Theatre News

Jonathan Bailey reveals he was filming Wicked movie scenes with stand-ins in wigs during the actors’ strike

Things took a strange turn during the strike for the Equity-contracted actor, who was unaffected by industry action

bailey 1
Jonathan Bailey, © Dan Wooller

Jonathan Bailey has detailed the slightly surreal experience filming during the actor’s strike.

While many of his co-stars were bound by SAG-AFTRA contracts, meaning they were unable to work during the strike, Bailey, on a UK-based Equity contract, was able to complete some shots in the role of Fiyero while his co-stars (including leads Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande) were off set.

Speaking to the SiriusXFM’s Andy Cohen, Bailey explained: “I think we had 10 days left filming before the strike hit. I was the only actor who was on an Equity contract, so I had these four days where I came up and acted with people in wigs who were pretending to be [the other characters].”

Bailey’s co-stars also include Jeff Goldblum (The Wizard), Ethan Slater (Boq), Michelle Yeoh (Madame Morrible) and Keala Settle (Miss Coddle).

Based on the hit novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, Wicked tells the story of two unlikely university friends in the land of Oz, one destined to become Glinda The Good and the other, the Wicked Witch of the West. Wicked writers Winnie Holzman (book) and Stephen Schwartz (score) are collaborating on the screenplay.

The film is due for release in late 2024, so we’ve still a while to wait. 2023 has marked the 20th anniversary of the original Broadway production, while the show is currently in its 17th year in the West End, where it has been seen by 11 million people. A UK tour will also launch later this year, so it’ll probably be quicker to see it on stage than in cinemas

Featured In This Story