. “It’s a strike. Strike. You lose. We lose. Everybody loses. That’s tough s–t.”

SAG-AFTRA has asked members not to do interviews or any other form of promotion until the strike is resolved, which is why the cast of “Oppenheimer” walked out of the premiere once the strike became official.

Watch the interview with Odenkirk below.

“The Mindy Project” actor Ike Barinholtz also weighed in: “Yeah, we all are in this together and if some of us are starting new projects and promoting others, that’s gonna cause dissension. We need the opposite. We need solidarity.”

“Sometimes you have to do the hard thing,” Odenkirk added.

The feeling outside the studio, which is plastered with ads for Cruise’s “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One,” was decidedly anti-Cruise on Wednesday. One strike actor quipped that if Cruise did ever show up on a picket line, he’d likely use it as another promotional tool by parachuting in or something equally dramatic. Another actor chimed in, “If he ever shows up on a picket line, he’ll get beaten up.”

Longtime Tom Cruise impersonator Evan Ferrante, who was also on the picket line, also commented on the A-lister’s alleged request. “I hear that SAG is only allowing true indies to to promote their movies. So I don’t think Tom Cruise fits that bill. Unless he’s doing an indie that I’m not aware of,” he told TheWrap.

Ferrante, who also talked about the memorable night he met the real Cruise at the Chateau Marmont, added, “I mean, he is Tom Cruise. You know, people have a hard time saying no to him. So we’ll see.”

Odenkirk said he’s taking a short break from the picket lines to go out of town, but expects that nothing will be resolved in the meantime. “I actually am gonna go on a little trip. So I won’t be able to strike for a little while. So I wanted to get out as much as I could before I go. And then when they come back, I’ll be back on the line, and I’ll see you as this is gonna go on.”

Added Barinholtz, “This is the fight. We have to keep this industry that we’ve been trusted to be stewards of alive.”