It seems Faye Dunaway has really been getting into character recently. Unfortunately, it’s the wrong one.
Though the Oscar-winning actress had been portraying Katharine Hepburn onstage in Tea at Five, that’s not who she was channeling backstage. Instead, her demeanor has been compared to her character in the 1981 film Mommie Dearest – the abusive Joan Crawford.
That’s why Dunaway has been fired from the cast of the Broadway-bound production.
Apparently, several members of the crew feared for their safety due to the “hostile” and “dangerous” environment she created.
Currently trying out at Boston’s Huntington Theatre, Matthew Lombardo’s acclaimed play had been quite well received so far. Of course, it boasted a Tony Award-winning crew and a legendary, Academy-Award winning actress after all.
Unfortunately, the said actress seems to have turned abusive towards the crew.
Moments before the curtains were set to open, the July 10 performance was suddenly called off. Allegedly, Dunaway had begun throwing things and “verbally abusing” crew members – and, apparently, she even slapped someone!
It seems one had better have a personal injury attorney on call should they want to work with Dunaway.
The producers explained in a statement that they “terminated their relationship” with Dunaway and would be recasting for her role.
After its run in Boston, the one-woman play centered around Katharine Hepburn is set to open in London next spring.
It was also supposed to be Dunaway’s triumphant return to the Broadway stage after a 37-year hiatus.
One source said the 78-year-old actress had “seemed committed to the role, and fun to be around.” However, we’re not sure if the crew would agree.
Allegedly, she was often late to rehearsals and refused to make eye contact with anyone – even the director. Sources claimed that crew members had to adhere to a strict set of rules to avoid distracting the actress, too. For instance, no one was allowed to wear white – or move around the theatre when she was rehearsing.
Sources also alleged she failed to learn her lines, instead, receiving much of her dialogue and direction via an earpiece.
She’s been accused of leaving the creative team with “troubling” voicemails in which she came off as “rambling” and “angry.” And, she purportedly also threw a salad on the floor during an early photoshoot.
All told, it sounds like Dunaway had been a complete diva, which would certainly underscore why she was fired.
Dunaway’s behavior – and emaciated appearance – were so troubling that one member of production even called her former assistant seeking advice.
The response? “It sounds like she’s not complying with her medication,” said the assistant.
Whether or not Dunaway is on any new depression meds is unclear. However, even the producers worried about her condition, questioning whether it was even “ethical” to let her work on the play. According to several sources, they even called the Actors’ Equity Association about their concerns.
Prone to meltdowns and bouts of manic, controlling behavior, it seems she made their decision somewhat easier. No longer do they need to weigh the ethical dilemma of letting her remain in the production. Her behavior sealed the deal.