Hugh Grant and others put in their two cents -- not literally of course

By Daniel Fierman
Updated May 17, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Hugh Grant: Tricia Meadows/Globe Photos

Maybe we should ask Hugh Grant for stock tips: On Thursday, May 3, while staring at a gibbon on the set of ”About a Boy” at the London Zoo, the actor opined: ”There won’t be a writers’ strike. I just know it.”

By golly, he did. At 4 p.m. the next day, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced a deal to avert a much feared strike. Assuming they approve, film and TV writers will gain about $41 million over the next three years, with hikes in minimum salaries and residuals. Says Michael Mahern, cochair of the WGA negotiating committee, ”We certainly got the attention of the powers that be in Hollywood.”

And now that attention turns to the notoriously fractious Screen Actors Guild, whose contract expires June 30. Many suspect the writers’ pact will provide a blueprint for both sides when talks begin May 15. With fears of a walkout receding, films like Steven Spielberg’s ”Minority Report,” now rushing to wrap production before the end of June, may gain breathing room.

Still, some might be disappointed by the lack of labor pains. ”I’m so excited about the strike,” Pamela Anderson told EW earlier this spring. ”I’m going to spend time with my kids.” Babysitters of Bel Air, your jobs may be safe.

Additional reporting by Rachel Fischer