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Vanishing act: What happens when stars don’t show up for the red carpet?

By Ryan Gilbey

01 Sep 2023 · 8 min read

informed Summary

  1. The ongoing Sag-Aftra strike has led to a noticeable absence of A-list actors at the Venice Film Festival, with stars such as Emma Stone and Michael Fassbender not attending. This has resulted in a lack of promotional push for certain films and a decrease in media interest.

Picture the scene. A journalist flying to the Venice film festival earlier this week is wheeling her luggage through the duty-free shop on her way to the gate. Pausing to glance at the illuminated perfume ads gazing at her from among the whiskey bottles and the Toblerones bigger than cricket bats, she sees the face of Zendaya, the 27-year-old star of the Spider-Man and Dune franchises, her hair rippling against a violet sky as she sits astride a white steed to promote Lancôme’s fragrance Idôle.

It is an eye-catching image, but also a bittersweet one. The journalist finds herself dabbing away a tear as she realises that this is the closest she will get to Zendaya for the foreseeable future. She scurries off to catch her flight, pondering the strange and starless universe she is about to enter.

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