With a possible US actors' strike on the cards this summer, could it be a boom time for UK actors'
Don't count on it, even if a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) strike goes ahead. All the leading UK actors are members of SAG as well as UK actors' union Equity, so would not be able to ignore SAG guidelines. Tim Gale, films organiser at Equity, notes that even if US studio projects go ahead without A-list actors, the B and C-list actors that might be members of Equity but not SAG are unlikely to cash in.
"Even if there is a strike, I can't see our members flying over (to the US) to take their place; that would be like professional suicide," predicts Gale.
Equity would likely support a SAG strike in solidarity, but that depends on what SAG is striking over, if anything. "We'd hope action would remain limited to US productions or US-majority financed," Gale notes, and not extend to UK SAG members, for instance, trying to work on low-budget UK indies.
However, SAG does have its renowned Global Rule One policy, which means SAG members have to work under its regulations even when films shoot abroad.
Equity has its own cinema/films agreement up for negotiation in the next month or two, with the UK's independent producers' body, Pact.
With much of the global industry still recovering from the writers' strike and cautiously optimistic a walk-out by actors can be avoided, UK and US actors will hope the debate is a moot point and shooting will continue as usual on both sides of the Atlantic.