Much has been said about the Hollywood writers strike, but now some of TV and film’s biggest stars are making a statement — without barely saying a word.
An A-list acting roster is set to star in a series of online spots supporting the ongoing writer’s strike, debuting online on Monday.
SpeechlessWithoutWriters.com will debut a slew of spots featuring Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Harvey Keitel, Martin Sheen and Ed Asner, along with cast members from “Desperate Housewives” and “Ugly Betty.”
The online spots will feature actors doing close to nothing.
In an ode to Andy Warhol’s famous “Screen Tests,” which showcased celebrities of the 1960’s doing nothing in front of the camera, writer Alan Sereboff and documentary filmmaker George Hickenlooper’s project is meant to show the public the importance of the written word in Hollywood.
In one spot, actor Sean Penn is seen giving an intense speech to the camera, yet nothing can be heard. His passionate words have been replaced with the sounds of chirping birds and a babbling stream.
In another clip, actors Susan Sarandon and Chazz Palminteri are in the midst of an intense dramatic moment with only the words “Blah blah blah,” said to each other.
“Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman and husband William H. Macy are featured in a charming video simply whistling instead of delivering lines of dialogue. “Housewives” co-stars, Eva Longoria and Nicolette Sheridan, doing their best impression of the unseen adult characters on “The Peanuts,” only say “Wahhh, wahhh, wahhh’ to each other.
In a more serious spot, the cast of “Ugly Betty” stares deeply into the camera to the ominous sound of a ticking clock.
Hickenlooper, a member Writers’ Guild of America, spent the first day walking the picket lines with his fellow writers, but then was inspired to create something with more of an impact. With the help of colleagues, Sereboff and producer Kamala Lopez, they enlisted the help of Hollywood’s acting heavyweights and director Paul Haggis.
“I was on the picket line and I was surrounded by this incredible talent,” Hickenlooper told The Guardian. “I was thinking there’s got to be a way to use the Internet, the very medium we are struggling over, to express our position. Why not use that talent in our celebrity-obsessed culture? This is the first time in Hollywood history that A-list acting talent has taken its work straight to the internet. It’s a very powerful statement.”
The project will soon feature Woody Allen, Jane Fonda, Charlize Theron, Ethan Hawke and Philip Seymour Hoffman in spots supporting the ongoing writer’s strike, according to The Guardian.