Juliette Lewis Is Spitting Fire Over On-Set Working Conditions As Hollywood Crews Prepare For An Imminent Strike

Juliette Lewis knows a thing or two about how things work in Hollywood. She’s regularly appeared in films and on TV since the late 1980s before really taking off in the early 1990s with a run of movies that included Kalifornia, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers. On the note of that last movie, however, Juliette has revealed that the production was a grueling one. She made that declaration while expressing solidarity with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). The union is currently at the bargaining table regarding working conditions for crew members, and President Matthew Loeb is promising that, if an agreement isn’t reached, 60,000 film and TV workers will strike on Monday, October 18.

While detailing her support for the IATSE, Juliette took to Instagram, where she revealed that 15-17 hour work days are customary for actors, and she’d like for her colleagues to speak up, too. Her main point, though, is that crew members work even longer hours, which means that they’ve got things rougher (and for lower pay) than talent does. Juliette revealed that she was conditioned as a teenager “to never take a sick day off, or it would cost tens of thousands of dollars. And you’d be labeled ‘problematic.'” This led to her working while having the flu and migraines and “through walking pneumonia on Natural Born Killers for two weeks where I thought I might die.”

All of this, Juliette says, illustrates how Hollywood productions don’t allow for adjusting schedules “to accommodate a person’s health.” Here’s more of her lengthy rant on why actors should stand up for those crew members who make their jobs possible:

“I am actually thankful for this worth ethic it’s served me in many areas of my life but I am an actor so when I think of the crew who shows up hours before actors do and leaves hours after actors do and are asked to work miracles daily that’s a whole other story that goes beyond a soldier like worth ethic and that’s why all you have to do is read some of the stories you see people dying behind the wheel… Every actor should be standing up for their crews and talk about how we’ve worked in asbestos filled totally unsafe uninhabitable environments to get the shot and because they were cheap to rent out and got permits on that.”

Juliette stresses how crew members frequently show up hours before actors do and leave hours later, so that the stars may shine. They do so without SAG protections, too, so there’s no 12-hour turnaround protection as the actors receive. You can read her full Instagram post below, in addition to a very simple (and forthright) message of support from Samuel L. Jackson, who dropped a “#fuckaroundandfindout.”