Faye Dunaway: Through The Eyes Of Faye Dunaway
Q: But I've seen photographs of you from that era where you look very happily part of the "in crowd." Was that acting?
A: Well, sure, there are pictures of me with Bob Evans and other people looking like I'm having fun. But even if you've paid your dues in this town and you're doing well, you can never truly relax because it's so competitive.
Q: At the time you were the hot girl in the business. What did that feel like?
A: The success was big. It was a big career. It was pretty much a roller-coaster ride. It was like being in the eye of the hurricane--on the one hand, you're exhilarated, on the other hand, there's terrible loneliness. There was a feeling of power to a certain degree, a feeling of having made it. It's what Nicole Kidman must be feeling. But I had a lot of demons then. And I have a lot of demons now that I've been fighting as assiduously as St. George with his dragon. So far, knock wood--my head, that is--my son's doing pretty well and I keep coming through.
Q: Bonnie and Clyde was a huge hit, partly because you and costar Warren Beatty had electric chemistry. Why didn't you work with him again?
A: It's a shame, I agree. Well, he's had an awful long string of girls he's worked with since then. [Laughs] Julie Christie, with whom he was very much in love when he made Shampoo; Diane Keaton, whom he directed in Reds; and his wife Annette. I would love it if we could find one more film to work on.
Q: Have you seen him much since Bonnie and Clyde?
A: I spent pretty much the entire '80s living in London. When I was coming back I was trying to figure out how I could pick up my career again. When I was flying business class from New York to L.A., Warren was on the same plane. He left first class to sit with me for the entire flight. He knew that I was struggling to find a way to come back. I don't even remember what we talked about, but I was really knocked out by his doing that. That's class. I remember he once told me, "You've got a lot of class." That's the compliment that's meant the most to me.
Q: Did you ever date him?
A: It was always a platonic relationship. It was never a love affair. But I really have a special place in my heart for him. Warren is someone I've always looked up to.
Q: Soon after Bonnie and Clyde you made another hit, The Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen. Was he as tough as some say?
A: He was a chivalrous guy, though hopelessly double-standard in believing the myth that women should be barefoot and pregnant, which his wife Ali MacGraw suffered from for quite some time. But he was a darling. I connected with him in a way that I didn't with any of the others. I adored him. I have no idea why, except that you sensed his soul. You sensed that he was fighting against something.
Q: What do you have to say about Chinatown, which is pretty much perfection in terms of performance, style, writing, construction and mood?
A: Jack Nicholson was like a soul mate--a generous, kind, giving gentleman. Although he's very different from Tennessee Williams, Robert Towne writes beautiful, heartbreaking lines that have only five words to them.
Q: Robert Evans, who produced Chinatown, said that every time director Roman Polanski yelled "Cut!" you ran to have your makeup and hair redone.
A: That's part of the job.
Q: Do you keep up with Robert?
A: I'm happy for Bob. This movie done about his book [The Kid Stays in the Picture] is apparently very good. It's given him a new lease on life.