Faye, Dearest

3.3.2005

By Jeffrey Epstein

Faye Dunaway is a fabulous diva. You know it. We know it. And, most importantly, she knows it. While we will always love her for her turn as Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, the legendary actress is just as awe-inspiring for her turns in Network, Bonnie and Clyde, and Chinatown. (And we can't forget her in Supergirl!) Dunaway is serving as a judge on the new WB series The Starlet (Sundays at 8 p.m.), where young women from all over the country compete to be the next Julia Roberts. We got a moment to chat with the delicious Dunaway.

Have you always noticed that gay men love you?

Yeah. Why do they? Because I'm kind of strong or what?

You're strong, fabulous, and we love that you played Joan Crawford.

Oh, I'm still trying to live that down.

Well, there's nothing to live down!

It was a good performance but they've made it very camp. Very camp.

Have you been a fan of reality television?

No, not all that much. I was interested in the one that happened to Donald, you know'The Apprentice. It was amazing. And what else, and the one that has Tyra Banks in it.

America's Next Top Model.

Exactly. It's a genre that has an enormous fanbase, so you can't ignore it. What do they see in it? What are they interested in? As an actor, you have to take your emotions and all that and it has to be used. Whereas on The Apprentice a girl can try and be angry and upset and everything, and then she goes in and she has to be a barracuda and smart and intelligent, you know, but it's not using the emotions in the same sense, so I found that interesting.

The thing I love about the show is that oftentimes you hear stories in Hollywood about how women aren't supportive of other women. Women don't want to see other women succeed, and from what I've seen of this show, it's very supportive, and that's a great thing. Is that important to you?

Yeah, it is, because we are trying to get them to do their best and we're trying to tell them what they're going to have to go through. And I think it is important because I think we need to pass on what we know. I think that's really important.

Now, you've had an amazing career and you're working with fellow judge Vivica A. Fox who is kind of an up-and-coming actress, comparatively. What were the dynamics like between you two?

She was great. At one point she really defended me to one of the girls, who was so lost in her fears that she became very aggressive towards me, and then [Vivica] was like, 'What are you doing?' And she would not let her say things to me in any negative way. And the girl was just in a moment of fear, panicking, and she sort of was trying to handle too much attitude and didn't quite know what she was doing. I love [Vivica] because she has a real edgy, interesting talent. She's a woman who's not afraid to go after something.

And what else is on the horizon for you? Any chance the film version of Terrence McNally's Master Class is going forward?

Yeah. I think we're going to do it this year. We're looking at filming August, September, October. We're just about to start casting, and we've virtually got all the money.

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