Driver is one of a small number of stars who is attending this year’s edition of the annual event after being granted an interim pass for new film Ferrari.
Driver was permitted a pass by SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union currently on strike, due to the fact that the Enzo Ferrari biopic is an independently made film. Neon secured distribution rights to Ferrari, directed by Michael Mann, earlier this year.
Driver attended the Ferrari press conference on Thursday (31 August) where he was asked about his presence at the festival. The Star Wars and House of Gucci actor said: “I’m very proud to be here to kind of be a visual representation of a movie that's not a part of the AMPTP, and to promote the leadership directive, which is an effective tactic.”
He described the interim agreement, as “two-fold”, stating (via The Hollywood Reporter’s Alex Ritman): “It allows independent movies that have no association with writers who are non-WGA members, to be made.”
Driver then explained that “the other objective” of his appearance was to highlight that “a smaller distribution company like Neon and STX International can meet the dream demands of what SAG is asking for” when “a big company like Netflix and Amazon can’t”.
He continued: “Every time people from SAG go and support a movie that has agreed to these terms – the interim agreement – it just makes it more obvious that these people are willing to support the people they collaborate with and the others are not.”
Ferrari, which was written by Troy Kennedy Martin, is based on Brock Yates’ book Enzo Ferrari: The Man and the Machine. It co-stars Penélope Cruz, Shailene Woodley, Jack OConnell and Patrick Dempsey.
Mann's previous film was the Chris Hemsworth thriller Blackhat, which was released in 2015.
Ferrari will be released in the US on 25 December. A UK release date is yet to be announced.
The Hollywood shutdown is in its second month after the 160,000 member-strong SAG-AFTRA union voted to join striking Hollywood writers. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) are fighting for better compensation and assurances that they will not lose work to artificial intelligence (AI), among other demands.
In a recent interview, Pose star Billy Porter said that he had already had to sell his house as a repercussion of the strikes.