Zap2it.com (US), July 10, 2003
Protestors Halt Nicholson Production
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Filming of the new Jack Nicholson movie was halted Wednesday (July 9) by striking show business workers in Paris. Also affected was the Avignon Festival, a theatrical celebration, according to the AP.
Protesting their unemployment benefits were French actors, technicians, costume designers and other stagehands. Additionally, their actions are causing the cancellation of dozens of other culture festivals just as the summer season begins.
The powerful, Communist-backed CGT union urged "all professionals to amplify the mobilization" in a statement after failed late-night negotiations.
Tuesday evening (July 8) Nicholson had begun an evening shoot on a Seine River bridge when protesters walked onto the set and refused to leave, according to local police.
Nicholson reportedly picked up a bullhorn to ask protesters what the commotion was about. When he was told that artists rights were being threatened, he voiced his support.
The unnamed movie also stars Diane Keaton, Frances McDormand Keanu Reeves, and Amanda Peet. Directing is Nancy Meyers ("What Women Want"). This is the fourth time Diane Keaton has appeared in a movie written by Meyers, having appeared in "Father of the Bride" and "Baby Boom."
Sympathizers also staged a sit-down protest in front of the Stade de France stadium, blocking trucks loaded with stage gear for a Rolling Stones gig on Wednesday.
A group of striking actors even protested on the Tour de France route, causing a bottle-neck that forced some riders at the head of the pack to briefly slow to a halt.
The annual opera festival in Aix-en-Provence was also disrupted, and striking performers occupied the main stage at the Francofolies music festival in La Rochelle.