Faye Dunaway Was A Nightmare During Making Of “Mommie Dearest,” Remembers Costar

You can put this on record: Faye made life very difficult. [Costume designer] Irene Sharaff, who had come out of retirement to do it, said, ‘That woman is on cocaine!’ She walked off the film midway and said, ‘I’m going back to New York and not returning, because of Faye. I have never walked off a movie in my entire career… You can enter Faye Dunaway’s dressing room, but first throw a raw steak in there to distract her.’ I never saw any drug use, but I saw the erratic behavior and mood swings, which happen for a reason.”

“My first day on the set with her, she did the upstage routine where she made sure that my face was not on camera, an old theater trick. I couldn’t believe it –– she’s the star! I couldn’t complain to our director Frank Perry, a sweet man who’d lost control of his set, so I decided to help her upstage me. I upstaged myself all day long, and then she kind of relaxed. So, after that she was a little more gentle with me, but I also learned to get out of the way and hide a lot [laughs]. I’m sure if I stayed around long enough I’d be under fire, too. She has that tremendous insecurity where everyone’s competition when you’re the star.”