The Barbie red carpet might be getting all the buzz, but Oppenheimer may have provided us with the last red carpet Hollywood will see for quite some time. Hours before SAG-AFTRA announced that it would be joining the WGA in a strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the A-list stars of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, including Cillian Murphy, Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and Florence Pugh, walked the red carpet at Oppenheimer’s London premiere—before promptly walking out of the event in solidarity with the actors strike.
At the premiere, Blunt made it clear that her cast would leave the premiere if and when the actors strike was announced. “If they call it, we’ll be leaving together as cast in unity with everyone,” Blunt told Deadline. “We are gonna have to. We will see what happens. Right now it’s the joy to be together.” After the carpet, Nolan took the stage at the premiere to inform the audience that the actors had left before the film began, going to dinner together in London’s West End. “We have to acknowledge [that] you’ve seen them here earlier on the red carpet,” said Nolan. “Unfortunately they’re off to write their picket signs for what we believe to be an imminent strike by SAG.”
This is the first SAG-AFTRA strike since 1980 and the first time that both actors and writers have been on strike simultaneously in 63 years. SAG-AFTRA’s contract expired on Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. PT, at which time its negotiating committee, led by SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher, voted unanimously to strike. Union members are expected to head to the picket lines on Friday.
Oppenheimer goes wide on Friday July 21. Until then, feast your eyes on photos from Oppenheimer’s London premiere—perhaps, the last glitzy Hollywood event we’ll see for awhile.