Susan Sarandon takes a stand against SAG

The simmering feud between the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists appears ready to finally hit a boil. Today AFTRA is expected to finally ratify its primetime deal with producers and studio — an arrangement that SAG is vehemently opposing, mostly because it’s hoping to strike its own sweet deal in the coming months, and any kind of actors-union precedent will make things trickier.

tjndc5-5b5nkmx58mg1fa46jezi_layout.jpgVariety has a nice breakdown of all the possible scenarios (11 to be exact) for what will happen if the AFTRA deal goes through, or if it somehow gets scuttled. But what I’ve been wondering lately is, where do our local celebs stand on the possibility of another Hollywood strike?

We’ve already seen that Rye native Justine Bateman was one of the first to stick her neck out for SAG. She’s since been joined by A-listers like Jack Nicholson, Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen.

Still, the AFTRA forces are mobilizing, and it looks like Susan Sarandon is ready to get vocal. Really, was there any doubt that the vocal Pound Ridger wouldn’t speak up sooner or later. According to the Chicago Tribune, she’s one of 600 actors (including Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey and Alec Baldwin) who signed a letter in support of the AFTRA deal.

Meanwhile, George Clooney doesn’t have a dog in this fight. He just wants the two sides to stop “pitting artist against artist.” Still, if the can’t-we-all-just-get-along angle doesn’t work, I’m sure he’d settle for a little artist-on-artist action.

(AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)

Podcast: June 19

This week: Ron Howard’s vexing problems with the Vatican, Justine Bateman’s SAG sympathies, and Vanessa Williams return to Chappaqua.

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/061708_Suburbarazzi_lohud.mp4″ title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file” class=”noimg”><em>Podcast file</em></a>

<a href=”http://www.lohud.com/assets/mov/061708_Suburbarazzi_lohud.flv” title=”Anarchy Media Player – Right click to download file”><em>Flash video</em></a>

And the quiz — which, I might add, stumped Stacy-Ann (third week in a row!) — is as follows:

Which actor from the Lower Hudson Valley appears in M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller “The Happening”?

A. Joseph Cross, of Pelham
B. Bill Irwin, of Nyack
C. Alan Ruck, of Piermont
D. Mel Gibson, of Peekskill/Verplanck

The big trick here: ALL of these actors have, at one point or another, appeared in a Shyamalan film.

The answer, as always, is at the end of the video or after the break.

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Justine Bateman’s SAG solidarity

The Screen Actors Guild appears to be having a hard time luring any A-list celebs to join their potentially strike-inducing cause. But one of the few who was happy to lend their name to the cause is Justine Bateman. It’s just one of the many causes the Rye native has adopted lately.

SAG’s main goal is to block the ratification of a deal that its sister union, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA),  put together with television producers. At issue, according to Variety, are the terms for “new-media jurisdiction and compensation, middle-class actor salaries, DVD residuals, force majeure protections and product-integration protections.” SAG is hoping to persuade enough of its 44,000 members to put the kibutz on the AFTRA deal, potentially throwing a monkey wrench into the fall TV shows currently filming (not to mention several films, like Ron Howard’s “Angels and Demons,” that were already seriously delayed by the writers strike).

Given how much the WGA’s efforts cost the entertainment biz, it could turn out that there’s very little public sympathy for yet another Hollywood strike. Though Batemab was joined at a recent SAG rally by folks like Ed Asner, Marg Helgenberger (who is Rosenberg’s wife), The Office’s Kate Flannery, and Sex and the City’s Willie Garson, according to Entertainment Weekly there weren’t many Clooneys and Pitts — or for that matter, Jason Batemans — to be found at the event.

(Photo: ABC/Sergi Bachlakov)

Ruby Dee’s SAG Awards stunner

Nothing was more surprising — and gratifying — than New Rochelle resident Ruby Dee’s win for Best Support Actress at the SAG awards last night. I so wish I’d taped to transcribed her speech, but the win caught me as off guard as it did Cate Blanchett and just about everyone else in the audience.

rubydee.jpgIn retrospect, maybe it shouldn’t have. Despite Dee’s role in “American Gangster” consisting of only a handful of screen time, it seemed clear that last night’s ceremony was all about recognizing and rewarding the sentimental favorites — “The Sopranos” sweeping Actor, Actress, and Cast; Julie Christi winning for Best Actress; the half hour spent on celebrating Charles Durning.

That said, Dee’s speech was totally captivating. From the opening (Will she remember Russell Crowe’s name?) to the ending (during which she rambled happily about audiobooks and memoirs and other projects), it was a little less coherent than my aunt’s speech at her 100th birthday, but every bit as moving. Especially the nod to her husband Ossie Davis, who died in 2005. “I accept it also for my husband Ossie, because he’s working on things up there.â€?

If anyone has video of the speech, or knows where it’s posted online, please give us a holler.

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)