SAG Interim Agreement Explained: Why Adam Driver Is Promoting His Movie at Venice but Bradley Cooper Isn’t

Everything you need to know about the scaled-down presence of actors and actresses at festival red carpets

From left to right: Adam Driver and Bradley Cooper (Getty Images)

Adam Driver took to the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival this week in support of his new film “Ferrari,” but he’s one of only a few stars who are attending the usually buzzy festival. Thanks to the SAG-AFTRA interim agreement, actors on certain projects are allowed to promote movies because the studios behind those films are not represented by the AMPTP, and they have agreed to the union’s terms. Others, like “Maestro” star and director Bradley Cooper, will be skipping the splashy premiere of their films in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA since their projects hail from AMPTP studios.

There is a loophole that allows an actor who also directed a project to promote that project because the Director’s Guild of America has successfully negotiated a deal with the AMPTP, but Cooper has opted not to appear.

Learn more about the SAG-AFTRA interim agreement and the films it covers below:

What Is the Interim Agreement?

The interim agreement, launched by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) after the actors went on strike on July 14, permits independent productions with no direct ties to members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to continue filming while the rest of the studios represented by the AMPTP get struck since they refuse to meet the demands of the striking actors. It also allows the promotion of finished films from indie studios by their casts.

Each interim agreement is granted by SAG-AFTRA.

SAG-AFTRA national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland explained the strategy behind the interim agreement in a statement last week. In the words of the union, the interim agreement can best be described as a “complete, separate and distinct contract that includes all terms and conditions for producers looking to employ our members on their specific independent productions.”

Each interim agreement that is granted states that the project’s distributor must agree to the terms of SAG-AFTRA’s current proposal, which includes increased residuals.

Why Is SAG Allowing Some Actors to Promote Movies During the Strike?

Actors are allowed to promote projects produced by independent studios, or those that are not represented by the AMPTP, since the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA have not reached a deal. For example, Michael Mann’s “Ferrari” will be distributed by Neon and STX International, who both agree to the terms SAG-AFTRA has yet to secure from the AMPTP. Because of this, Adam Driver, who stars as Enzo Ferrari, can attend promotional press events for the film. 

Driver took the opportunity to tout the interim agreement while promoting “Ferrari” at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday.

“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,” Driver told press. “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 explained that the “Ferrari” cast’s presence under the interim agreement is a direct statement to the AMPTP.

“The other objective is obviously to say, 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 wishlist, 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.”

Crabtree-Ireland encouraged those who have secured an interim agreement to attend the fall film festival circuit.

“The Interim Agreement is a vital part of our strategic approach and was created for several reasons, all of which are aimed at protecting the interests of our members,” he said. “The Agreement demonstrates to the AMPTP and the struck companies that independent producers at all budget levels are eager, keen and able to work with our members under these terms,” Crabtree-Ireland said.

Which Movies Have the Interim Agreement?

Below are several titles that qualify for the interim agreement, but those that don’t include any project produced by an AMPTP studio such as Netflix or Disney.

  • “Daddio” starring Dakota Johnson
  • “Ferrari” starring Adam Driver
  • “G20” starring Viola Davis, though Davis chose to pause production
  • “Megalopolis” directed by Francis Ford Coppola
  • “Priscilla” from Sofia Coppola, starring Jacob Elordi and Cailee Spaeny
  • “What Happens Later” starring Meg Ryan and David Duchovny, directed by Meg Ryan

Here is a full list according to SAG-AFTRA.

For all of TheWrap’s WGA strike coverage, click here.