Herald and Review from Decatur, Illinois on August 16, 1981 · Page 82
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Herald and Review from Decatur, Illinois · Page 82

Decatur, Illinois
Issue Date:
Sunday, August 16, 1981
Page 82
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"II WiM!'CCllMQlb'lIimsadl By Jane Ardmore Three weeks after "Mommie Dearest" started filming at Paramount with Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford, my phone rang. "Jane," said a sonorous voice with British accent, "this is Terry O'Neill, Faye Dunaway's husband. I'm working as a producer on the film and there are a number of upcoming scenes in the picture that deeply concern Faye and me. 'We need help, and we know that-you were very close to Joan." (I co-authored Crawford's autobiography, "Portrait of Joan," Doubleday, '62, and we were intimate friends until her death on May 10, 1977.) "May I come and talk with you?" he asked. Fifteen minutes later photographer Terry O'Neill was in my living room and from then until the conclusion of shooting on .. "Mommie Dearest," I was in - constant touch with him and Faye Dunaway. What was troubling Dunaway was the lack of -characterization in the script based - -on the book by Christina Crawford. Christina's portrayal of her mother as an egomaniacal alcoholic child-. 99 When Faye Dunaway set out to play Joan Crawford in the upcoming "Mommie Dearest," she looked for advice about the star's personality. The results? Some surprisingly eerie similarities between the two actresses abuser caused a flurry of controversy from the day of publication, and Dunaway found it "horrifying." "I always research my characters," Dunaway told me during one of our first conversations. "I read everything I could find on Evita Peron (whom she played in a television movie last spring). I've read everything on Joan and have talked to those who knew her. Joan is the most . . frightening of all the ladies I have ever played because of her intensity. She's also well known. I don't want' to do a caricature of her. I want to climb inside her skin and we don't have a lot of time. This script covers 40 years of a woman's life, a far -broader range than the book.. We are attempting to tell Joan's story (rather than Christina's) because that's where the dramatic capital is, and woven into that story is the relationship of mother and - . daughter. I've had only a month and a half .to prepare." HIDING IN THE MAKEUP Anne Bancroft had originally been mentioned to protray ... . -Crawford in the film. Then it was ; rumored that Bahcrofrrefused the --- role because other Hollywood stars threatened to ostracize anyone who played it. The truth was that ' Bancroft's taking the part was predicated on her script approval, and she never did find a script she liked. . So," fresh from a critically acclaimed performance as Evita Peron, Dunaway was chosen to play Joan Crawford. The results are stunning. . "By the miracle of Lee Harmon's makeup, I look startlingly like her," Faye admits. But what she didn't -i t . i J i I K.UUW, uiiiii i iuiu ucr, was now much she, without makeup, looks . like Crawford without makeup. In the 23 years of our friendship, I -never saw Joan wear makeup in her own home. In the short months of knowing Faye, I have never seen her with makenn either. Roth women i have strong brows, high cheek Kmiac crriiVVpH anH liiminmic rnt skin (Joan had some freckles, Faye's .. is pure ivory), and a soft vulnerable mouth. Joan used to paint on that bold red slash of lipstick, pencil in those black eyebrows, and wear (Continued on page 11) Today's WOMAN,. Hcrajd 8. Review, Sunday, Aug., ff9W 3 4--v-;

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